Atlantic Beach, New York

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Atlantic Beach, New York
Atlantic Beach
Atlantic Beach
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York.
Coordinates: 40°35′24″N 73°43′54″W / 40.59000°N 73.73167°W / 40.59000; -73.73167Coordinates: 40°35′24″N 73°43′54″W / 40.59000°N 73.73167°W / 40.59000; -73.73167
Country United States
State New York
 • MayorGeorge Pappas (R)[1]
 • Total1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)
 • Land0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
 • Water0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
16 ft (5 m)
 • Total1,891
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,900/sq mi (730/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)516
FIPS code36-02968
GNIS feature ID0942673
Aerial view; the left half is Atlantic Beach
U.S. Census Map

Atlantic Beach is a village in New York and one of the wealthiest beach towns in America. It is located off the South Shore of Long Island in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York, United States.[3][4] It is located on Long Beach Barrier Island, one of the outer barrier islands which it shares with Long Beach, East Atlantic Beach, Lido Beach and Point Lookout. To the North, Atlantic Beach is bordered by Reynold's Channel and East Rockaway Inlet. Atlantic Beach is home to the oldest beach club in the United States, the Lawrence Beach Club.[5] The village is a "high-class private setting exclusively for the rich with many mansions and summer homes priced in the millions".[6]

Jetty extending into the Atlantic Ocean

As of the 2010 United States Census, the village population was 1,891.[7]

During the summer months, the population swells by thousands as people flood the beaches[8][9][10] and the summer residents move in.[11] Atlantic Beach residents may obtain season passes and access the beaches through nine entrances.[12][13][14] It has been described as the "Genuine 'Old New York' paradise".[15]

Cultural and literary references[edit]

Film and literature[edit]




The first real interest in the barrier island of Atlantic Beach came in 1922 when Robert Moses, the famous highway builder and public works czar, and Chairman of the State Council of Parks, included Atlantic beach as part of his "State Park Plan for New York". The blueprint, which is on file at the archives in Albany, showed a parkway from central Queens to a bridge crossing Reynolds Channel with architecturally refined facilities for thousands of beach goers; unfortunately however, cost overruns on many of Mr. Moses' other projects at the time and other factors dampened his plans which were ultimately abandoned.

Founding and Early History[edit]

In 1923, the village's first developer, Atlantic Beach Associates led by Stephen P. Pettit(1880-1925), a former Nassau County Sheriff and banker from Freeport, N.Y., had dreams of creating a place that would rival the City of Long Beach, which was created by a Politician and amusement park operator named William H. Reynolds. He died just after buying land for 3,500 lots in Atlantic Beach.[19]

In 1926, real estate tycoon William Austin (Official. William Austin Jr.), who graduated from Yale University, with his associate, Charles N. Talbot Jr, formed Island Park Associates which purchased the land for $4,000,000.[20] William Austin was married to Actress Josephine Sanders, better known as Irene Delroy;[21] the wedding was officiated by Mayor James J. Walker on July 15, 1931[22][23]. Austin and Talbot completed Pettit's preliminary dredging and. shoring work, and proceeded to subdivide the property. They installed gas and electricity lines, and a sanitary sewer system was installed in 1927. They began selling land and building homes; the first 45 of the 150 homes they planned on building were financed using a mortgage from The Title Guarantee and Trust Company. The. homes were all designed with seven rooms, two baths, private detached garages on 48' x 88' lots and were built in a wide array of styles. Mr. Austin finished Petitt's plan to build a bridge between Far Rockaway and Atlantic beach, which was opened and dedicated on June 29, 1927. A boardwalk was planned for the entire ocean side but, as constructed, it was about a mile long, stretching from west of The Plaza and extending beyond Vernon Avenue, and double the width of the boardwalk which exists today.

The Castles Beach Club opened in May 1928, which contained one of the largest pools on the South Shore of Long Island.[24] The Atlantic Beach Club,[25] later known as the Atlantic Beach Hotel and Cabana Club, the ABH, opened in 1930[26][27] and plans were announced for the building of the Casa del Mar(later the Nautilus Hotel[28]), an apartment hotel, which upon completion became an overnight sensation and, in August 1930, the new homeowners in Atlantic Beach joined together and formed the Atlantic Beach Property Owner's Association. The United States Olympic Diving team practiced at the Atlantic Beach Hotel

The community attracted the wealthy due to its resort atmosphere produced by the beach clubs. Atlantic Beach was frequented by Mayor Jimmy Walker who was a personal friend of Village founder William L. Austin, Jean Arthur, Tallulah Bankhead, Guy Lombardo, Peter Lorre, and other members of the social register.[29][30] Atlantic beach is sometimes referred to as the “Palm Beach of New York”, and is to many a summer paradise.[31][32] Later on, in the 1960s, the village was frequented by the Kennedy's.[33] The village was a big draw when the Hamptons were just a pile of sand.[34]


During Prohibition, local swimmers would guide dories(Small boats) full of alcohol to shore from Canadian Ships anchored nearby.[6]

World War II[edit]

Atlantic Beach became of vital importance to the government during World War II. A 120-foot concrete lookout tower was constructed at the tip of Silverpoint with both the bridge and its access to Silverpoint being designated as emergency military routes in time of war. During this time, homeowners also patrolled the beaches for signs of enemy submarines. By the end of World War II, Atlantic Beach had become a summer mecca with thousands of city dweller clogging what were then only local streets through both the Rockaways and the Five towns.[35][6] Beach clubs helped to support the war effort by abiding by dim-out requirements, offering bus service, installing bike racks, and some even allowed their guest to stay overnight(Which now is strictly forbidden).[36][37] The Ocean Club(at the time known as the Ocean Club of Forest Hills) held an acclaimed social events in support of the war effort.[38]

The New Atlantic Beach Bridge[edit]

On October 14, 1950, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Atlantic Beach Bridge was held and the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new bridge was held on May 10, 1952.

The New Boardwalk[edit]

In June 1953, the reconstruction of the Boardwalk from The Plaza to Putnam was completed. This is the same boardwalk that stands today. This boardwalk was half the width and shorter than the prior boardwalk.

Resistance to Development[edit]

Many of the beach club's owners have tried to buy additional lots in the village, however, most attempts has been rebuffed by the village board; the residents are staunchly opposed to any development that is not in-line with the character of the village, even until this day.[39][40][41][42][43][44] A relatively recent attempt to develop beachside condos was supported by former Senator D'Amato, however, it failed.[45] Additionally, residents have opposed the construction of an Eruv, since Atlantic Beach residents do not want Atlantic Beach to be overrun like Lawrence and Cedarhurst have been.[46][47]

Fight for Incorporation[edit]

Before incorporation in 1962, the residents were banded together in a property owners’ association. Before the incorporation,[48][49] it turned over the deeds to the community's beaches to the Town of Hempstead and for a while, everything was fine. However, according to Mayor Lager “, the town tried to extend the use of the beaches to everyone in the town and we fought it.[50] The town's response to our objections was, in effect, ‘Sue us'. So we sought permission to be incorporated as a village from the county[51] and when we finally won our village status the deeds automatically reverted to the village.” The Village held its first elections in June 1962. Fred Lager was the mayor for the first 28 years until 1996. Initially, they were not granted zoning powers,[52][53] however, zoning powers were fought for,[54] and taken over by the village in 2002.[55][56][57] As of 2011, Atlantic Beach is the only village on the island that has been incorporated since 1938.[58][59] The Atlantic Beach Village Office at 60 park street officially opened on November 18, 1962.

Modern History[edit]

The new Atlantic Beach Village Hall at 65 The Plaza officially opened on June 6, 1971.

During the 1970s, a player for The New York Ranger's died in Atlantic Beach following a fight with one of his fellow players.[60][61]

In the 1970s there was controversy regarding allegations by a geologist that NYC was dumping sludge and oil, that allegedly affected Atlantic Beach.[62][63][64]

In 1984, Atlantic Beach's Ocean Club was sued for allegedly discriminating against Jewish Guest and Jewish Applicants.[65]

During the 1980s, many of the celebrities and summer residents moved out towards the Hamptons. Some residents from Long Beach moved into Atlantic Beach as they became wealthier.[66]

In 1991, an African American resident of the village named Alfred Jermaine Ewell was beaten up and hospitalized after a Lawrence public school graduation event in the village.[67] Later, Reverend Al Sharpton bussed in people and led a march from the town of Inwood to Atlantic Beach;[68] He received mix results, as Atlantic Beach is a very open and welcoming community. Additionally, the boy's mother decided not to partake in the march.[68] Later, people were tried, and a man was found guilty of the attack.[69][70]

In 1996, Stephen Mahler took over from Fred Lager, as mayor. Mayor Lager was the first mayor of the incorporated village of Atlantic Beach.[71]

In 2007 It was rumored that President Donald Trump's Trump Organization and Toll Brothers wanted to develop the oceanfront, however this has not come to fruition.[41]

In 2012, Atlantic beach was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy.[72][73][74]

Many young buyers, including people from Manhattan's Upper East Side, have snapped up Atlantic Beach houses as they grew tired of commuting three or more hours to the Hamptons or the Jersey Shore. However, there are only three oceanfront homes in the Village, most of the homes are either not on the water, or they face Reynold's channel. There are many summer-time rentals in the village.[75][76]

In 2014, George Pappas assumed the Mayorship from Stephen Mahler, who had served as Mayor for the previous 18 years.[71] Councilman Bruce Blakeman represents the Village of Atlantic Beach, Atlantic Beach Estates and East Atlantic Beach.

During the summer of 2016,[77] a paddle-boarder named from the village was found dead at sea.[78][79] Billionaire, former NYC Mayor, and Former Presidential Candidate Mike Bloomberg, spoke at his funeral.[80]

There are still many beach clubs along the beach. There is also an old-age home called the Nautilus.[81] A development called Pebble Cove was built along the Ocean between Putnam Blvd and Vernon Avenue. Pebble Cove is a 48-town-house complex with gated security and a swimming pool.[82][83][84]

During the summer of 2019, there was an article about an Uber driver who kidnapped a girl from Atlantic Beach.[85][86][87][88]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20181,398[2]−26.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[89]

As of the census[90] of 2010, there were 1,891 people, 857 households, and 523[91] families residing in the village. The population density was 3,782 people per square mile (1454.6/km2). There were 1091 housing units at an average density of 2,182 per square mile (1,678/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.61% White, 0.63% African American, 0.95% Asian, 1.11% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.09% of the population[92]. The median age was 53.5 years[93] For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.

According to the 2018 American Community Survey, the population was 1,398, and the median age was 56.3 years old. 2.0% of the population was under 5 years old. 84% of the population was older than 18 and 26% was older than 65 years old. Of the village's population, 9.8% spoke a language other than english at home. 94.1% of the population. was white alone. 12.1% of the population was disabled.The median income for a household in the village was $139,250. Males had a median income of $108,333 versus $94,063 for females. The per capita income for the village was $44,035. About 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line,[94]

Notable Residents[edit]

The Vanderbilt family, a prominent shipping and railroading family, founded by patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Ethel Barrymore, American Actress and member of the Barrymore family.

Al Goodman, musician and broadway conductor. [95]

Bruce Blakeman, first Presiding Officer of Nassau County and Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Anthony Carfano, leader of the Luciano crime family.[96]

Michele Miranda, Leader of the Genovese Crime Family.[97][98]

Nancy Shevell McCartney, the third wife of Beatle Paul McCartney, and heiress to the Shevell Group[99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106][107][108]

Jon Heyman, Sports Journalist.[109]

J. Ezra Merkin, Bernie Madoff Investor, and former chairman of GMAC, or as it is better known, Ally Financial. [110]

Max Stern, prominent Jewish-American billionaire, founder of Hartz Mountain Corporation, and namesake of Stern College.

Leonard Stern, prominent Jewish-American billionaire, philanthropist, and namesake of the NYU Stern School of Business. [111][112]

Henry Swieca, Jewish-American billionaire and co-founder of Highbridge Capital Management. [113][114]

Ira Rennert, prominent Jewish-American billionaire, and the Chairman and CEO of Renco Group. [115]

Rankings and Distinctions[edit]

Wildlife and Geography[edit]

Access and Street Layout[edit]

The blocks are in alphabetical order named after counties in New York State and are in alphabetical order from A-Z, with the exception of X and Z. There are three main roads that intersect these blocks in the Village, Bay Blvd, Park Street, and Ocean Blvd. As Park Street enters into East Atlantic Beach, it becomes Beech Street. The blocks in West Atlantic Beach are from A-G. There are four main roads that intersect these roads, Ocean Blvd, Pacific Blvd, Atlantic Blvd(Continuation of Park Street), and Bay Blvd.

Atlantic beach is connected to the rest of Long Island by the Atlantic Beach Bridge. Atlantic Beach has the only toll-bridge in Nassau County, the Atlantic Beach Bridge, which charges a $2.00 toll; E-ZPass is not accepted. Decals are available for purchase.[121][122] In 1952, the original bridge was replaced by the Nassau County Bridge Authority. The toll is somewhat controversial due to allegations of patronage, however, Atlantic Beach residents support it since it helps to control traffic in the village.[123][124][125] The bridge is notorious for frequently opening to let ships through.[126]

Recreational Facilities and Parks[edit]

Atlantic beach residents have access to a 10-court tennis center, that is leased out to a private company. Currently, Resident memberships are $1750 for the 2020 summer season.[127] The club has been under construction in an effort to make it more luxurious for the residents.[128]

There is a 22 foot wide boardwalk by the beach, that runs from Albany to Putnam.[129]

There are a few playgrounds scattered throughout the village.


  • Atlantic Beach has an artificial Reef located off of its shores [130]
  • Atlantic Beach is home to a population of the rare and endangered bird species Piping Plovers[131]
    A picture of seabirds in Atlantic Beach, New York.

Government and politics[edit]

Politically, Atlantic Beach leans Republican but only very slightly. In the 2008 presidential election Republican John McCain won Atlantic Beach over Democrat Barack Obama 52%-47%.

The Atlantic Beach Fire District is responsible for providing fire and emergency ambulance services for the majority of the village. Atlantic Beach, however, does not have its own fire department, and therefore contracts out fire protection to the Long Beach Fire Department, with the exception of the Silver Point Beach Club and Sun and Surf Beach Club, which are protected by the Inwood Fire Department.

Emergency ambulance services are provided by a combination of Atlantic Beach Rescue Squad[132][133] and the Long Beach Fire Department, again, with the exception of the Silver Point and Sun and Surf Beach Clubs, which are covered by the Inwood Fire Department.[134] The Atlantic Beach Rescue Unit officially went into service in 1975.[58]

Police protection is provided by the 4th Precinct of the Nassau County Police Department. The village also maintains its own small civilian security patrol. Atlantic Beach is an incorporated village, and has its own Zoning and Building Depts, including a Board of Zoning Appeals . New York State Assemblyperson Melissa Miller (R - 20th District), elected in 2016, was born, raised and currently still lives in Atlantic Beach.

See also[edit]


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