Long Island City facts for kids

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Long Island City
Neighborhood of Queens
Long Island City in 2015
Long Island City in 2015
Nickname(s): "LIC"
Country United States
State New York
City New York City
County/Borough Queens
Population
 • Total 68,117
ZIP code 11101–11106, 11109, 11120
Area code(s) 718, 347, 917

Long Island City (L.I.C.) is the westernmost residential and commercial neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. L.I.C. is noted for its rapid and ongoing residential growth and gentrification, its waterfront parks, and its thriving arts community. L.I.C. has among the highest concentration of art galleries, art institutions, and studio space of any neighborhood in New York City. It is bordered by Astoria to the north; the East River to the west; Hazen Street, 49th Street, and New Calvary Cemetery in Sunnyside to the east; and Newtown Creek—which separates Queens from Greenpoint, Brooklyn—to the south. It originally was the seat of government of the Town of Newtown, and remains the largest neighborhood in Queens. The area is part of Queens Community Board 1, located north of the Queensboro Bridge and Queens Plaza; it is also of Queens Community Board 2 to the south.

Long Island City is the eastern terminus of the Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge, which is the only non-toll automotive route connecting Queens and Manhattan. Northwest of the bridge terminus are the Queensbridge Houses, a development of the New York City Housing Authority and the largest public housing complex in North America.

History

Early 1900s map of Dutch Kills, from Greater Astoria Historical Society
Detail of map of LIC, from Greater Astoria Historical Society

Long Island City, as its name suggests, was formerly a city, created in 1870 from the merger of the Village of Astoria and the hamlets of Ravenswood, Hunters Point, Blissville, Sunnyside, Dutch Kills, Steinway, Bowery Bay and Middleton in the Town of Newtown. At time of incorporation, Long Island City had between 12,000 and 15,000 residents. Its charter provided for an elected mayor and a ten-member Board of Alderman with two representing each of the city's five wards. City ordinances could be passed by a majority vote of the Board of Aldermen and the mayor's signature.

Long Island City held its first election on July 5, 1870. Residents elected A.D. Delmars the first mayor; Delmars ran as both a Democrat and a Republican. The first elected Board of Aldermen was H. Rudolph and Patrick Lonirgan (Ward 1); Francis McNena and William E. Bragaw (Ward 2); George Hunter and Mr. Williams (Third Ward); James R. Bennett and John Wegart (Ward Four); and E.M. Hartshort and William Carlin (Fifth Ward). The mayor and the aldermen were inaugurated on July 18, 1870.

In the 1880s, Mayor De Bevoise nearly bankrupted the Long Island City government by embezzling, of which he was convicted. Many dissatisfied residents of Astoria circulated a petition to ask the New York State Legislature to allow it to secede from Long Island City and reincorporate as the Village of Astoria, as it existed prior to the incorporation of Long Island City, in 1884. The petition was ultimately dropped by the citizens.

Long Island City continued to exist as an incorporated city until 1898, when all of Queens was annexed to New York City. The last mayor of Long Island City was a notorious Irish-American named Patrick Jerome "Battle-Axe" Gleason.

The city surrendered its independence in 1898 to become part of the City of Greater New York. However, Long Island City survives as ZIP code 11101 and ZIP code prefix 111 (with its own main post office) and was formerly a sectional center facility (SCF). Since 1985, the Greater Astoria Historical Society, a nonprofit cultural and historical organization, has been preserving the past and promoting the future of the neighborhoods that are part of historic Long Island City.

The Common Council of Long Island City in 1873 adopted the coat of arms as "emblematical of the varied interest represented by Long Island City." It was designed by George H. Williams, of Ravenswood. The overall composition was inspired by New York City's coat of arms. The shield is rich in historic allusion, including Native American, Dutch, and English symbols. In 1898, Long Island City became part of New York City.

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Through the 1930s, numerous subway tunnels, the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, and the Queensboro Bridge were built to connect the neighborhood to Manhattan. By the 1970s, the factories in Long Island City were being abandoned. In 1981, Queens West on the west side of Long Island City was developed to revitalize the area. Finally, in 2001, the neighborhood was rezoned from an industrial neighborhood to a residential neighborhood, and the area underwent gentrification, with developments such as Hunter's Point South being built in the area.

In 2006, a resident of nearby Woodside, Hiroyuki Takenaga, proposed establishing a Japantown in Long Island City.

In addition to the Hunters Point Historic District and Queensboro Bridge, the 45th Road – Court House Square Station (Dual System IRT), Long Island City Courthouse Complex, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Subsections

Harbor at north end of Dutch Kills, Queens jeh
North end of canalized Dutch Kills
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Montauk Branch bridges over Dutch Kills

In 1870, the villages of Astoria, Ravenswood, Hunters Point, Dutch Kills, Middletown, Sunnyside, Blissville, and Bowery Bay were incorporated into Long Island City.

Dutch Kills

Dutch Kills was a hamlet, named for its navigable tributary of Newtown Creek, that occupied what today is centrally Queensboro Plaza. Dutch Kills was an important road hub during the American Revolutionary War, and the site of a British Army garrison from 1776 to 1783. The area supported farms during the 19th century. The canalization of Newtown Creek and the Kills at the end of the 19th century intensified industrial development of the area, which prospered until the middle of the 20th century. The neighborhood is currently undergoing a massive rezoning of mixed residential and commercial properties.

Blissville

Blissville, which has the ZIP code 11101, is a neighborhood within Long Island City, located at 40°44'4.87"N73°56'9.81"W and bordered by Calvary Cemetery to the east; the Long Island Expressway to the north; Newtown Creek to the south; and Dutch Kills, a tributary of Newtown Creek, to the west. Blissville was named after Neziah Bliss, who owned most of the land in the 1830s and 1840s. Bliss built the first version of what was known for many years as the Blissville Bridge, a drawbridge over Newtown Creek, connecting Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Blissville; it was replaced in the 20th century by the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, also called the J. J. Byrne Memorial Bridge, located slightly upstream. Blissville existed as a small village until 1870 when it was incorporated into Long Island City. Historically an industrial neighborhood, it has a small park with a monument at 54th Avenue and 48th Street.

Hunters Point

Hunters Point Historic District
Religious procession at 50th Avenue, Hunters Point, Queens, NYC, 1989.jpg
Religious procession crossing 50th Avenue, 1989.
Church at rear is undergoing repair.
Location Along 45th Ave., between 21st and 23rd Sts., New York, New York
Coordinates Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:mw' not found.
Area 1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
Architect Multiple
Architectural style(s) Mixed (more Than 2 Styles From Different Periods)
Governing body Private
LIRR 1891 Long Island City
Map of industrial Hunters Point, 1891

Hunters Point is on the south side of Long Island City. It contains the Hunters Point Historic District, a national historic district that includes 19 contributing buildings along 45th Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets. They are a set of townhouses built in the late 19th century. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Arts and culture

Long Island City is home to a large and dynamic artistic community.

  • Long Island City was the home of 5 Pointz, a building housing artists' studios, which was legally painted on by a number of graffiti artists and was prominently visible near the Court Square station on the 7 <7> trains. The 5 Pointz building was painted over and demolished, starting in 2013.
  • The Fisher Landau Center for Art is a private foundation that offers regular exhibitions of contemporary art.
  • Across the street from Socrates Sculpture Park is the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Museum, founded in 1985 by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. After undergoing a two and a half year renovation, the museum opened in 2004 with newer and advanced facilities.
  • MoMA PS1, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, is the oldest and second-largest non-profit arts center in the United States solely devoted to contemporary art. It is named after the former public school in which it is housed.
  • SculptureCenter is New York City's only non-profit exhibition space dedicated to contemporary and innovative sculpture. SculptureCenter re-located from Manhattan's Upper East Side to a former trolley repair shop in Long Island City, Queens renovated by artist/designer Maya Lin in 2002. Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter has undergone much evolution and growth, and continues to expand and challenge the definition of sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new work and presents exhibits by emerging and established, national and international artists. The museum also hosts a diverse range of public programs including lectures, dialogues, and performances.
  • Socrates Sculpture Park is an outdoor sculpture park located one block from the Noguchi Museum at the intersection of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard.
  • The Queens Library maintains two branches in Long Island City, one on the ground floor of the Citicorp Building (the Court Square branch), and one on 21st Street.
  • See.me is web-based arts organization located in Long Island City. The organization is dedicated to supporting artistic talent, harnessing online creative communities, and promoting artists' work.

Recreation

  • City Ice Pavilion, with 33,000 square feet (3,100 m2) of skating surface, opened in Long Island City in late 2008. The skating rink is on the roof of a two-story storage facility.
  • Water Taxi Beach was New York City's first non-swimming urban beach, and was located on the East River in Long Island City. City Hall planned to build 5,000 moderate income apartments in this area, a 30-acre (120,000 m2) development called Hunter's Point South. The beach later closed and the apartments have been constructed.

Demographics

As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Long Island City comprises a population that is 1% Native American Indian, 10% African American, 15% Asian or Pacific Islander, 52% White, 9% mixed race, and 15% of "other" demographics. There is an equal proportion of female residents to male residents.

Transportation

LIC dock NY Waterway jeh
Ferry dock

Long Island City is served by the elevated BMT Astoria Line at two stations (Template:NYCS Astoria trains) and IRT Flushing Line at four stations (7 <7> trains) of the New York City Subway. It is also served by the underground IND 63rd Street Line at one station (Template:NYCS 63rd IND trains), the IND Queens Boulevard Line at two stations (Template:NYCS Queens Plaza trains), and IND Crosstown Line at two stations (G train). The Long Island City and Hunterspoint Avenue stations of the Long Island Rail Road are there, as is a commuter ferry service operated by NY Waterway at the East River Wharf.

During the summer, the New York Water Taxi Company used to operate Water Taxi Beach, a public beach artificially created on a wharf along the East River, accessible at the corner of Second Street and Borden Avenue. It was discontinued in 2011 due to new construction on the site of the old landing.

Cars enter by the Pulaski Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, the Queens–Midtown Tunnel, and the Roosevelt Island Bridge connecting Long Island City and Astoria to Roosevelt Island. Major thoroughfares include 21st Street, which is mostly industrial and commercial; I-495 (Long Island Expressway); the westernmost portion of Northern Boulevard, which becomes Jackson Avenue (the former name of Northern Boulevard) south of Queens Plaza; and Queens Boulevard, which leads westward to the bridge and eastward follows New York State Route 25 through Long Island; and Vernon Boulevard.

Long Island City is expected to be served by the Citywide Ferry Service starting in 2017.

Images for kids


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