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Hollis
Neighborhoods of Queens
St. Gabriel's Hollis Episcopal Church
St. Gabriel's Hollis Episcopal Church
Country  United States
State  New York
City  New York City
County/Borough Flag of Queens County, New York.svg Queens
Community District Queens 12
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 20,269
Ethnicity
 • Black 64.0%
 • Asian 10.7%
 • White 2.3%
 • Native American 0.6%
 • Hispanic 13.2%
 • Other/Multiracial 9.1%
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
11412, 11423
Area codes 718, 347, 929, and 917

Hollis is a residential middle-class neighborhood within the southeastern section of the New York City borough of Queens. While a predominantly African-American community, there are small minorities of Hispanics and South Asians residing in the area. Boundaries are considered to be 181st Street to the west, Hillside Avenue to the north, Francis Lewis Boulevard to the east, and Murdock Avenue to the south. Hollis is located between Jamaica to the west and Queens Village to the east.

Hollis is located in Queens Community District 12 and its ZIP Codes are 11423 and 11412. It is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 103rd Precinct. Politically, Hollis is represented by the New York City Council's 23rd and 27th Districts.

History

The first European settlers were Dutch homesteaders in the 17th century. A century later, early in the American Revolutionary War, it was the site of part of the Battle of Long Island, a battle in which the rebel Brigadier General Nathaniel Woodhull was captured at a tavern on what is now Jamaica Avenue. Woodhull Avenue in Hollis is named after him. The area remained rural until 1885, when developers turned 136 acres (55 ha) into houses, and the area is still developed primarily with single-family houses. In 1898, it became a part of New York City with the rest of the borough of Queens.

Since the end of the Korean War, the neighborhood has been settled primarily by African-American families. In recent years, the area has seen a large influx of South Asians and West Indians. The area has a majority of working parents with many early childhood schools in Hollis. Hollis is mainly within zip codes 11423 and 11412.

Holliswood subsection

Holliswood, previously known as Terrace Heights, is an upper middle class subsection of Hollis bounded by the Hillside Avenue to the south, Francis Lewis Boulevard to the east, Grand Central Parkway to the north, and 188th Street to the west. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 8. At 193rd Street is Foothill Malls, a green traffic median with a memorial marking the main entrance to the upscale subdivision.

A notable local facility was Holliswood Hospital. The hospital provided psychiatric care with 127 beds. On August 16, 2013 the facility was closed.

Demographics

Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Hollis was 20,269, a decrease of 478 (2.3%) from the 26,061 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 525.10 acres (212.50 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 38.6 inhabitants per acre (24,700/sq mi; 9,500/km2).

The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 64.0% (12,973) African American, 10.7% (2,167) Asian, 2.3% (460) White, 0.6% (126) Native American, 0.1% (20) Pacific Islander, 4.8% (974) from other races, and 4.3% (876) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.2% (2,673) of the population.

The entirety of Community Board 12, which mainly comprises Jamaica but also includes Hollis, had 232,911 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 80.5 years. This is slightly lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods. Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 22% are between the ages of between 0–17, 27% between 25–44, and 27% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 14% respectively.

As of 2017, the median household income in Community Board 12 was $61,670. In 2018, an estimated 20% of Hollis and Jamaica residents lived in poverty, compared to 19% in all of Queens and 20% in all of New York City. One in eight residents (12%) 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 56% in Hollis and Jamaica, higher than the boroughwide and citywide rates of 53% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Hollis and Jamaica are considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.

Transportation

Long Island Rail Road service is available at the Hollis station, located at 193rd Street and Woodhull Avenue; The station is served mostly by the Hempstead Branch. West of Hollis station is the LIRR's Holban Yard, a freight yard that has been shared with St. Albans for over a century, and has included the Hillside Maintenance Facility since 1991. The MTA Regional Bus Operations’ Q1, Q2, Q3, Q36, Q43, Q76, Q77, Q110 buses serve Hollis. The Nassau Inter-County Express’ n1, n6, n6X, n22, n24, n26 service also stops at Hillside Avenue and Francis Lewis Boulevard, making drop-offs in the westbound direction and pick-ups in the eastbound direction.

The New York City Subway's E, ​F <F> trains, stop nearby at Jamaica-179th Street on Hillside Avenue. The Archer Avenue lines were supposed to be extended to Hollis as part of Program for Action, a never-completed New York City Subway expansion in 1988.

Education

Hollis and Jamaica generally have a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city as of 2018. While 29% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 19% have less than a high school education and 51% 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 Hollis and Jamaica students excelling in math rose from 36% in 2000 to 55% in 2011, and reading achievement increased slightly from 44% to 45% during the same time period.

Hollis and Jamaica's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is more than the rest of New York City. In Hollis and Jamaica, 22% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, higher than the citywide average of 20%. Additionally, 74% of high school students in Hollis and Jamaica graduate on time, about the same as the citywide average of 75%.

Schools

Hollis's public schools are operated by the New York City Department of Education. Hollis contains the following public elementary schools, which serve grades PK-5 unless otherwise indicated:

  • P.S. 35 Nathaniel Woodhull
  • P.S. 118 Lorraine Hansberry
  • P.S. 134 Hollis
  • P.S./I.S. 178 The Holliswood School, pre-K through 8th grade (I.S. stands for Intermediate School)

The following public middle and high schools are located in Hollis:

  • I.S. 192 The Linden (grades 6-8)
  • P.S. 233 (grades K-1, 6, 9-12)
  • Pathways College Preparatory School A College Board School (grades 6-12)
  • Cambria Heights Academy (grades 9-12)

Libraries

The Queens Public Library operates two branches in Hollis. The Hollis branch is located at 202-05 Hillside Avenue, and the South Hollis branch is located at 204-01 Hollis Avenue.

Notable people

Since the beginning of hip-hop, the neighborhood has been a hotbed of talent, sparked primarily by the fact that hip-hop producer and icon Russell Simmons is from this community, as is his brother Joseph, who along with his friends Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mizell formed the rap group Run-D.M.C. (who had a hit with the seasonal song "Christmas in Hollis").

Other notable residents include:

  • Apani B, hip-hop artist
  • Augustus A. Beekman (1923-2001), New York City Fire Commissioner from 1978 to 1980.
  • Black, Rock and Ron
  • Byron Brown (born 1958), mayor of Buffalo, New York.
  • Art Buchwald (1925–2007), political humorist.
  • Lord Burgess (1924–2019), songwriter
  • Jaki Byard (1922–1999), jazz musician
  • Increase Carpenter (1737-1807), Revolutionary War Minuteman served in the Jamaica militia, veteran of the Battle of Long Island. A member of the Association of the Sons of Liberty, a secret society united against the British crown and the Tea Tax Act, whose motto was "No taxation without representation!".
  • Mario Cuomo (1932-2015), politician who served as Governor of New York from 1983 to 1994.
  • Gloster B. Current (1913–1997), former deputy executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also the National Director of Branches and Field Administration of the N.A.A.C.P. during the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Roy Eldridge (1911–1989), jazz trumpeter
  • Lani Guinier (born 1950), civil rights legal scholar.
  • Brian Hardgroove, bass player with Public Enemy.
  • Roy Haynes (born 1925), jazz drummer
  • DJ Hurricane (born 1965), hip hop DJ, producer and rapper
  • Royal Ivey (born 1981), assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets and formerly for the New York Knicks.
  • Ja Rule (born 1976), rapper
  • Milt Jackson (1923–1999), jazz vibraphonist and drummer
  • Daymond John (born 1969), founder and CEO of FUBU.
  • LL Cool J (born 1968), rapper and actor
  • Ed Lover (born 1963), actor, radio and television personality
  • Robert O. Lowery Fire Marshal and First African-American Fire Commissioner, FDNY
  • Gregory Weldon Meeks (born 1953), U.S. Representative for New York's 5th congressional district
  • Lee Q. O'Denat, founder of World Star Hip Hop
  • Garrett Oliver (born 1962), brewer and beer author who has been the brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery.
  • Diane Patrick (born 1951), labor lawyer and former First Lady of Massachusetts (2007–2015)
  • Run DMC, Hip-Hop group
  • Rev. Al Sharpton (born 1954), civil rights activist
  • Phil Schaap (1951–2021), jazz historian and broadcaster
  • Russell Simmons (born 1957), Co-founder of Def Jam
  • Stephen A. Smith (born 1967), ESPN sports personality
  • Andrew Young, civil rights activist and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Young MC, rapper

Hollis was also home to many African American jazz musicians by the 1950s according to The New York Times.

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