Atlantic Beach, New York

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Atlantic Beach, New York
Incorporated Village of Atlantic Beach
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
County Nassau County, New York
Incorporated1962
Government
 • MayorGeorge Pappas (R)[1]
Area
 • Total1.04 sq mi (2.69 km2)
 • Land0.44 sq mi (1.14 km2)
 • Water0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)
Elevation
16 ft (5 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total1,891
 • Estimate 
(2019)[3]
1,902
 • Density4,332.57/sq mi (1,671.97/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
11509
Area code(s)516
FIPS code36-02968
GNIS feature ID0942673
Websitewww.villageofatlanticbeach.com
Aerial view; the left half is Atlantic Beach
U.S. Census Map

Atlantic Beach is a village in New York. It is located off the South Shore of Long Island in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York, United States.[4][5] As of the 2010 United States Census, the village population was 1,891.[6]

The Incorporated Village of Atlantic Beach 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 Reynolds Channel and East Rockaway Inlet. Atlantic Beach is home to the oldest beach club in the United States, the Lawrence Beach Club.[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]

Jetty extending into the Atlantic Ocean

History[edit]

Conception[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, a former Nassau County Sheriff and banker from Freeport, 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.[16]

In 1926, real estate tycoon William Austin, who graduated from Yale University with his associate, Charles N. Talbot Jr, formed Island Park Associates which purchased the land for $4,000,000.[17] William Austin was married to Actress Josephine Sanders, better known as Irene Delroy;[18] the wedding was officiated by Mayor James J. Walker on July 15, 1931[19][20]. 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.[21] The Atlantic Beach Club,[22] later known as the Atlantic Beach Hotel and Cabana Club, the ABH, opened in 1930[23][24] and plans were announced for the building of the Casa Del Mar (later the Nautilus Hotel)[25]), 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. Many members of the social register frequented or lived in Atlantic Beach.[26][27] Atlantic Beach is sometimes referred to as the “Palm Beach of New York”, and is to many a summer paradise.[28][29] Later on, in the 1960s, the village was frequented by the Kennedy's.[30] The village was a big draw when the Hamptons were just a pile of sand.[31]

Prohibition[edit]

During Prohibition, local swimmers would guide dories(Small boats) full of alcohol to shore from Canadian Ships anchored nearby.[32]

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.[33][32] 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).[34][35] 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.[36]

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.

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.[37][38][39][40][41][42] A relatively recent attempt to develop beachside condos was supported by former Senator D'Amato, however, it failed.[43] Additionally, residents have opposed the construction of an Eruv, since Atlantic Beach residents did not want Atlantic Beach to be as filled with Orthodox Jews as the neighboring towns of Lawrence and Cedarhurst had become. In 1989, one resident told the New York Times that they thought the eruv would encourage the "ghettoization" of the community. As of 2020, there is an eruv in Atlantic Beach, which is fully operational and checked weekly.[44][45][46]

Fight for incorporation[edit]

Before incorporation in 1962, the residents were banded together in a property owners’ association. Before the incorporation, it turned over the deeds to the community's beaches to the Town of Hempstead and for a while, everything was fine.[47][48] However, according to Mayor Lager “, the town tried to extend the use of the beaches to everyone in the town and we fought it.[49] 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 and when we finally won our village status the deeds automatically reverted to the village.”[50] 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,[51][52] however, zoning powers were fought for,[53] and taken over by the village in 2002.[54][55][56][57] The Atlantic Beach Village Office at 60 park street officially opened on November 18, 1962.

As of 2021, Atlantic Beach remains the only village in Nassau County to have incorporated itself after the county charter was amended in the 1930s.[57][58][59]

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 guests and 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 Donald Trump's Trump Organization and Toll Brothers wanted to develop the oceanfront, however this has not come to fruition.[39]

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]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19701,640
19801,7758.2%
19901,9338.9%
20001,9862.7%
20101,891−4.8%
2019 (est.)1,902[3]0.6%
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]

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.[130][131] 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.[132][133][134] The bridge is notorious for frequently opening to let ships through.[135]

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.[136] The club has been under construction in an effort to make it more luxurious for the residents.[137]

There is a 22 foot wide boardwalk by the beach, that runs from Albany to Putnam.[138]

There are a few playgrounds scattered throughout the village.

Wildlife[edit]

  • Atlantic Beach has an artificial Reef located off of its shores [139]
  • Atlantic Beach is home to a population of the rare and endangered bird species Piping Plovers[140]
    A picture of seabirds in Atlantic Beach, New York.

Government and politics[edit]

The Village of Atlantic Beach is governed by a five-person board consisting of the mayor and four trustees, each of whom is elected to a two-year term.[141] On July 14, 2014, George Pappas succeeded Stephen Mahler as Mayor.[142]

Mayors of Atlantic Beach
Name Term
Fred Lager 1962-1988
John Faulhaber 1988-1990
Fred Lager 1990-1992
Earliene Shipper 1992-1996
Stephen Mahler 1996-2014
George pappas 2014-2022
[142]

The Village has its own Zoning and Building Departments, including a Board of Zoning Appeals .

The Atlantic Beach Fire District, a special district of the Town of Hempstead,[143] is responsible for providing fire and emergency ambulance services for 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[144][145] 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.[146] 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.[147] The village also maintains its own security patrol.

The Greater Atlantic Beach Water Reclamation District provides sewage services to the Village as well as to East Atlantic Beach, and Atlantic Beach Estates.[148]

Atlantic Beach is represented by Councilman Bruce Blakeman in the Town of Hempstead(R-3rd). The Village is represented by Denise Ford(R-4th) in the Nassau County Legislature.[149] The Village is represented by Melissa Miller(R,C,I-Atlantic Beach),[150] a lifelong village resident, in the State Assembly. In the State Senate, the village is represented by Todd Kaminsky(D-Long Beach).[151] In the United States House of Representatives, Atlantic Beach is represented by Rep. Kathleen Rice(D-NY).[152] In the United States Senate, Atlantic Beach is represented by Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand.[153]

In popular culture[edit]

Film and literature[edit]

Television[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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