Jackson Heights, Queens

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Jackson Heights
Neighborhood of Queens
82nd Street Shopping District, Jackson Heights.
82nd Street Shopping District, Jackson Heights.
Country United States
State New York
County Queens
Population [1]
 • Total 67,633
ZIP code 11372
Area code(s)

718, 347, 917

Jackson Heights Historic District (Indian District)
NYC Jackson Heights 3.jpg
Residential street in Jackson Heights
Jackson Heights, Queens is located in New York City
Jackson Heights, Queens
District position on New York City map
Location Bounded by Roosevelt Ave., Broadway, Leverich St., 70 St., Northern Blvd., and Junction Blvd., Queens, NYC
Coordinates 40°45′5″N 73°53′13″W / 40.75139°N 73.88694°W / 40.75139; -73.88694Coordinates: 40°45′5″N 73°53′13″W / 40.75139°N 73.88694°W / 40.75139; -73.88694
Area 300 acres (120 ha)
Architectural style Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals
Governing body Federal
NRHP Reference # 99000059[2]
Added to NRHP January 27, 1999

Jackson Heights is a neighborhood in the northwestern portion of the New York City borough of Queens. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 3.[3] The main ZIP code of Jackson Heights is 11372. According to the 2010 United States census, the neighborhood has a population of 108,000.[4]

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 Queens Plaza and Queens–Midtown Tunnel in Long Island City.

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.[5] 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.


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)[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] Unlike the State and National Districts, the local designation comes with aesthetic protections.

Jackson Heights is believed to be[9] 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.[citation needed]

The Jackson Heights Historic District is a national historic district that includes 2,203 contributing buildings, 19 contributing sites, and three contributing objects.[10] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.[2]

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.


The neighborhood is the location of the Roosevelt Avenue / 74th Street transportation hub, where the New York City Subway's IRT Flushing Line (7 train), the subway's IND Queens Boulevard Line (E F M R trains), and MTA Regional Bus Operations' Q32, Q33, Q47, Q49, Q53, and Q70 converge. The Q32 goes to Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan. The Q70 LTD bus goes to LaGuardia Airport's main terminals and operates 24 hours a day, replacing the Q33 bus, which used to go to LaGuardia Airport until September 2014; the Q33 and Q49 go to East Elmhurst, while the Q70 goes nonstop to LaGuardia Airport from the station. The Q47 bus goes to the Marine Air Terminal and The Shops at Atlas Park. The Q53 LTD bus goes to Rockaway Beach, Queens and Woodside LIRR station.

The MTA spent over $100 million on renovations to the facility that were completed in 2005.[11] 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.[11]

Interstate 278 (the Brooklyn Queens Expressway) and the Grand Central Parkway are major roads in the area. LaGuardia International Airport, in East Elmhurst, just north of Jackson Heights, is nearby.


Land usage[edit]

Indian restaurant on 74th Street
St. Mark's

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.[12] 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.


Jackson Heights is among the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City and the nation.[13] Jackson Heights is home to large numbers of South Americans, particularly Argentinians, Colombians, South Asians, and East Asians. 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.

Colombian broadcaster RCN TV has its US-American headquarters in the neighborhood, reflecting the sizable Colombian population in the area.

There is a year-round greenmarket every Sunday morning at Travers Park, as well as various family-oriented spring and summer concerts.

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 New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on issues of concern to the community.

The word game Scrabble was co-invented by former architect Alfred Mosher Butts, who lived in Jackson Heights.[14][15] There is a street sign at 35th Avenue and 81st Street that is stylized using letters, with their values in Scrabble as a subscript; it was originally erected in 1995 but disappeared in 2008,[16] and a new sign was subsequently put up in 2011.[17]


Jackson Heights has followed the general crime patterns of New York City. After crime spikes in the 1970s into the 1990s, crime has declined significantly. According to New York City Police Department CompStat statistics, measured crime has declined more than 74% in the last 21 years (1993 to 2014). As of December 2014, the murder rate is down over 70% and grand larceny auto is down 93% from 1990. In 2013, there were 3 murders, 34 rapes, 325 felony assaults, 332 robberies, 275 burglaries, 612 grand larcenies, and 141 grand larcenies auto.[18]


New York City Department of Education operates public schools. Schools in Jackson Heights include P.S. 69 Jackson Heights School,[19] P.S. 149 Christa McAuliffe School,[20] P.S. 212,[21] P.S 222 FF Christopher A. Santora School,[22] I.S.145 Joseph Pulitzer School,[23] P.S.152, I.S. 230 and the Pre-K-12 school Renaissance Charter School.[24]

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 Pre-K-12.

82nd Street Academics, a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational institution, is 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.[25][26]

Queens Library operates the Jackson Heights Library, located on 81st Street and 37th Avenue.[27]


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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

On November 30, 2011, then-Mayor Michael 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.[28]

Notable residents[edit]

In film[edit]

  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Part of The Usual Suspects was filmed in Jackson Heights around 34th Avenue and 82nd street.[60]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • 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.[61]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ http://www.point2homes.com/US/Neighborhood/NY/Queens/Jackson-Heights-Demographics.html
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Queens Community District 3". New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/census2010/t_pl_p1_nta.pdf
  5. ^ "New York City Neighborhoods: Jackson Heights > Boundaries". New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ Myers, Steven Lee. "Council Votes Historic District In 38-Block Section of Queens", The New York Times, January 27, 1994. Accessed August 20, 2009.
  7. ^ Karatzas, Daniel (1990). Jackson Heights: A Garden in the City. Privately printed
  8. ^ PDF map of the District.
  9. ^ Karatzas, Daniel (1990). Jackson Heights: A Garden in the City. Privately printed.
  10. ^ 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". 
  11. ^ a b "Officials Applaud Opening Of Renovated Bus Terminal | www.qgazette.com | Queens Gazette". www.qgazette.com. 2005-07-20. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  12. ^ Daniel Maurer "Stretching $50 in Jackson Heights." New York Magazine
  13. ^ Maggie Samways "New York's Most Diverse Neighborhood"Time Out NY
  14. ^ Roleke, John. "Scrabble Avenue: Scrabble Invented in Jackson Heights". About.com. 
  15. ^ Kershaw, Sarah. "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: JACKSON HEIGHTS;Rewriting The Story Of Scrabble", The New York Times, October 1, 1995. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  16. ^ Ember, Sydney (15 July 2011). "For a Bereft Street Corner in Queens, a Red-Letter Day". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  17. ^ "Historic Scrabble Sign Makes Triumphant Return To Jackson Heights". Queens Gazette. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  18. ^ 115th Pct NYPD COmpstat statistics. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
  19. ^ "P.S. 69 Jackson Heights School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
  20. ^ "P.S. 148, Christa McAuliffe School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
  21. ^ "P.S. 212 School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
  22. ^ "P.S 222 FF Christopher A. Santora School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
  23. ^ "I.S. 145 Joseph Pulitzer School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
  24. ^ "Renaissance Charter School School Review." Inside Schools. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
  25. ^ Private School Review
  26. ^ 82nd Street Academics
  27. ^ "Jackson Heights." Queens Library. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.
  28. ^ "NYC.gov". NYC.gov. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  29. ^ 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."
  30. ^ 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."
  31. ^ 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."
  32. ^ 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."
  33. ^ 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."
  34. ^ 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."
  35. ^ 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."
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ McGrath, Charles. "The Fixer", The New York Times, February 19, 2006. Accessed October 22, 2009.
  38. ^ 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".
  39. ^ 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."
  40. ^ 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."
  41. ^ via Associated Press. "Obituary: Helen Kane", Toledo Blade, September 27, 1966. Accessed May 28, 2009.
  42. ^ Helene N. White, United States Department of Justice. Accessed May 28, 2009.
  43. ^ Staff. "HOWARD STERN'S Private Jewish Parts", The Jewish Week, March 7, 1997. Accessed May 28, 2009.
  44. ^ 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."
  45. ^ 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."
  46. ^ 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."
  47. ^ 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."
  48. ^ 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."
  49. ^ Maria Terrone, Poet Turns to Queens For Inspiration.
  50. ^ Jennifer Manley, Prepared For The Muse In Jackson Heights.
  51. ^ Trescott, Jacqueline. "Mercedes Ruehl, Driven; The Manic Actress On the Road to Oscar", The Washington Post, March 26, 1992. Accessed May 28, 2009.
  52. ^ Bosworth, Patricia. "Montgomery Clift: A Biography", p. 47. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2007. ISBN 0-87910-135-0.
  53. ^ 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.
  54. ^ 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.
  55. ^ Esther Zuckerman. " Susan Sarandon Shares Her New York Favorites", The Village Voice, August 30, 2011. Accessed Sept 23 2011.
  56. ^ Staff. "Thom Christopher", Soap Opera Digest. Accessed May 28, 2009. "Native New Yorker Thom Christopher hails from the Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights."
  57. ^ "TOMMY RETTIG, PLAYED JEFF IN ORIGINAL CAST OF TELEVISION'S 'LASSIE'", Rocky Mountain News, February 18, 1996. Accessed December 10, 2007.
  58. ^ 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
  59. ^ via United Press International. "Space Scientist Willy Ley Dies", Milwaukee Sentinel, June 25, 1969. Accessed May 28, 2009.
  60. ^ IMDB
  61. ^ "Mehreen Jabbar returns with new drama Jackson Heights". Dawn.com. 

Further reading

External links[edit]