Jacob Riis Park

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The beach and bathhouse at dusk at Jacob Riis Park

Jacob Riis Park in the New York City borough of Queens, is part of the Jamaica Bay Unit of the Gateway National Recreation Area, and is managed by the National Park Service (NPS). It lies at the foot of the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, toward the southwestern end the Rockaway Peninsula, just east of Fort Tilden and west of Rockaway Beach. The Jacob Riis Park Historic District features an extensive sand beach and an art deco bath house built in 1932, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bathhouse provides a place to get out of the sun and learn about the park's history. The park is named for Jacob Riis, a famous New York City muckraker journalist and photographer who documented the plight of the poor and working class.

Children at the beach, 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon.
People enjoying the beach over Labor Day weekend in August 2013
Riis parking lot served as a temporary dump for Hurricane Sandy debris

The park was largely built on the site of the former Rockaway Naval Air Station, one of the first US naval air stations. Riis Park was designed by the politically powerful New York City Park Commissioner Robert Moses, who had also created Jones Beach as a state park further east on Long Island in 1929. Moses saw Riis Park as a Jones Beach for poor immigrants,[citation needed] and ensured that the location was accessible by public transportation[dubious ] and closer to Manhattan. The Atlantic Ocean beach, boardwalks, courtyards, and walkways gave the city's poor a respite from cramped tenements and crowded city streets. In addition to easy access via public buses, a huge parking lot with over 5,000 parking spaces, the largest in the world at the time it was built, provides ample space for those who preferred to drive.

In 1972, Jacob Riis Park was transferred to the control of the National Park Service. Today, its sand, surf, seaside recreation areas and famous Art Deco bathhouse are a popular summer destination. Facilities available in season include a pitch and putt golf course and food concessions.

Getting there[edit]

Ferry: New York Water Taxi offers weekday and weekend Rockaway ferry service between Pier 11/Wall Street (Manhattan) and Riis Landing.[1]

Bus: Q35 from Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue at the corner of Nostrand Avenue, Kings Highway, Quentin Road, Avenue S or Avenue U (Kings Plaza). After the bridge, ask the driver to let you off at either Fort Tilden or Riis Park. Alternate: Q21 or Q53 to Beach 116th Street, then Q22 or Q35 to the park.

Subway and Bus: 2 (also 5 during weekdays) to Flatbush Avenue, then take the Q35 bus to the park. Alternate: A or S to Rockaway Park then Q35 or Q22 bus to the park.

Car: Take the Belt Parkway to Exit 11S, then Flatbush Avenue south across the Marine Parkway Bridge to the park. Alternate: Woodhaven Boulevard to Cross Bay Boulevard, then west on Beach Channel Drive to the park.Parking is $10 (2013) in season from Memorial Day to Labor day.[2] A season parking pass is $65 (2013).


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°34′01″N 73°52′27″W / 40.567024°N 73.874130°W / 40.567024; -73.874130