Woodside, Queens

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For other places with the same name, see Woodside (disambiguation).
Neighborhoods of New York City
Little Manila on Roosevelt Avenue
Little Manila on Roosevelt Avenue
Country United States
State New York
County Queens
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 89,830
 • White 33.0%
 • Hispanic 38.0%
 • Asian 29.0%
 • Median income $49,415
ZIP code 11377
Area code(s) 718, 347, 917, 929

Woodside is a working class and commercial neighborhood in the western portion of the New York City borough of Queens. It is bordered on the south by Maspeth, on the north by Astoria, on the west by Sunnyside and on the east by Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Some areas are widely residential and very quiet, while others (especially closer to Roosevelt Avenue) are more urban. The neighborhood is located in Queens Community Board 1 and Queens Community Board 2.[2]

In the 19th century the area was part of the Town of Newtown (now Elmhurst). The adjacent area of Winfield was largely incorporated into the post office serving Woodside and as a consequence Winfield lost much of its identity distinct from Woodside.

With large-scale residential development in the 1860s, Woodside became the largest Irish American community in Queens. In the early 1930s, the area was approximately 80% Irish.[3] Even as the neighborhood has seen growth in ethnic diversity today, the area still retains a strong Irish American presence. There are a number of Irish pubs and restaurants scattered across Woodside.


Main article: Woodside history

Settled by farmers in the early 18th century,[4] Woodside was first developed on a large scale beginning in 1867 by speculative residential neighborhood builder Benjamin W. Hitchcock, who also founded Corona and Ozone Park, and John Andrew Kelly.[5] The neighborhood's location about three miles from Hunter's Point on the Long Island Railroad line made it an ideal location for a new suburban community. In 1874, the New York Times described Woodside:

At Woodside there are now 100 houses erected, chiefly of the villa-cottage order, and thirty trains daily stop at the station, making it, via the Hunter's Point and James Slip Ferry, less than forty-five minutes from the lower part of the city. Woodside is located on sloping ground, having a good elevation, and pleasing, though not very diversified scenery. There is an abundance of good fruit trees in the vicinity...[6]

Demographics and culture[edit]

The character of Woodside's population, in terms of national origin, has changed radically over time. Its first inhabitants were Native Americans, probably of the Mespeatches, who gave their name to the town of Maspeth.[7] The first European landowners were mainly Dutch and English and their laborers mainly British, African (slaves), and American Indian. During the nineteenth century, Germans largely took over from these first settlers. In addition to the major Germanic landowners already mentioned (the Kellys—whose name was originally Kölle—Riker, Schroeder, Schmidt, Sussdorf, and Windmuller), the first purchasers of Hitchcock's little plots were largely of German extraction. They included men with names like Eberhardt, Groeber, and Schlepergrel.[8] Beginning at the close of the 19th century and through most of the 20th, growing numbers of Irish residents arrived and Woodside eventually became Irish enough to earn the nickname "Irish Town."[9][10][11][12][13] A major turning point in the transition from German to Irish occurred in 1901 when the Greater New York Irish Athletic Association formally opened a large athletic complex called Celtic Park on the border between Woodside and Laurel Hill, its neighbor to the south.[14] A second turning point was the death of Louis Windmuller, the last of the German estate owners. Prominent in local as well as city and national affairs, he was called the "grand old man" or "patriarch" of Woodside.[15][16] Although the estate did not go out of his heirs' hands until the close of the Depression and beginning of World War II, his passing nonetheless helps mark Woodside's transition from country village to suburban bedroom community.[17][18][19]

Toward the end of the 20th century, Irish dominance gradually yielded to a mixture of other nationalities. After World War II, baby-boomers born in the area were primarily of Irish, Italian and Jewish extraction. Gradually, Dominicans and other nationalities began to make an appearance in the community, beginning in the late 1960's. A trend of diversity began then, and has continued since. This diversity has been remarked upon by many observers and can be shown in residents' places of worship. For example, the Winfield Reformed Church began in 1880 as a Dutch Calvinist church and in 1969 became the first Taiwanese congregation in America. Others of Woodside's places of worship now include ones that are Hindu, Thai Buddhist, Romanian Orthodox, Filipino, Korean, Chinese, and Bahrainian. Woodside has a strong Muslim community and is home of a large, multipurpose organization, the Islamic Institute of New York. Among St. Sebastian Mass-goers, a priest reports that are about 45% are Hispanic (particularly from Colombia and Mexico), 25% Irish, 25% Filipino, and 5% Korean.[20] An article published in 1999 says that Woodsiders come from 49 countries and speak 34 different languages.[13][21]

In the early 1990s, many Asian American families moved into the area, particularly east of the 61st Street – Woodside subway station. In 2000, Woodside's population was 30% Asian American. Woodside has a large population of Thai Americans, Korean Americans, Chinese Americans and Filipino Americans (see Koreatown, Chinatown, and Filipinotown), each with their own respective ethnic enclave. There are also South Asian Americans, particularly Indian Americans, Bangladeshi Americans, and Pakistani Americans, as well as a large Dominican and Latino population.[22] Reflecting its longtime diverse foods and drink, the neighborhood is filled with many cultural restaurants and pubs. It is also home to some of the city's most popular Thai, Filipino, Colombian, and Ecuadorian eateries. Woodside's diversity lends itself to a number of festivals and street fairs. It commemorates Saint Patrick's Day with a parade prior to the famous celebration in Manhattan. Woodside also hosts several events in the summer, including an Independence Day street fair.

Little Manila[edit]

A "Little Manila" stretches from 63rd-71st Streets on Roosevelt Avenue, where many Filipino-owned businesses have flocked to serve Woodside's large Filipino American community. Woodside hosts the annual "Bayanihan Cultural Festival" at the Hart Playground in September in commemoration of the Filipino American History Month. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are advocates of the event.[23]

St. Patrick's Day Parade[edit]

Woodside hosts New York City's only Saint Patrick's Day parade that invites members of New York City's Gay and Lesbian Irish community to march - the St. Pat's For All Parade.[24]

The parade has attracted such politicians as former NYC mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, Jason West (mayor of New Paltz, New York), New York Congressman Joseph Crowley (who represents the district), former United States Senator Hillary Clinton and others.

Structures and corporations[edit]

The neighborhood has many places of worship, as well as many schools (including PS 11, PS 12, PS 151, PS 152, PS 229, IS 125, Corpus Christi Elementary School, Saint Sebastian's Elementary School, and Razi School). The parks in the area include Doughboy Park,[25] Windmueller Park, Big Bush Park,[26] and Laurel Hill Park. Winfield Reformed Church is also located in Woodside.

The Bulova Corporation has its headquarters in northern Woodside.[27]


Former trolley car barn

Woodside is easily accessed from the rest of the city. The IRT Flushing Line (7 <7> trains) of the New York City Subway has stations at 52nd (local), 61st (express) and 69th Streets (local) on Roosevelt Avenue; the IND Queens Boulevard Line local services (E M R trains) make stops at Northern Boulevard and 65th Street along Broadway.[28]

The 61st Street station provides a direct connection to the Woodside station of the LIRR. The Q18, Q32, Q39, Q47, Q53, Q60, and Q70 buses connect Woodside to the rest of Queens; the Q32 and Q60 run to Manhattan, and the Q70 goes to LaGuardia Airport via Roosevelt Avenue / 74th Street.[29]

Access by car is provided by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278) and Long Island Expressway (I-495).

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Queens Community Boards". New York City. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  3. ^ Baylor, Ronald H.; Meagher, Timothy J. (1996). The New York Irish. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 414. ISBN 0-8018-5199-8. 
  4. ^ Margaret E. Brennan (March 1983). "Woodside of Long Ago!". Woodsider 6 (8). Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "'queens Library Community and Library History (Woodside)". Queens Library. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "History of Maspeth". Maspeth Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Woodside News. Weekly Record of Doings in Our Wide-Awake Neighbors". Brooklyn Daily Star. October 27, 1899. 
  9. ^ "Pioneers of Woodside, Story of the Early Residents of the Lately Famous Long Island Village. MARKS OF GERMAN INFLUENCE; Story of the Freedle Family from the Time of the Napoleonic Wars -- The Rikers, Kellys, and Howells on the Old Farm" (PDF). New York Times. August 1, 1897. 
  10. ^ Kenneth T. Jackson; Lisa Keller; Nancy Flood (December 1, 2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. Yale University Press. pp. 4981–. ISBN 978-0-300-18257-6. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Who Lives in Woodside?". PS 229 Woodside. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ Joseph P. Fried (August 13, 1990). "The Changing City; Woodside, Queens; New Accents and Old Brogue Quietly Reshape Woodside". New York times. 
  13. ^ a b Susan Sachs (December 26, 1999). "From a Babel of Tongues, a Neighborhood: THE NEWCOMERS. The World Comes to Woodside". New York Times. 
  14. ^ Ian McGowan. "A Brief History of Celtic Park". Winged Fist Organization. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Patriarch Saves His Lawn". New York Daily Tribune. April 30, 1910. 
  16. ^ "Notables Who Walk". Brooklyn Daily Star. February 7, 1913. 
  17. ^ "Mathews Buys Large Tract in Woodside; Windmuller Property; Last Large Vacant Plot in Section". Brooklyn Daily Star. September 27, 1942. 
  18. ^ "Old Windmuller Tract, Woodside, Urged for Park; Wooded Tract Offers Ideal Site, Resident Points Out". Brooklyn Daily Star. July 22, 1929. 
  19. ^ "Windmuller Park". Historical Signs Project. City of New York Parks & Recreation. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ Mae Cheng (2001). "Immigrants and Religion: Spirit of Home in House of God: Faith keeps immigrant groups together". ASNE, 209 Reynolds Journalism Institute. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  21. ^ Kavita Mokha (November 12, 2010). "Tastes on Woodside Avenue". Wall Street Journal. 
  22. ^ Sheftell, Jason (2009-08-14). "Think NYC isn't affordable? Check out Woodside". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ St Pats for All
  25. ^ "Doughboy Park". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  26. ^ "Big Bush Park". New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  27. ^ "Contact Us". Bulova Corporation. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  28. ^ "Woodside". 
  29. ^ Queens Bus Map
  30. ^ Sullivan, Robert (1996-09-01). "The Seanachie". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 

External links[edit]

Scheff, Jonathan (2006-07-20). "Woodside, Queens: A comfortable life in Queens". Tribune Company (AM New York). Retrieved 2008-04-12. [dead link]

Coordinates: 40°44′43″N 73°54′17″W / 40.74526°N 73.90480°W / 40.74526; -73.90480