Laurelton is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is now largely a middle class neighborhood. In the 1930s through 1970s and beyond, the neighborhood was populated by many Jewish Americans, but succeeding generations have been made up of people of diverse backgrounds, including African-Americans who moved up from the South. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 13. Laurelton is part of the former town of Jamaica. It is better known today as part of the larger community of Jamaica, Queens. Merrick Boulevard, which bisects the community in a generally east-west direction, forms its commercial spine.
Laurelton was modeled after an English village, with stately Tudor-style homes, both attached and detached. There are co-ops in converted garden apartment complexes and some new construction with more modern designs, but no high-rise buildings, which has enabled Laurelton to keep its small town feel. The area of Laurelton closest to Rosedale and Cambria Heights is mostly made up of single-family homes. The area abutting Springfield Gardens contains many two-family homes. The area south of Merrick Boulevard contains many large, individually designed houses while many of the blocks to the north, running westward from Francis Lewis Boulevard, have attached, Tudor-style rowhouses. The eastern part of Laurelton contains a series of streets with planted center malls.
The area derives its name from the Laurelton station on the Long Island Rail Road, which was named for the laurels that grew there over 100 years ago. The station is located at 225th Street and 141st Road and offers service to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan by both the Far Rockaway and Long Beach branches. The zip code of Laurelton is 11413.
According to the Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights, the demographics of zip code 11413 are 91.5% Black or African American, 2.7% White, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.5% two or more races and 1.3% some other race. A vast majority of the people living in Laurelton are of African American or West Indian descent, however up until the late 1970s, Laurelton was a predominately Jewish community.
The Belt Parkway's exits 24 A-B, 23A, and 22 all service Laurelton. The section known as the Laurelton Parkway was the subject of a master plan as part of the city's emerging system of greenways and bikeways. This restoration of this 1.5 mile link was completed in 2006.
- David Bergman (1950-), gay writer/academic.
- Sam DeLuca (1931-), New York Jets, right guard, 1970s.
- Hettie Jones (1934-), poet/memoirist and former wife of writer Amiri Baraka.
- Meir Kahane (1932–1990), while rabbi of Young Israel of Laurelton, founded the JDL.
- Neil Leifer (1942-) is a photographer and filmmaker known mainly for his work in the Time Inc. family of magazines. He is generally considered the greatest sports photographer in history.
- Doron Lamb (1991-), Kentucky Wildcats basketball player.
- Bernard Madoff (1938-), former NASDAQ chairman, convicted of the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.
- Elliot Sperling (1951-), expert on Tibetan history and the Tibet-China conflict and chair of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
- Segal, David; and Cowan, Alison Leigh. "Madoffs Shared Much; Question Is How Much", The New York Times, January 14, 2009. Accessed February 9, 2009.
- Laurelton Civic Association
- Memories of Laurelton
- Prosperous Area Seeks Shops to Match
- Black Incomes Surpass Whites in Queens
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