Richmond Hill, Queens
Richmond Hill is a middle class and commercial neighborhood located in the central-southern area of the New York City borough of Queens. It is bordered by Kew Gardens to the north, Woodhaven and Ozone Park to the west, South Ozone Park to the south and South Jamaica to the east. The neighborhood is split between Queens Community Board 9 and 10. Main commercial streets in the neighborhood include Jamaica Avenue, Atlantic Avenue and Liberty Avenue. The main ZIP code of Richmond Hill is 11418; the ZIP code for the southern part of the neighborhood is 11419. Richmond Hill is largely known throughout the New York City metropolitan area as Little Guyana, for its large Guyanese immigrant population, and as Little Punjab, for its large Punjabi immigrant population.
The hill referred to as Richmond Hill is a moraine created by debris and rocks collected while glaciers advanced down North America. Later, the Battle of Long Island, one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War, was fought in 1776 along the ridge now in Forest Park, near what is now the golf course clubhouse. Protected by its thickly wooded area, American riflemen used guerrilla warfare tactics to attack and defeat the Hessians.
Originally, many European families (Italian, Dutch, British, Irish, Scots, Danish, and German) had lived in Richmond Hill. There is a north and south Richmond Hill. The division is Atlantic Avenue. Today the southside of Richmond Hill mostly consists of South Asian Americans (Indians and Bangladeshis) and Caribbean Americans. Richmond Hill has the largest Sikh population in the City of New York and also contributes to the diversity of the borough of Queens. Since the 1970s many Caribbean Indians from Guyana, Trinidad and some from Jamaica have emigrated to the United States, especially to Richmond Hill and Jamaica in Queens.
Richmond Hill's name was inspired either by a suburban town near London, England, or because of Edward Richmond, a landscape architect in the mid-19th century who designed much of the neighborhood. In 1868, a successful banker named Albon P. Man bought the Lefferts and Welling farms, and hired Richmond to lay out the community. Over the next decade streets, schools, a church, and a railroad were built, thus making the area one of the earliest residential communities on Long Island. The area is well known for its large-frame single-family houses, many of which have been preserved since the turn of the 20th century. Many of the Queen Anne Victorian homes of old Richmond Hill still stand in the area today. The area first became developed in the later decades of the 19th Century with the 1868 opening of the Richmond Hill railroad station at the intersection of Hillside Avenue and Babbage Street, on the Montauk railroad line between Long Island City and eastern Long Island.
The area received further development in 1918, when the BMT Jamaica Line of the New York City Subway (now the J Z trains) was extended in the neighborhood. It is also the southern port for the A train, which heads toward Lefferts Boulevard / Liberty Avenue on the IND Fulton Street Line.
The Triangle Hofbrau was a restaurant which was frequented by such stars as Mae West in the 1920s and 1930s. It sat on the triangular piece of land bordered by Hillside Avenue, Jamaica Avenue, and Myrtle Avenue.
Near the northwest corner of Hillside Avenue and Myrtle Avenue sat an old time ice cream parlor, Jahn's. It closed in late 2007. Not far away is Lefferts Boulevard which, with Liberty Avenue, define the central core of Richmond Hill. Between Myrtle Avenue and the Montauk Line railroad is a former movie theatre, RKO Keith's Richmond Hill Theater, opened in 1929, functioning since 1968 as a bingo hall.
The northern edge of Richmond Hill contains the Church of the Resurrection. This Episcopalian church is an 1874 structure and is the oldest house of worship in Richmond Hill. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
WICR, 1620AM, broadcasts Indo-Caribbean programming from studios on Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill.
Richmond Hill schools are operated by the New York City Department of Education.
Public schools include:
- P.S. 51
- P.S. 161 Arthur R. Ashe Junior School
- P.S. 54 Hillside Avenue School
- P.S. 55 The Maure School
- P.S. 56 Harry Eichler School
- P.S. 62 Chester Park School
- P.S. 66 Oxford School
- P.S. 90 Horace Mann School
Residents are zoned to M.S. 137 America's School of Heroes.
Richmond Hill High School is located in the neighborhood. Until June, 2012, the city had planned to close the high school. The city had slated the school to close; however, a court ruling prevented the school's closure.
Private schools include:
- Bethlehem Christian Academy
- Hebrew Academy-West Queens
- Holy Child Jesus School
- Islamic Elementary School
- Theatre Street School
- St. Mary Gate of Heaven
- St Teresa of Avila
- Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr (1831-1919) - Author of the book Jan Vedder's Wife and an advocate of women's rights.
- Gary Barnett Entrepreneur and Philanthropist President and Founder of Extell Development Company
- Jack Cassidy - Broadway and television actor was born and raised in Richmond Hill.
- Percy Crosby - Creator of the comic Skippy.
- Rodney Dangerfield - Famous comedian who attended Richmond Hill High School.
- Morton Gould - Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, Kennedy Center Honor, and a Grammy Award.
- Alfred H. Grebe - pioneer in radio broadcasting.
- Anaïs Nin - French-Cuban author of The Delta of Venus and diarist. Lived in Richmond Hill prior to moving to Paris in 1924.
- Jack Kerouac - Lived in Richmond Hill from 1950 - 1955.
- Jack Lord - Actor famous for portraying Lt. Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O.
- Jack Maple - Former deputy commissioner of New York City Police Department that inspired the television series The District.
- Marx Brothers - The house is still noted with a commemorating plaque.
- John H. Myers - Former CEO of GE Asset Management (childhood residence).
- Jacob A. Riis - Documentary journalist/author, photographer and reformer was a Richmond Hill resident.
- Phil Rizzuto - Hall of Fame Baseball Player who lived and went to high school in Richmond Hill.
- Bob Sheppard - Yankee Stadium Public Address Announcer "The Voice of the Yankees" from 1951 - 2009 was born and raised in Richmond Hill.
- Dick Van Patten Actor was born (1928) and raised in Richmond Hill.
- "Map of Queens neighborhoods".
- Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
- "New York City's Newest Immigrant Enclaves".
- Richmond Hill Historical Society, "About the Church of the Resurrection: First Church erected in Richmond Hill." http://www.richmondhillhistory.org/Resurrection.shtml
- "New names selected for schools expected to close, reopen in the fall", Daily News (New York).
- Morton Gould
- Jack Maple
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Richmond Hill, Queens.|
- 1873 Map of Richmond Hill, Queens
- 2000 Census data for ZIP code 11418
- 2000 Census data for ZIP code 11419
- Friends of the Richmond Hill Library
- New York City Transit
- NYPD 102nd Precinct
- Noteworthy people of Richmond Hill
- Richmond Hill Block Association
- Richmond Hill Historical Society
- Richmond Hill Local News
- Queens Historical Society
- Zoomable Toxic Targeting Toxics Map of New York State
- Forgotten New York