Ozone Park, Queens
|Neighborhoods of New York City|
Ozone Park Welcome Sign
|Ethnicity (Census 2010)|
|• Median income||$41,291|
|ZIP code||11416, 11417|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917|
Ozone Park is a middle class neighborhood located in the southwestern section of the New York City borough of Queens bordering Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, and City Line, Brooklyn. Different parts of the neighborhood are covered by Queens Community Board 9 and 10.
The northern border is Atlantic Avenue; the southern border is South Conduit Avenue, and the eastern border is 108th Street. The western border is the county line with Brooklyn (mostly along Ruby and Drew Streets). It is the home of the Aqueduct Racetrack, a popular spot for Thoroughbred racing. The neighborhood is known for its large Italian-American population.
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An area now part of Ozone Park that pre-dated that community was called "Centreville". It was founded in the 1840s and was centered around Centreville Street and the Centreville Community Church. Part of Ozone Park is still called "Centreville". The church merged with the United Methodist Church of Ozone Park in 1957 and a new church, the Community Methodist Church of Ozone Park, was built at the Southeast corner of Sutter Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard. It was completed for Christmas 1958. The old church and the property that surrounded it were sold to Aqueduct Racetrack and the old, historic church was torn down in mid-1959. The lot is still vacant as of 2013.
During the 1870s, an economic depression caused residents of New York City to look for better housing opportunities in the suburbs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, where housing would be cheaper. Two partners, Benjamin W. Hitchcock and Charles C. Denton, first began carving farmland into building lots. They were able to do this because of their wealth and substantial capital. Housing was first developed in the area after the Long Island Rail Road began service through the area in 1880 as part of its route from Long Island City to Howard Beach. Ozone Park was created and settled in 1882. The name "Ozone Park" was chosen to "lure buyers with the idea of refreshing breezes blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean to a park-like community." Ozone Park was considered the country to all those that lived in Manhattan. Ozone Park was also a very serene place to have loved ones rest in peace, in what was termed the country.
Before the turn of the 20th century, there was an attempt[who?] to develop up to nine neighborhoods with the "park" title. Ozone Park was the only one of these neighborhoods that continues to exist, mostly because of the daily service at the now-defunct Ozone Park station on the Long Island Rail Road. The name persisted because of the many commuters[who?] who passed through the Ozone Park station and referred to it as an important landmark. The railroad station was also responsible for the increasing development of the neighborhood because the access to the railroad allowed people to get into the city easily, increasing its popularity among families looking to move into a suburb.
The final improvement to the local transit system was the elevated railroad line at Liberty Avenue in 1914. In addition to this railroad station came the nickel fare, which was another major factor in the development of Ozone Park. The nickel fare gave residents the ability to travel anywhere along the railroad line for a set price of 5¢. This new fare was considered to be the "single most effective stimulus to home building"[this quote needs a citation] in the Ozone Park area because the real estate developers began buying up all the lots on either side of Liberty Avenue in hopes the new station would attract more people to want to live in Ozone Park.
The current ground level of Ozone Park is about four feet higher than the original ground level. Initially the avenues and cross streets were raised above ground level and then all of the basements were set on ground level and the land was back filled around the houses. The older houses that were at the original ground level now appear "sunken"; these can be observed on the south side of Sutter Avenue between 83rd and 85th streets.
Extensive housing construction occurred in the 1920–1930 period. The houses featured enclosed front porches, open back porches and stained-glass windows in the living rooms. Most of the houses were detached or semi-detached (very close to the neighboring house, but not sharing a common wall) built to roughly the same plan, with the living room, dining room and kitchen all in line and three bedrooms and a bath upstairs. The stairs were usually in the dining room. One of the builders was named Weyerman.
Prior to 1922, Woodhaven Boulevard was the only important north-south street in town. However, it ended at Liberty Avenue. Then officials decided to expand Woodhaven Boulevard all the way south to the Rockaways and finally opened it to traffic in 1925. This made Ozone Park more accessible by both bus and car. Since cars were also becoming more popular at that time, the land became much more valuable, leading to a construction boom in an attempt to fill any empty lot. Between 1921 and 1930, Ozone Park saw a population increase of over 180% from 40,000 to 112,950 people. With this extraordinary increase in population came the need for schools and sources of entertainment. In response to this demand came the construction of John Adams High School in 1930. This school was built just as the construction boom slowed down and right before the Great Depression. Furthermore, in 1925 the development of the Cross-Bay Movie Theatre gave residents the ability to go and see a show while also connecting with neighbors.
One infamous area of Ozone Park is known as "The Hole", and includes the area bounded by 75th (Ruby) Street, South Conduit Avenue, 78th Street and Linden Boulevard. It is named as such because the houses in this area were built below grade. In the 1930s, the city of New York decided to install sewers and sewer lines in Ozone Park to stop the serious flooding that was a major problem. In order to install the sewers, the houses had to be raised almost an entire floor. Owners were given a stipend to raise their homes but some chose not to do so. The first floor in some of the non-raised homes subsequently became basements. And even today, there are still a few homes that remain below grade.
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Since its beginnings, Ozone Park has been largely populated by various groups of immigrants. The first wave were French immigrants associated with a pot factory on Atlantic Avenue. Germans and the Irish made up a large part of Ozone Park in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Eventually, the Italians, who are one of the largest ethnic groups in the neighborhood (giving it the name "the Little Italy of Queens"), started to migrate into Ozone Park from East New York, Brooklyn. Most of the current Italians in the neighborhood are originally from Brooklyn. Fears of changing neighborhoods caused a stir amongst the Italians that caused them to move into Ozone Park, which at the time was mostly Germans and Irish who had migrated themselves from neighboring East New York. A significant Polish population also developed based around Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Church and its associated elementary school.
Census data from the early years[when?] shows how Ozone Park was a sparsely populated neighborhood because of the lack of transportation. By 1915, the Fulton Street Line opened, connecting Ozone Park with the rest of New York City, thus starting the enormous influx by the Italians. Ozone Park then formed many smaller sub-neighborhoods with specific identities. The Tudor Village section, which is still known by this name, was located on the south bordered by Pitkin Avenue and North Conduit Avenue and from east to west Cross Bay Boulevard and North Conduit Avenue. Centreville, which also still uses this name, is bordered by Aqueduct on the east, Cross Bay Boulevard on the west, North Conduit Avenue on the south, and Rockaway Boulevard on the north. Liberty Heights, which is only known by the old-timers, is a triangular area bordered by Liberty Avenue on the south, diagonal-running 101st Avenue (Jerome Avenue) from the southwest to the northeast, and Woodhaven Boulevard to the east. Balsam Village, which is also known by the old-timers, was named after Balsam Farms, which sold off parcels of land for development, and is bordered by Liberty Avenue on the north, 84th Street on the west, and Cross Bay Boulevard on the east.
In the 1980s, Ozone Park's 106th police precinct became the source and scene of several police brutality incidents, including April 17, 1985's stun gunning of high schooler Mark Davidson, who was arrested on marijuana possession charges.
At the turn of the 21st century immigrants from Latin America, South Asia (Bangladesh), the West Indies, and South America (Indo-Guyanese & Indo-Surinamese) moved in, adding a diverse atmosphere to the neighborhood, which is especially apparent along 101st Avenue and Liberty Avenue near the neighborhood's border with Richmond Hill. The neighborhood remains largely Italian-American; however, these new arrivals have made Ozone Park become one of the fastest-growing and most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in New York City. Aside from these larger groups, there is a large Hispanic population in Ozone Park, mainly concentrated in the northern portion of the neighborhood near the Woodhaven border, and an African-American minority, spread throughout the neighborhood.
Residents vary from working-class to middle-class families, who own or rent private homes on the neighborhood's tree-lined residential streets. There are pockets of wealthier areas in the southern part of the neighborhood close to the Belt Parkway.
Numerous New York City Bus routes stop in Ozone Park, such as the Q7, Q8, Q11, Q21, Q24, Q41, Q52, Q53, and Q112. The B15 runs through the neighborhood without stopping. The New York City Subway's IND Fulton Street Line (A train) and IND Rockaway Line (A train) also run through the neighborhood.
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- Public schools
- P.S 316 (Opening September 2014)
- P.S. 63 Old South School
- P.S. 64 Joseph P. Addabbo School
- P.S. 65 The Raymond York Elementary School
- Middle School 137 America's School-Heroes
- Junior High School 202 R. H. Goddard
- Robert H Goddard High School Of Technology and Communications 308
- Junior High School 210 Elizabeth Blackwell
- John Adams High School
- High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture
- Private schools
- St Elizabeth's RC Elementary
- St Mary Gate of Heaven RC Elementary
- Divine Mercy Catholic Academy (originally Nativity B.V.M. and St. Stanislaus Schools, which were combined renamed in 2007)
- Little Dolphin Pre-School
- Our Lady of Perpetual Hope
- Our Lady's Catholic Academy
- Closed schools
- Our Lady of Wisdom RC Secondary
In popular culture
Ozone Park has served as the setting and subject of numerous media works.
- A Bronx Tale (1993)features a scene set at Aqueduct Racetrack
- A Shock to the System (1990) contains a scene filmed in the old Aqueduct Raceway Station
- Boss of Bosses (2001, starring Chazz Palminteri) features a scene with John Gotti in Ozone Park at the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club
- Goodfellas (1990) is an Academy Award-winning gangster film that takes place in and around Ozone Park, Queens
- Holy Rollers (2010) features external shots of the Gold and Zimmerman houses
- Lucky Number Slevin (2006) contains a scene at the beginning, wherein the father and son are at Aqueduct Racetrack
- Searching for Bobby DeNiro, alternate title: Movers and Fakers (2004) was filmed in Aldos II Pizzeria in Ozone Park
- All in the Family's (1970s TV sitcom) principals, Archie and Edith Bunker, had cousins who lived in Ozone Park
- Getting Gotti (1994 TV film starring Lorraine Bracco) is based on a real life woman, Diane Giacalone, who grew up in Ozone Park and through the years first-handedly watched Gotti rise to power on the streets of Ozone Park; she eventually became an Assistant US Attorney and built up a case against him.
- The The King Of Queens TV sitcom often contains scenes in which the old United Artists Cross Bay movie theatre on Rockaway Boulevard can be seen
- The Perfect Crimes History Channel documentary features the Lufthansa heist and discusses the Lucchese crime family crews living, killing and running businesses in Ozone Park
- The Sopranos character, Rusty Millio (played by Frankie Valli), lives in Ozone Park, as revealed in the episode "Live Free or Die"
- Pope John Paul II celebrated mass for 75,000 people at Ozone Park's Aqueduct Racetrack in October 1995.
- In July 23, 2013, a Queens resident recovered $5,020, her life savings, she had stored in her refrigerator that her sister had tossed out. Mike Downer of Atlantic Recycling in Ozone Park remembered where it was in the scrapyard where he worked and dug it out for her.
Notable current and former residents of Ozone Park include:
- Ray Abruzzo - actor (e.g., The Sopranos)
- Joseph Patrick Addabbo - Congressman; P.S. 64 was named after him.
- Joseph Addabbo, Jr. - member of the New York City Council from the 32nd Council District.
- Pedro Beato - relief pitcher of the New York Mets
- Charles Camarda - astronaut, Mission Specialist on STS-114
- The Capris - 1950s Doo Wop group. Smith / W.9th Street
- Gerald Edelman (1929-) - 1972 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- Elizabeth Eden (1946–1987) - real life character of Leon from the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon.
- Peter Facinelli (born November 26, 1973) - actor
- John Frascatore (1970-) - baseball player
- John Gotti (1940–2002) - Mafia boss (headed the Gambino crime family)
- Neal Heaton (1960-) - MLB baseball pitcher
- Carol Heiss (1940-) - Olympics figure skater
- Father Rob Keighron (1980-) - Roman Catholic priest, co-host/co-producer of "The Catholic Guy"
- Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) - writer. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he lived in Ozone Park with his parents at 133-01 Cross Bay Boulevard for 11 years, after discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1943. He wrote his first novel, "The Town and the City", as well as the quintessential "On the Road", while living in Ozone Park. His friends jokingly called him "The Wizard of Ozone Park". A plaque for him can be found on Cross Bay Boulevard and 133rd Avenue, his apartment is now home to the Lindenwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and across the street is the bar Glen Patrick's, where he reportedly replenished his "fuel" while writing "On the Road".
- Cyndi Lauper (1953-) - singer/actress. (104th Street)
- Jack Lord - actor, star of the 1960s Hawaii Five-0 TV series, attended John Adams High School located on Rockaway Boulevard in Ozone Park
- Joe Lo Truglio (1970-) - actor
- Bernadette Peters (1948-) - actress/singer.
- Peter Polaco - American professional wrestler better known by his ring name, "Justin Credible".
- James P. Robinson - Sicilian-American, founder and current chair of the CUNY LGBT Task Force.
- Nick Scotti - actor, singer, and model
- Anthony Trentacosta - Gambino crime family member
- Eric Ulrich - member of the New York City Council from the 32nd Council District
- Thomas Von Essen - Senior Vice President at Giuliani Partners and 30th New York City Fire Commissioner.
- Debra Wilson (1962-) - actress, comedienne, voice actress, and TV presenter
- "2008 Map of Queens neighborhoods". Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- "NYC Community Boards" (pdf). Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed 2007-09-03.
- Liff, Bob (April 27, 1999). "WHERE CITY DREW THE LINE DOUBLE LIVES THE NORM IN BORDER NABE". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- Centreville Forgotten New York
- If You're Thinking of Living In/Ozone Park; Changing Faces, Enduring Values, The New York Times, October 5, 2003.
- Ozone Park: Changing faces - Article from NY Times
- "Scrap dealers saluted for finding lost cash". Queens Times Ledger. Aug 1, 2013.
- "Queens woman recovers $5,000 hidden in discarded refrigerator". New York Daily News. July 23, 2013.
- Shaman, Diana. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Ozone Park; Changing Faces, Enduring Values", The New York Times, October 5, 2003. Accessed 2007-10-19. "It's a great community, said Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., who represents Ozone Park and lives there with his wife, Dawn.... At the foot of the tree-shaded enclave, which stretches from North Conduit Avenue to Pitkin Avenue and from 81st to 87th Streets, lies the 2.8-acre Joseph P. Addabbo Park, named after Representative Addabbo, a lifelong resident of Ozone Park who served in Congress from 1960 until his death in 1986."
- O'Donnell, Michelle. "CITYPEOPLE; Remember Then", The New York Times, May 11, 2003. Accessed 2007-11-11. "...at which members of long-forgotten groups like the Elegants (from Staten Island) and the Capris (Ozone Park, Queens) examined the Italian-American influence on doo-wop."
- Gerald Edelman - 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, Israel High-Tech Magazine, July 1, 2005.
- "Elizabeth Eden, Transsexual Who Figured in 1975 Movie", The New York Times, October 1, 1987. Accessed 2007-12-26.
- Huang, Paul. "John Frascatore beefs up Lions' pitching", Taipei Times, August 15, 2003. Accessed 2007-10-18. "Contributing four of those 10 wins is former major leaguer John Frascatore of Ozone Park, New York (4-2 with a 2.05 ERA)."
- 'Dapper Don' John Gotti dead: Brought down by the Bull, CNN.com, June 11, 2002.
- "CAROL HEISS GAINS 3D WORLD CROWN IN FIGURE SKATING; Ozone Park Girl Adds to Her Compulsory Phase Lead in Free-Style Exhibition", The New York Times, February 16, 1958. Accessed 2007-11-11. "Carol Heiss of Ozone Park, Queens, Miss Personality of the ice, skated off with her third world figure skating championship tonight with a perfectly-executed freestyle exhibition."
- Keighron, Robert. "My Vocation Story". Vocation News (Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn). Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "The Wizard of Ozone Park". Retrieved 2011-03-13.
- Hoffman, Jan. "PUBLIC LIVES; She Just Wanted to Have Fun. And She's Having It.", The New York Times, December 31, 2003. Accessed 2007-10-10. "She found simpatico musicians to help her repossess the songs that reverberated through her childhood block in Ozone Park, Queens. And she felt ready to celebrate a lifetime of spirited dancing."
- Artshound.com biography of Bernadette Peters, accessed 2006-12-16.
- Connelly, Sherryl. "SURVIVING THE INFERNO The vital memoir of NYC's ex-Fire Commissioner", Daily News (New York), July 28, 2002. Accessed 2009-01-18. "After relating such immediate events, the book, which will be in stores Aug. 6, recounts Von Essen's life story. It's that of a boy from Ozone Park, Queens, who was adrift until he joined the Fire Department in 1970 at age 24."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ozone Park, Queens.|
- Ozone Park Mafia Graveyard
- Gaussie Humann trial, Ozone Park, 1921
- Robber killed by cop in Ozone Park
- Ozone Park gang, Queens Chronicle