Jackson Heights, Queens
Jackson Heights Historic District (Indian District)
Residential street in Jackson Heights
District position on New York City map
|Location||Bounded by Roosevelt Ave., Broadway, Leverich St., Northern Blvd., and Junction Blvd., Queens, NYC|
|Area||300 acres (120 ha)|
|Architectural style||Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals|
|NRHP Reference #||99000059|
|Added to NRHP||January 27, 1999|
Jackson Heights is a neighborhood of 108,000 inhabitants  in the northwestern portion of the New York City borough of Queens. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 3. The main ZIP code of Jackson Heights is 11372.
Geography and transportation
Jackson Heights is bounded by the Grand Central Parkway to the north, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the west, Roosevelt Avenue to the south, and Junction Boulevard to the east. It is part of Queens Community Board 3 East Elmhurst, the area immediately to the north, from Northern Boulevard to the Grand Central Parkway, though not part of the original development, is sometimes regarded as a northward extension of the neighborhood. The Jackson Heights name comes from Jackson Avenue, the former name for Northern Boulevard. The Jackson Avenue name is retained by this major road in a short stretch between Queensboro Plaza and the Queens Midtown Tunnel approaches in the Long Island City neighborhood.
The neighborhood is the location of the Roosevelt Avenue / 74th Street transportation hub, where the IRT Flushing Line (7 train), the IND Queens Boulevard Line (E F M R trains), and five bus routes (Q32, Q33, Q47, Q49, Q53 LTD, and Q70 LTD) converge. The Q70 LTD bus goes to LaGuardia Airport's main terminals and operates 24 hours a day. The Q47 bus goes to the Marine Air Terminal. The Q53 LTD bus goes to Rockaway Beach, Queens. The MTA spent over $100 million on renovations to the facility that were completed in 2005. It includes one of the first green buildings in the MTA system, the Victor A. Moore Bus Terminal, which is partially powered by solar panels built into the roof. These are located along the length of the sheds above the Flushing line platforms.
Most of the original neighborhood is a National Register Historic District and a New York State Historic Register District. About half has been designated as a New York City Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. It comprises large garden apartment buildings (the term was invented for buildings in Jackson Heights) and many groupings of private homes. It was a planned development laid out by Edward A. MacDougall's Queensboro Corporation beginning about 1916, and following the arrival of the No. 7 elevated line between Manhattan and Flushing. The community was initially planned as a place for middle- to upper-middle income workers from Manhattan to raise their families. The Jackson Heights New York State and National Register Districts range from 93rd Street through 69th Street between Northern Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue. Some property fronting on Northern Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, as well as some "cut-outs", are not inside the Register Districts. A former golf course located between 76th and 78th Streets and 34th and 37th Avenues was built upon during the 1940s. The New York City Historic District of Jackson Heights was designated October 19, 1993. It encompasses an area between 76th and 88th Streets and Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard. Unlike the State and National Districts, the local designation comes with aesthetic protections.
Jackson Heights is believed to be the first garden city community built in the United States, as part of the international garden city movement at the turn of the 20th century. There are many private parks (historically called "gardens" by the residents) within walking distance of each other. They are tucked in the mid-blocks, mostly hidden from view by the buildings surrounding them. Unless given an invitation, entry is restricted to those who own a co-op around its perimeter. The basis for the private ownership of the parks of Jackson Heights is derived from its founding principle as a privately owned neighborhood built largely under the oversight of one person. The historic section of Jackson Heights is the more affluent part of the neighborhood.
The Jackson Heights Historic District is a national historic district that includes 2,203 contributing buildings, 19 contributing sites, and three contributing objects. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Primarily during the 1930s, Holmes Airport operated on 220 acres (0.89 km2) adjacent to the community. The area later became the Bulova watch factory site.
Many residents commute to nearby Manhattan, ten to fifteen minutes to 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue via the E train (express) or M train (local). They also go to 63rd Street and Lexington via the F train. The 7 train takes about 20–30 minutes during peak hours.
Most housing units in Jackson Heights are apartments in multi-unit buildings, many of which are five or six stories. Many of these buildings are co-ops, some are rentals, and a few are condominiums. There are also a number of one- to three-family houses, most of which are attached row houses.
The main retail thoroughfare is located on 37th Avenue from 72nd Street to Junction Boulevard, with more retail on 82nd, 73rd and 74th Streets on the blocks between 37th and Roosevelt Avenues. Stores and restaurants on and near 74th street tend to cater to the large South Asian population in the neighborhood, with sari and jewelry stores, Indian and Bengali music and movie retailers and many restaurants. 37th Avenue contains a wide mix of retailers, including many grocery stores, and 82nd street contains many national chain stores located in Tudor-style buildings in the Jackson Heights Historic District. South American retailers and eateries, predominantly from Colombia and Peru dominate Northern Boulevard from 80th Street east to the border of neighboring Corona at Junction Boulevard. Roosevelt Avenue is also lined with various mainly Hispanic retail stores. The majority of 35th and 34th Avenues and most side streets between 37th Avenue and Northern Boulevard are residential.
The community is home to various houses of worship from a wide array of religions. Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Church is located between 82nd and 83rd Street on 35th Avenue. The Jackson Heights Jewish Center is located on the corner of 77th Street and 37th Avenue. The Community United Methodist Church is on 82nd Street. St Mark's Episcopal Church is on 34th Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets.
Jackson Heights is among the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City, and the nation. Jackson Heights is home to large numbers of South Americans, particularly Argentinians, Colombians, South Asians, and East Asians.
The Jackson Heights Garden City Society is a historical society, whose founders include local historians, the Queens Borough Historian and local activists. They created and oversee the Jackson Heights Garden City Trail and publish a walking guidebook to Jackson Heights. They also collect artifacts of the community. Periodically the Society testifies before the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission on issues of concern to the community.
Jackson Heights has followed the general patterns of New York City when it comes to crime. After spikes in the 1980s into the 1990s, crime has declined significantly. According to New York City CompStat statistics, measured crime has declined more than 79% in the last 15 years (1993 to 2008). As of January 2008, the murder rate is down over 82% and grand larceny auto is down 90% from 1990.
Travers Park is the main local playground. It has a variety of sports, including basketball, tennis, baseball, soccer, and handball. Prior to expansion, the P.S. 69 school yard offered baseball fields, a stickball field, a handball court and three tennis courts. Con Edison sponsored several summer tennis camps at P.S. 69's school yard from 1982-1992. In 1998, P.S. 69 built an annex to compensate for the booming population of children in Jackson Heights and the public access to the school yard was removed. On November 30, 2011 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city officials opened the 200th “Schoolyard to Playground” at P.S. 69 as a part of the PlaNYC initiative to ensure all New Yorkers live within a 10 minute walk of a park or playground. The newly opened playground at P.S. 69 is the latest schoolyard to be renovated and opened to the public during non-school hours through the program, which is turning schoolyards into playgrounds in neighborhoods across the city.
Notable natives and residents
- Alan M. Davis (born 1949), professor and author, grew up in Jackson Heights, and attended PS 69 and JHS 145.
- Albert K. Dawson (1885-1967), journalist and cinematographer during the First World War, lived and died in Jackson Heights.
- Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898–1995), photographer, lived in Jackson Heights for many years.
- Alfred Mosher Butts (1899–1993), invented Scrabble in 1938, and perfected it at Community Methodist Church.
- Billy Murcia (1954–1972), original drummer for the New York Dolls.
- Bobby Hackett (1915–1976), a famous trumpet player who played with Henry Mancini, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong
- Chester Carlson (1906–1968), invented Xerox copy machine in his Jackson Heights kitchen.
- Clive Lythgoe (1927–2006), classical pianist.
- Colby O'Donis (born March 14, 1989), an American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer and actor.
- Dave Fleming (born 1969), MLB pitcher who spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners.
- Don Rickles (born 1926), comedian.
- Duncan Penwarden (1880–1930), actor.
- Ed Hayes (born 1947) influential lawyer, journalist, and memoirist.
- Eddie August Schneider (1911–1940), record-setting early aviator.
- Edward Djerejian (born 1939), diplomat, former United States Ambassador to Syria and Israel and Assistant Secretary of State.
- Eleanor Clift (born 1940), Newsweek contributing editor and regular panelist on The McLaughlin Group.
- Gene Simmons (born 1949), of the rock group Kiss.
- Helen Kane (1904–1966), singer known for her baby talk version of I Wanna Be Loved by You and model for Betty Boop.
- Helene White (born 1954), federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
- Howard Stern (born 1954), host of The Howard Stern Show.
- Joe Quesada (born 1962), Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics.
- John Leguizamo (born 1964), comedian / actor.
- Johnny Thunders (1952–1991), of the New York Dolls grew up in Jackson Heights.
- Kevin Dobson (born 1943), actor known for his roles on Kojak and Knots Landing.
- Lady Catiria, (1959-1999), drag performer
- Les Paul (1915–2009), jazz guitarist and guitar innovator.
- Lucy Liu (born 1968), actress.
- Maria Terrone, poet & writer, selected to write a narrative for The Guggenheim Museum's Transhistoria, about Jackson Heights.
- Mercedes Ruehl (born 1948), actress.
- Montgomery Clift (1920–1966), actor, moved to Jackson Heights with his family in 1933 and lived in The Chateau apartment building.
- Nadia Ali (born 1980), Pakistani-American singer-songwriter
- Paul D. Ginsberg (born 1962), prominent mergers and acquisitions attorney.
- Raees Warsi (Born 1963), Famous Urdu poet, writer and TV anchor
- Ray Dalio (1949–), founder of Bridgewater Associates, largest hedge fund.
- Richard Kline (born 1944), went to IS 145 and played Jack's friend Larry on Three's Company.
- Robert P. Casey (1932–2000), Governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995.
- Robert Tripp Ross (1903–1981), Congressman and former Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1954-1957.
- Susan Sarandon (born 1946), actress.
- Thom Christopher (born 1940), longtime actor on One Life to Live.
- Tommy Rettig (1941–1996), actor who appeared on the 1950s Lassie television series.
- Victor Moore (1876–1962), actor.
- Walter Sear (April 27, 1930 – April 29, 2010) Audio Pioneer, Composer and owner of Sear Sound 
- Willy Ley (1906–1969), space writer and theorist.
Waddy Wachtel session guitarist.
- Major portions of the Academy Award nominated1 Maria Full of Grace (2004) were filmed on location in Jackson Heights.
- Portions of Random Hearts (1999) were filmed in Jackson Heights on 35th Avenue between 76th and 77th street.
- Part of The Usual Suspects was filmed in Jackson Heights around 34th Avenue and 82nd street.
- Much of the Alfred Hitchcock film The Wrong Man takes place within a few blocks of the intersection of Broadway and 74th Street. The former Victor Moore Arcade and the connecting subway station, were prominently featured in the movie. The arcade was demolished and rebuilt from 1998 to 2005 and became known as the Victor A. Moore Bus Terminal. It was named after Jackson Heights resident Victor Moore, a Broadway and film actor from the era of silent film to the 1950s.
- Parts of director James Gray's We Own the Night (2007) were filmed between 32nd Avenue and 31st Avenue on 84th street.
- It is also the setting for the TV show Ugly Betty, where Betty and her family live.
- Ingrid Bergman's character Stephanie Dickinson in the movie Cactus Flower lives in Jackson Heights.
- In Coming to America, the fictional singer Randy Watson is referred to as "Jackson Heights' own".
- The theme song of the TV show Car 54 Where Are You? has a line that goes: "There's a traffic jam in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights".
- In Cagney & Lacey, the fictional character Mary Beth Lacey and her family live in an apartment in Jackson Heights.
- The eponymous Pakistani drama, Jackson Heights, is set in this neighborhood and deals with the lives of Pakistanis living in New York city.
New York City Department of Education operates public schools. Schools in Jackson Heights include P.S. 69 Jackson Heights School, P.S. 149 Christa McAuliffe School, P.S. 212, P.S 222 FF Christopher A. Santora School, I.S.145 Joseph Pulitzer School,P.S.152
Private schools in the neighborhood include Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School, a school which turned co-ed by the end of the 2012 school year, though technically located in East Elmhurst. Garden School, an independent school within Jackson Heights, enrolls students from grades PK-12. 82nd Street Academics is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational institution housed at the Community United Methodist Church of Jackson Heights. Since 2003, it has been a community-based Universal Pre-Kindergarten provider under contract with the New York Department of Education.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "New York City Neighborhoods: Jackson Heights > Boundaries". New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
- "Queens Community District 3". New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Officials Applaud Opening Of Renovated Bus Terminal | www.qgazette.com | Queens Gazette". www.qgazette.com. 2005-07-20. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- Myers, Steven Lee. "Council Votes Historic District In 38-Block Section of Queens", The New York Times, January 27, 1994. Accessed August 20, 2009.
- Karatzas, Daniel (1990). Jackson Heights: A Garden in the City. Privately printed
- PDF map of the District.
- Karatzas, Daniel (1990). Jackson Heights: A Garden in the City. Privately printed.
- Kathleen LaFrank (April 1998). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Jackson Heights Historic District". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-01-16. See also: "Accompanying 36 photos".
- Daniel Maurer "Stretching $50 in Jackson Heights." New York Magazine
- Maggie Samways "New York's Most Diverse Neighborhood"Time Out NY
- "NYC.gov". NYC.gov. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- Grundberg, Andy. "Alfred Eisenstaedt, 90: The Image of Activity", The New York Times, November 12, 1998. Accessed September 25, 2007. "Until a year ago, he would walk daily from his home in Jackson Heights, Queens, to his office on the Avenue of the Americas and 51st Street, he said."
- Kershaw, Sarah. "INSIDE QUEENS;A Criss-Crossed Quest", The New York Times, October 1, 1995. Accessed October 19, 2007. "JEFFREY A. SAUNDERS knew that Scrabble was born on 79th Street in Jackson Heights. He knew that Alfred Mosher Butts lived there when he invented the game."
- Jacobson, Mark. "The Icon: Doll Face", New York (magazine), September 23, 2002. Accessed May 28, 2009. "Then came the sad pictures: Johnny and Jerry, RIP, and Billy Murcia too, their first drummer, a Colombian from Jackson Heights, dead in a London bathtub."
- Abadjian, Nick. "Inventors of Queens", Queens Tribune, May 22, 2003. Accessed December 17, 2007. "Carlson, a Jackson Heights resident, worked as a lab researcher for a year and got laid off."
- Blumenthal, Ralph. "Most of His Audience Is Homeless; Clive Lythgoe, a Piano Virtuoso, Now Likes Life at a Different Tempo", The New York Times, October 9, 2000. Accessed May 28, 2009. "Mr. Lythgoe's life these days is a far cry from his glamorous existence as a fast-rising star. Instead of a six-bedroom manor in Sussex, he lives alone in a simple one-bedroom co-op apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens."
- Street, Jim. "Where've you gone, Dave Fleming?", Seattle Mariners, June 10, 2003. Accessed May 28, 2009. "The ace of the '92 staff was Dave Fleming, a quiet southpaw born in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, N.Y., who *John leguizamowent from College World Series star at the University of Georgia to the Major Leagues in a blink of an eye."
- Witchel, Alex. "I'm No Howard Stern, You Dummy", The New York Times, August 25, 1996. Accessed October 8, 2007. "DONALD JAY RICKLES, WHO WAS BORN in New York City on May 8, 1926, grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens."
- Staff. "DUNCAN PENWARDEN, BROADWAY ACTOR, DIES; Succumbs to Pneumonia Attack Following an Operation in Denver Two Weeks Ago.", The New York Times, September 14, 1930. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- McGrath, Charles. "The Fixer", The New York Times, February 19, 2006. Accessed October 22, 2009.
- Staff. "2 DIE AS PLANES CRASH AT FIELD; Eddie Schneider, Who Flew at 15, Is Killed When His Craft and Navy Trainer Collide PASSENGER ALSO VICTIM U.S. Ship Is Landed Safely at Floyd Bennett Airport Despite Damaged Wings", The New York Times, December 24, 2940. Accessed May 28, 2009. "Schneider lived at 32-50 Seventythird Street, Jackson Heights, Queens".
- Solomon, Deborah. "Questions for Eleanor Clift: Grande Dame", The New York Times, March 2, 2008. Accessed May 28, 2009. "Where are you from? I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, and my father had a deli, Roeloffs Deli, in Sunnyside."
- Van Riper, Tom. "First Job: Gene Simmons", Forbes, May 23, 2006. "I delivered the Long Island Star Journal in Jackson Heights, Queens, known as the Long Island Press on Sundays."
- via Associated Press. "Obituary: Helen Kane", Toledo Blade, September 27, 1966. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- Helene N. White, United States Department of Justice. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- Staff. "HOWARD STERN'S Private Jewish Parts", The Jewish Week, March 7, 1997. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- Jennings, Dana. "New York Action Hero", The New York Times, November 23, 2003. Accessed may 28, 2009. "Mr. Quesada also falls squarely in comics' up-by-your-bootstraps, Ellis Island lineage. He grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens (Spider-Man's home borough), the comics-seduced child of Cuban immigrants."
- Zook, Kristal Brent. "Comedy That Hits Close to Home; Now a Father, John Leguizamo Looks Back Without Anger", The Washington Post, July 19, 2001. Accessed June 11, 2009. "Born in Bogota, Colombia, to a Puerto Rican father and a Colombian mother of Indian ancestry, [John Leguizamo] was raised in the multiethnic Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens."
- Staff. "Hollywood Freeway", Los Angeles Daily News, July 17, 1990. Accessed May 28, 2009. "When you grow up in the projects in Jackson Heights, in the New York borough of Queens, you don't think about having a golf and tennis tournament named after you. You only think about getting out and surviving. Kevin Dobson got out."
- Buskin, Richard. "CLASSIC TRACKS: Les Paul & Mary Ford 'How High The Moon'", Sound On Sound, January, 2007. "'How High the Moon' was recorded in Les Paul's home studio in Jackson Heights, using just the Ampex 300, a power supply unit, a small home-made mixer, a Bell & Howe amplifier, a Lansing Manufacturing Iconic speaker, and a single RCA 44BX ribbon mic."
- Ogunnaike, Lola. "The Perks and Pitfalls Of a Ruthless-Killer Role; Lucy Liu Boosts the Body Count in New Film", The New York Times, October 13, 2003. Accessed October 25, 2007. "Born in Jackson Heights, Queens, Ms. Liu, the daughter of working-class Chinese immigrants, recalled many an afternoon spent parked in front of a television set."
- Maria Terrone, Poet Turns to Queens For Inspiration.
- Jennifer Manley, Prepared For The Muse In Jackson Heights.
- Trescott, Jacqueline. "Mercedes Ruehl, Driven; The Manic Actress On the Road to Oscar", The Washington Post, March 26, 1992. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- Bosworth, Patricia. "Montgomery Clift: A Biography", p. 47. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2007. ISBN 0-87910-135-0.
- Molotsky, Irvin. "Former Gov. Robert P. Casey Dies at 68; Pennsylvania Democrat Opposed Abortion", The New York Times, May 31, 2000. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- Staff. "QUEENS MAN GETS TOP DEFENSE POST; Robert T. Ross, Once G.O.P. Representative in Capital, Would Succeed Seaton", The New York Times, February 26, 1955. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- Esther Zuckerman. " Susan Sarandon Shares Her New York Favorites", The Village Voice, August 30, 2011. Accessed Sept 23 2011.
- Staff. "Thom Christopher", Soap Opera Digest. Accessed May 28, 2009. "Native New Yorker Thom Christopher hails from the Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights."
- "TOMMY RETTIG, PLAYED JEFF IN ORIGINAL CAST OF TELEVISION'S 'LASSIE'", Rocky Mountain News, February 18, 1996. Accessed December 10, 2007.
- Sisario, Ben. "Walter Sear, an Audio Engineer With a Passion for Analog, Dies at 80", The New York Times May 6, 2010, Accessed May 7, 2010
- via United Press International. "Space Scientist Willy Ley Dies", Milwaukee Sentinel, June 25, 1969. Accessed May 28, 2009.
- "Mehreen Jabbar returns with new drama Jackson Heights". Dawn.com.
- "P.S. 69 Jackson Heights School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
- "P.S. 148, Christa McAuliffe School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
- "P.S. 212 School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
- "P.S 222 FF Christopher A. Santora School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
- "I.S. 145 Joseph Pulitzer School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
- "Renaissance Charter School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
- Private School Review
- 82nd Street Academics
- "Jackson Heights." Queens Library. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
- Jackson, Kenneth (1995). Encyclopedia of New York City. Yale University Press.
- Roleke, John. "Scrabble Avenue: Scrabble Invented in Jackson Heights". About.com.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jackson Heights, Queens.|
- Community Board 3Q
- Jackson Heights Beautification Group
- About.com: Photos of Jackson Heights Historic District
- Community Greens: Jackson Heights
- Jackson Heights Green Alliance
- The Jackson Heights Food Group
- Jackson Heights NYCWIKI