Forest Hills, Queens facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Neighborhood of Queens
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Queens 6|
|• Total||7 km2 (2.6 sq mi)|
|• Land||6 km2 (2.4 sq mi)|
|• Water||0.5 km2 (0.2 sq mi)|
|• Density||13,470/km2 (34,886/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Area codes||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Forest Hills is a mostly residential neighborhood in the central portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. It is adjacent to Corona to the north, Rego Park and Glendale to the west, Forest Park to the south, Kew Gardens to the southeast, and Flushing Meadows–Corona Park to the east.
The area was originally referred to as "Whitepot". The current name comes from the Cord Meyer Development Company, which bought 660 acres (270 ha) in central Queens in 1906 and renamed it after Forest Park. Further development came in the 1920s and 1930s with the widening of Queens Boulevard through the neighborhood, as well as the opening of the New York City Subway's Queens Boulevard Line. Forest Hills has a longstanding association with tennis: the Forest Hills Stadium hosted the U.S. Open until 1978 and the West Side Tennis Club offers grass courts for its members. The area's main commercial street, Austin Street, contains many restaurants and chain stores.
Forest Hills is located in Queens Community District 6 and its ZIP Code is 11375. It is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 112th Precinct. Politically, Forest Hills is represented by the New York City Council's 29th District.
The development of adjacent Forest Park, a park on the southern end of Forest Hills, began in 1895. Starting in 1896, the landscaping firm of Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot was contracted to provide a plan for the park.
In 1906, Brooklyn attorney Cord Meyer bought abutting land made up of six farms (those of Ascan Bakus, Casper Joost-Springsteen, Horatio N. Squire, Abram V. S. Lott, Sarah V. Bolmer, and James Van Siclen) and then renamed the aggregated 600 acres Forest Hills. There is a street named after Ascan Bakus, Ascan Avenue, in Forest Hills today. In 1909, Margaret Sage, who founded the Russell Sage Foundation, bought 142 acres (0.57 km2) of land from the Cord Meyer Development Company. Grosvenor Atterbury, a renowned architect, was given the commission to design Forest Hills Gardens. The neighborhood was planned on the model of the garden communities of England. As a result, there are many Tudor-style homes in Forest Hills, some more sprawling ones located in Forest Hills Gardens while most are located in the Cord-Meyer section (loosely bounded by 68th Avenue on the north; 72nd Road on the south; 108th Street on the west; and Grand Central Parkway on the east). The construction of this area used a prefabricated building technique; each house was built from approximately 170 standardized precast concrete panels, fabricated off-site and positioned by crane. In 1913, the West Side Tennis Club moved from Manhattan to Forest Hills Gardens. The U.S. Open and its predecessor national championships were held there until 1978, making Forest Hills synonymous with tennis for generations.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Forest Hills was 86,364, an increase of 1,318 (1.5%) from the 85,046 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,328.22 acres (537.51 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 63.0 inhabitants per acre (40,300/sq mi; 15,600/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 58.3% (48,822) White, 2.5% (2,086) African American, 0.1% (63) Native American, 24.2% (20,233) Asian, 0.0% (22) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (373) from other races, and 2.1% (1,719) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.4% (10,410) of the population.
The entirety of Community Board 6, which comprises Forest Hills and Rego Park, had 115,119 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 85.4 years. This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods. Most inhabitants are middle-aged and elderly adults: 31% are between the ages of 25–44, 28% between 45–64, and 19% over 64. The ratio of young and college-aged residents was lower, at 16% and 5% respectively.
As of 2017, the median household income in Community Board 4 was $75,447. In 2018, an estimated 26% of Forest Hills and Rego Park residents lived in poverty, compared to 19% in all of Queens and 20% in all of New York City. One in seventeen residents (6%) were unemployed, compared to 8% in Queens and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 50% in Forest Hills and Rego Park, lower than the boroughwide and citywide rates of 53% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Forest Hills and Rego Park is considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.
The southern part of Forest Hills contains a particularly diverse mixture of upscale housing, ranging from single-family houses, attached townhouses, and both low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings. South of the Long Island Rail Road, the Forest Hills Gardens area is a private community that features some of the most expensive residential properties in Queens County. It was subject to restrictive covenants until the 1970s, which contained no explicit economic, social or racial restrictions even if "working-class people" were said to be excluded by Eric P. Nash in a 2002 New York Times article, in his review of A Modern Arcadia. Forest Hills Gardens was named "Best Community" in 2007 by Cottage Living Magazine. The adjacent Van Court community also contains a number of detached single-family homes. There are also attached townhouses near the Westside Tennis Center and detached frame houses near Metropolitan Avenue. Finally, there are a number of apartment buildings scattered throughout the community. The most notable high-rise apartment buildings are The Continental on 108th St, Kennedy House, the Pinnacle, Parker Towers, the Windsor and a 17-story luxury condo building completed in 2014, the Aston.
On the northwestern edge of Forest Hills, on 62nd Drive and 108th Street, immediately adjacent to the Long Island Expressway is a NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) low-income housing project that provoked controversy among the residents in the more prestigious areas of Forest Hills when it was constructed in the early 1970s.
The north side of Forest Hills is home to the Cord Meyer community, which contains detached single-family homes. Teardowns and their replacement with larger single family residences has had a significant impact on the architectural integrity of the area. However, the Bukharian Jewish community, whose members have settled in the area in large numbers since the late 1990s, advocating the changes say the bigger homes are needed for their large extended families.
Points of interest
Forest Hills was once the home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. The event was held at the West Side Tennis Club before it moved to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park, about 4 miles (6.4 km) away. When the Open was played at the tennis stadium, the tournament was commonly referred to merely as Forest Hills, just as All-England Lawn Tennis Association Championships are referred to simply as Wimbledon. In the 2001 motion picture, The Royal Tenenbaums, Luke Wilson's character plays a tennis match at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. A pivotal scene in Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 film Strangers on a Train, in which the main character (played by Farley Granger) is a professional tennis player, features a lengthy championship game at the Club, with distinctive shots of the surrounding community. The Tennis Stadium, which hosted numerous music concerts including The Beatles after the U.S. Open departed for Flushing Meadows, resumed hosting music concerts during the summer of 2013 when the British rock band Mumford & Sons played there to an overflowing crowd. Stadium officials have said they will now host as many as six music or cultural events at the Stadium each season.
Two monuments are erected in Forest Hills Gardens: a tribute to the victims of World War I, the "Great War"; and the mast of the Columbia, the winner of the America's Cup yacht races in both 1899 and 1901.
The Church-in-the-Gardens, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The following MTA Regional Bus Operations bus routes serve Forest Hills:
- Q11: to Elmhurst or Old Howard Beach or Hamilton Beach (via Woodhaven Boulevard)
- Q21: to Elmhurst or Howard Beach (via Woodhaven Boulevard)
- Q23: to East Elmhurst (via 108th Street, Austin Street, and 69th Avenue)
- Q38: to Corona via Middle Village (via 62nd Drive (to Corona), 63rd Road (to Forest Hills), 63rd Drive, Penelope Avenue, Eliot Avenue)
- Q52 SBS: to Elmhurst or Arverne (via Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevard)
- Q53 SBS: to Woodside or Rockaway Park (via Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevard)
- Q54: to Jamaica, Queens or Williamsburg, Brooklyn (via Metropolitan Avenue)
- Q60: to South Jamaica, Queens or East Midtown, Manhattan (via Queens Boulevard)
- Q64: to Electchester (via 69th Road/Jewel Avenue)
- Q88: to Elmhurst or Queens Village (via Horace Harding Expressway)
- QM4: express to Midtown Manhattan (via 69th Road/Jewel Avenue, Sixth Avenue)
- QM10: express to Midtown Manhattan (via LeFrak City, Sixth Avenue)
- QM11: express to Lower Manhattan (via Queens Boulevard, LeFrak City, Water Street, Church Street)
- QM12: express to Midtown Manhattan (via Yellowstone Boulevard, Sixth Avenue)
- QM15: express to Midtown Manhattan (via Woodhaven Boulevard, Sixth Avenue)
- QM18: express to Midtown Manhattan (via Queens Boulevard, Sixth Avenue)
- QM40: express to Midtown Manhattan (via LeFrak City, Third Avenue)
- QM42: express to Midtown Manhattan (via Yellowstone Boulevard, Third Avenue)
- QM44: express to Midtown Manhattan (via 69th Road/Jewel Avenue, Third Avenue)
- BM5: express to Midtown Manhattan (via Woodhaven Boulevard, Madison Avenue)
The following New York City Subway stations serve Forest Hills:
- 67th Avenue (M and R train)
- Forest Hills–71st Avenue (E, F <F>, M, and R trains)
- 75th Avenue (E, F <F> trains)
- Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike (E, F <F> trains)
The neighborhood also has two Long Island Rail Road commuter rail stations: the Forest Hills station and the Kew Gardens station.
The main thoroughfare is Queens Boulevard; the street's width and complexity have led to a large number of pedestrian deaths, earning it the moniker "Boulevard of Death". Metropolitan Avenue is known for its antique shops. The commercial heart of Forest Hills is a mile-long stretch of Austin Street between Yellowstone Boulevard and Ascan Avenue: the latter thoroughfare was named in 1909 by developer Frederick Backus for his own father, Ascan Backus, II.
Parks and recreation
Forest Hills is bordered by two of the more sizable parks in Queens managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: the 1,255 acres (5.08 km2) Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, which is the site of two World's Fairs (in 1939 and 1964) and the iconic Unisphere; as well as the 544 acres (2.20 km2) Forest Park. Within Forest Hills, parks and playgrounds include the Yellowstone Municipal Park – Katzman Playground (located on Yellowstone Boulevard, between 68th Avenue and 68th Road); the Annadale Playground (located on Yellowstone Boulevard, between 64th Road and 65th Avenue); the Willow Lake Playground (located off the Grand Central Parkway, between 71st and 72nd Avenues); the Ehrenreich-Austin Playground (located on Austin Street, between 76th Avenue and 76th Drive); and the Russell Sage Playground (located on 68th Avenue, between Booth and Austin Streets).
In popular culture
Forest Hills was featured as the home setting for fictional comic book character Spider-Man. Loubet Street, in southern Forest Hills, is used in some minor movies.
Forest Hills and Rego Park generally have a higher percentage of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018[update]. The majority of residents (62%) have a college education or higher, while 8% have less than a high school education and 30% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 39% of Queens residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher. The percentage of Forest Hills and Rego Park students excelling in math rose from 42% in 2000 to 61% in 2011, and reading achievement rose from 48% to 49% during the same time period.
Forest Hills and Rego Park's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is less than the rest of New York City. In Forest Hills and Rego Park, 10% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, lower than the citywide average of 20%. Additionally, 91% of high school students in Forest Hills and Rego Park graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.
Forest Hills contains the following public elementary schools which serve grades PK–5 unless otherwise indicated:
- PS 101 School In The Gardens
- PS 144 Col. Jeromus Remsen School
- PS 174 William Sidney Mount
- PS 175 Lynn Gross Discovery School
- PS 196 Grand Central Parkway
- PS 220 Edward Mandel
- PS 303 The Academy for Excellence through the Arts (grades PK–4)
The following public middle schools serve Forest Hills:
- JHS 157 Stephen A. Halsey (grades 6–9)
- MS 167 Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (grades 6–12)
- JHS 190 Russell Sage (grades 6–8)
There are no zoned high schools in New York City. The following high schools in Forest Hills serve grades 9–12:
- Forest Hills High School
- Queens Metropolitan High School
Private schools in Forest Hills include two Catholic schools (Our Lady of Mercy and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs) and The Kew-Forest School, an independent school. Also located in Forest Hills is Yeshiva Gedolah Lubavitch, an ultra orthodox Chabad high school and branch of Tomchei Temimim.
Bramson ORT College was an undergraduate college operated by the American branch of the Jewish charity World ORT. Its main campus was in Forest Hills, with a satellite campus in Brooklyn. It closed in February 2017 after failing to meet standards set by the New York State Education Department Board of Regents and losing its accreditation. Touro College/NYSCAS has a branch location in Forest Hills. Plaza College, a small regionally-accredited college offering associates and bachelors degrees, is also located in Forest Hills.
The Queens Public Library operates two branches in Forest Hills. The Forest Hills branch is located at 108-19 71st Avenue, while the North Forest Park branch is located at 98-27 Metropolitan Avenue.
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- Awkwafina (born 1988), rapper and actress
- Hank Azaria (born 1964), actor and voice artist
- David Baltimore (born 1938), Nobel Prize-winning virologist
- Walter Becker (1950-2017), half of the musical duo Steely Dan
- Andrew Bergman (born 1945), screenwriter (Blazing Saddles, The In-Laws), writer/director (The Freshman, Honeymoon In Vegas), novelist (Jack LeVine mystery series) and playwright (Social Security, Honeymoon In Vegas).
- Jimmy Breslin (1929-2017), journalist
- Joseph Bowler (born 1928), artist and illustrator
- Daniel Bukantz (1917–2008), Olympic fencer
- Michael A. Burstein (born 1970), science fiction writer
- Dale Carnegie (1888–1955), self-improvement lecturer and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People lived at 27 Wendover Rd in Forest Hills.
- David Caruso, (born 1956), actor in ', and NYPD Blue
- Candy Darling (1944–1974), Warhol superstar who appeared in a number of his films
- John R. Dilworth (born 1963), animator and creator of Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog
- Sergei Dovlatov (1941–1990), Russian short–story writer and novelist; in 2014, the corner of 63rd Drive and 108th Street was given an honorary designation in his name.
- Walter Egan (born 1948), singer-songwriter ("Magnet and Steel")
- Billy Eichner (born 1978), comedian, actor, and host of Billy on the Street
- Geraldine Ferraro (1935–2011), member of U.S. House of Representatives, television personality
- Art Garfunkel (born 1941), singer-songwriter
- Ernie Grunfeld (born 1955), former player and general manager of the Washington Wizards
- Alan Hevesi (born 1940), disgraced former Comptroller of New York
- Steve Hofstetter (born 1979), comedian/radio personality
- John V. Hogan (1890–1960), radio pioneer
- John Francis Hylan (1848–1936), Mayor of New York City (1918–1925)
- Ethel D. Jacobs (1910–2001), thoroughbred horse owner and breeder, wife of Hirsch Jacobs
- Hirsch Jacobs (1904–1970), thoroughbred jockey, husband of Ethel D. Jacobs
- Donna Karan (born 1948), fashion designer
- Helen Keller (1880–1968), lecturer, author, fundraiser, activist
- Alan King (1927–2004), actor/comedian
- Andrea King (1919–2003), actress
- David Krumholtz (born 1978), actor
- Gary Kurfirst (1947–2009), concert promoter and record producer
- Michael Landon (1936–1991), actor known for his roles on Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie
- Harvey J. Levin (1924–1992), internationally recognized pioneer of communications economics, holder of Long Island's first professorial chair
- Jack Lew (born 1955), United States Secretary of the Treasury from 2013 to 2017
- Trygve Lie (1896–1968), first Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving from 1946 to 1952
- Carol Lynley (1942–2019), Actress best known for her role in the "Poseidon Adventure"
- Jack McAuliffe (1866–1937), world lightweight boxing champion
- Chieli Minucci (born 1958), jazz musician
- Min Xiao-Fen (born 1961), pipa player and vocalist
- Lore Noto (1923–2002), Off-Broadway producer
- Carroll O'Connor (1924–2001), actor, best known for his role as Archie Bunker on All in the Family
- Marco Oppedisano (born 1971), composer and guitarist
- Rick Overton (born 1954), actor and comedian
- Susan Polgar (born 1969), chess grandmaster
- The Ramones, seminal punk rock band:
- Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), psychiatrist known for his theories of Orgone energy
- Renée Richards (formerly Richard Raskind; born 1934), tennis player
- Branch Rickey (1881–1965), Major League Baseball executive
- Thelma Ritter (1902–1969), actress
- Ray Romano (born 1957), actor-comedian, best known for Everybody Loves Raymond
- Dave Rubinstein (1964–1993), punk rock musician
- Julio Rumbaut (born 1952), media executive and former President of Telemundo Channel 51
- Chris Rush (1946–2018), stand-up comedian
- Renato Russo (1960–1996), Brazilian bandleader
- Joan Shawlee (née Fulton; 1926–1987), actress
- Michael Simanowitz (1971–2017), member of the New York State Assembly.
- Alan Stolberg (born 1951), retired Colonel in the US Army featured on the Military Channel
- Todd Strauss-Schulson (born 1980), film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, and cinematographer
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (born 1966), member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida's 20th congressional district.
- Paul Simon (born 1941), singer-songwriter
- Fred Stone (1873–1959), actor
- Tatiana Troyanos (1938–1993), mezzo-soprano known for her work at the Metropolitan Opera
- Bob Tufts (1955-2019), Major League Baseball pitcher
- Jeff Wayne (born 1943), musician known for his musical version of The War of the Worlds
- Katharine Weber (born 1955), novelist, author of five novels, including Triangle and True Confections.
- Leslie West (1945–2020), of the hard rock band Mountain
- Anthony Weiner (born 1964), politician
- Adolph Alexander Weinman (1870–1952), sculptor
- Henry Willson (1911–1978), Hollywood agent
- Jack Wyatt (1917–2008), host of ABC's Confession; Episcopalian priest
- Gideon Yago (born 1978), journalist, former correspondent at MTV and CBS News
- Manuel Ycaza (1938–2018), jockey inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
- Pia Zadora (born 1953), actress
In Spanish: Forest Hills para niños
Forest Hills, Queens Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.