St. Albans, Queens
|Neighborhoods of New York City|
|• Hispanic of any race||5.9%|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 646|
St. Albans is a middle class community in the New York City borough of Queens around the intersection of Linden Boulevard and Farmers Boulevard, about two miles north of JFK Airport. It is southeast of Jamaica, west of Cambria Heights and north of Springfield Gardens and Laurelton. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 12, and is served by the St. Albans Post Office, ZIP Code 11412. The population within the ZIP code, according to the 2010 census, was 34,882 – a decline of 7% from the 37,452 of 2000.
By the 1800s, the plantations of four families — the Remsens, Everitts, Ludlums and Hendricksons — formed the nucleus of this sprawling farm community in the eastern portion of Jamaica Township. In 1814, when the Village of Jamaica (the first village on Long Island) was incorporated, its (the village's) boundaries extended eastward to Freeman's Path (now Farmers Boulevard), and south to Lazy Lane (called Central Avenue in 1900, then Foch Boulevard in the 1920s, and now Linden Boulevard), thus including parts of present-day St. Albans. In 1852, the old mill pond that is now at the center of Baisley Pond Park was acquired by the Brooklyn waterworks for use as a reservoir.
In 1872, the Long Island Rail Road Cedarhurst Cut-off was built through the area, but no stop appears on the first timetables. In 1892, an area called Francis Farm was surveyed and developed for housing. There were numerous Francis families farming in the eastern portion of the Town of Jamaica in the 1880s. Francis Lewis Boulevard (named for a signer of the Declaration of Independence, from Queens), which does not yet appear on maps from 1909, nor in 1910, is now the eastern boundary of St. Albans.
Soon, the first street lights illuminated the crossroads that is now Linden Boulevard and Farmers Boulevard. New shops clustered around August Everitt's lone store. By July 1, 1898, a railroad station opened where the tracks crossed Locust Avenue (now Baisley Boulevard). The station was razed and replaced with grade elimination October 15, 1935. Today, the St. Albans station provides Long Island Rail Road service to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan or Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, with transfers available at Jamaica station.
In 1899, a year after Queens became part of New York City (and with the Town of Jamaica and the Village of Jamaica thereby dissolved), the new post office for the 600 residents was named St. Albans, after St Albans in Hertfordshire, England, which itself was named after a Saint Alban, thought to be the first Christian martyred in England. The name had been in use for the area since at least 1894 for the name of the school district, and the LIRR station was named St. Albans when it opened in 1898. A 1909 map also shows a St Albans Avenue and a St Albans Place in the area.
The St. Albans Golf Course, built in 1915, brought rich and famous golfers, including baseball star Babe Ruth. The Depression forced the golf course owners to try to sell, but plans for private development fell through. The land was seized by the federal government in 1942, and construction soon began on the St. Albans Naval Hospital, which opened in 1943. After construction was completed in 1950, the hospital had 3000 beds and contained a network of 76 wards. The hospital was turned over to the Veterans Administration in 1974 and more recently evolved into the Veterans Administration St. Albans Primary and Extended Care Facility.
Many famous jazz musicians used to live in St. Albans, particularly in some of the large houses in the small western enclave known as Addisleigh Park. The soul musician James Brown lived in St. Albans very near to the Veterans Administration facility. As a neighborhood adjacent to Hollis, St. Albans was one of the birthplaces of the "Hip Hop" and Rap music genres in the 1970s and 1980s.
St. Albans housing consists mostly of detached, one and two-family homes. Linden Boulevard is the major shopping street.
The neighborhood and the surrounding areas are considered the heart of Queens' working class Black community, with 34% claiming Caribbean ancestry.
Public schools are operated by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE).
- I.S. 59 Springfield Gardens Junior High School
- P.S. 36 St. Albans School
- P.S. 15 Jackie Robinson School
- P.S. 136 Roy Wilkins School
- P.S. 233 Langston Hughes School
- Pathways College Preparatory School
- Riverton Street Charter School St. Albans
- St. Albans Christian Academy
- True Deliverance Christian School
- St. Catherine of Sienna Catholic School (opened 1929, closed 2009, now site of Riverton Street Charter School)
- Count Basie (1904–1984), jazz pianist
- Brook Benton, American singer and songwriter
- James Brown (musician), American recording artist and musician
- Miles Davis (jazz musician)
- John Coltrane, American jazz saxophonist and composer
- Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, saxophonist
- Phife Dawg, rapper and member of A Tribe Called Quest
- Mercer Ellington, American jazz trumpeter, composer, and arranger
- Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz vocalist
- Milt Hinton, American jazz double bassist and photographer
- Lena Horne (1917–2010), singer
- Illinois Jacquet, American jazz tenor saxophonist
- LL Cool J, American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor
- Bill Kenny of the The Ink Spots, American vocalist in the 1930s and 1940s 
- Eileen Southern, musicologist
- William Grant Still, classical composer
- A Tribe Called Quest, rap group
- Q-Tip, entertainer and founder of A Tribe Called Quest
- Fats Waller, jazz pianist
- Frank Wess, jazz musician
- Clarence Williams, jazz pianist and composer
- Lester Young, jazz tenor saxophonist and clarinetist
- Bad News Allen, 1976 bronze medalist (Olympic Judo) and pro-wrestler
- Roy Campanella, 1950s All-Star catcher with Brooklyn Dodgers
- Bob Cousy, 1950s All-Star basketball player with Boston Celtics
- Joe Louis, heavyweight boxing champion
- Mike Merriweather, former Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings pro-bowl linebacker
- Floyd Patterson, heavyweight boxing champion
- Will Poole - football player
- Jackie Robinson Major League Baseball
- Babe Ruth, baseball legend
- Eddie Sweat, Secretariat's groom
- Rob Parker, ESPN writer, analyst
- W. E. B. Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author and editor
- Anna Lee Tingle Fisher, M. D. - astronaut
- James McBride, writer
- Al Roker, meteorologist
- Karl Grossman, professor of journalism and journalist
- Father Robert S. Smith, American Catholic priest, author, and educator
- Roy Wilkins, Longtime NAACP Head. Civil Rights activist
- "2010 Census Data for Zip Code 11412". Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Map of Queens neighborhoods". Archived from the original on 2008-08-22.
- "Street boundaries of Queens Community Boards". Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- "PDF color map of NYC Community Boards". Retrieved 2009-12-19.
- "1929... News". "LOWERRE Secured Light Charles LOWERRE, treasurer of the St. Albans Lions Club, has succeeded in having the Police Department promise to put a traffic control light at the Foch and Farmers boulevard intersection at St. Albans." The 1930 census has marginal notations for Foch Blvd from 189th St to 196th St - and no notations for Linden Blvd.
- "Street Name Changes in Queens, NY (E to F)". Presumably the name Foch was chosen to honor Marshal Ferdinand Foch, following World War I.
- "Queens, NY Street Name Changes (1914-May 1951)".
- Gottlieb, Jeff (January 2006). "History of Jamaica" (PDF). Central Queens Historical Association. Retrieved 2009-10-17.[dead link]
- "Baisley Pond Park". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "1880 Census: sample Francis family in Queens". Retrieved 2013-01-29. Other records indicate at least some of these lived in an area then called Jamaica South and/or Springfield.
- Francis households in Jamaica, Queens, in 1880 census
- 1890 Marriages and Deaths from the South Side Observer
- 1884 Jamaica Deaths
- Springfield Cemetery - pg 1
- Springfield Cemetery - pg 2
- Jamaica baptisms
- 1873 map of Town of Jamaica with a W. Francis living west of railroad tracks
- 1891 map of Town of Jamaica with a W. Francis living west of railroad tracks
- 1909 map showing a subdivision of Francis farm in the Addisleigh Park area - earlier subdivision east of the LIRR was called "The Terrace"
- "1909 map". St Albans Avenue was name of 118th Ave east of 196th Street. (Francis Lewis Boulevard is not on the map.) Also, St. Albans Place was the name of 121st Road. (See Queens, NY, Street Name Changes 1914-May 1951.)
- "1910 map". Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- "1898 map showing Locust Ave station in St. Albans on the Rockaway Branch of the LIRR" (JPG).
- "St.Albans Station photos".(This indicates trains stopped in 1897)
- Copquin, Claudia Gryvatz (2007). The neighborhoods of Queens. p. 193.
- "St. Albans' New School House Dedicated Last Night". Brooklyn Eagle. 1895-12-12.. Mentions 1894 split from Hollis. See also full article and sketch of school: "Brooklyn Eagle" (PDF). 1895-12-12.
- "Street Name Changes in Queens, NY : Old to New : R to S". Retrieved 2013-07-05.
- "Queens Site Seized For Naval Hospital: Work Begun on St. Albans Golf Course as U.S. Files Notice". NY Times. May 19, 1942. p. 40. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
- "Hospital to Hold Fete; Naval Facility in St. Albans to Celebrate Its 17th Year". NY Times. February 14, 1960. p. 71. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
- Hirshon, Nicholas (April 8, 2008). "Queens building boom knocking out link to players like Babe Ruth". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2009-03-17. "To build the U.S. Naval Hospital at Linden Blvd. and 179th St. in 1950, crews destroyed the historic St. Albans Golf Club, where Yankees icon Babe Ruth played regularly from the late 1920s through the 1940s." See also:
- Bilefsky, Dan. "For New Life, Blacks in City Head to South." The New York Times. June 21, 2011. Retrieved on April 16, 2014. 1. Retrieved on April 16, 2014.
- "List of Queens RC Parishes & Schools". Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- Johnson, Kirk (February 2, 1997). "Black Workers Bear Big Burden As Jobs in Government Dwindle". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-20. "Its roots and its reputation as New York's premier black middle class enclave go back further than that, to the 1940's, when Count Basie and Lena Horne and Jackie Robinson made their homes in St. Albans."
- Cowan, Jane (2008). "Addisleigh Park: Enclave of Greats in African-American History, Wholly Intact 20th Century Garden City Suburb and Site of Important American Housing History" (PDF). Historic Districts Council. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- Polland, Jennifer. "They May Have Played Harlem But They Lived Here". Queens Tribune. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- "The Jazzmen of Queens". Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- "Queenswalk: A Look at St. Albans". Brownstoner Queens. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- Shams Tarek. "The Rebirth of Cool: A Jazz Renaissance In Southeast Queens". Southeast Queens Press.
- Joseph Plambeck (December 5, 2008). "Living In St. Albans, Queens; Bluesy Home Market With a Jazzy Past". NY Times. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- "L.L. Cool J Biography".
- "biography at African American Registry". Retrieved 2013-06-19.
- "Famous residents of St. Albans, New York". P.S.36Q, The St. Albans School. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- "1955 TIME article on Campanella". Time. August 8, 1955. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "Bob Cousy Timeline" (PDF). College of the Holy Cross. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- "Bomber Optimistic".
- "Mike Merriweather". databaseFootball.com. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- Heinz, W.C. (November 1960). "The Floyd Patterson His Friends Know". SPORT magazine. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- Phillips, Harry (March 18, 1957). "Memo From The Publisher". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "African American Greats in Queens".
- "Encarta article on Fisher". Archived from the original on 2009-08-29. Retrieved 2013-07-05.
- "They Came from Queens". Retrieved 2009-03-09.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Albans, Queens.|
- Queens Jazz Trail
- Jazz Tour of Queens
- "St. Albans Lot Sale", Brooklyn Eagle, June 30, 1902
- 1990 Population Demographics
- 1898 map of area shows Baisley Blvd, Farmers Blvd, Linden Blvd, and LIRR line which runs through St. Albans
- More on famous residents, including former addresses
- Queens Library article on St. Albans
- Excerpts from To Stand and Fight: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City by Martha Biondi
- Some History of Addisleigh Park