Forest Hills, Queens
|Neighborhood of Queens|
|City||New York City|
|• Total||7 km2 (2.6 sq mi)|
|• Land||6 km2 (2.4 sq mi)|
|• Water||0.5 km2 (0.2 sq mi)|
|• Density||13,470/km2 (34,886/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917|
Forest Hills is an upper-middle-class, mostly residential neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City. Originally, the area was referred to as "Whitepot". It is bounded by Burns Street to the north, Union Turnpike to the east, Greenway South and Harrow Street to the south, and Tennis Place and Continental Avenue to the west.
Forest Hills has a great tradition of tennis, with Forest Hills Stadium having hosted the U.S. Open until 1978 and the West Side Tennis Club offering pristine grass courts for its members. Bustling Austin Street bisects Forest Hills and boasts lots of restaurants and chain stores. Forest Hills is bordered by Flushing Meadows–Corona Park and Forest Park.
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The development of adjacent Forest Park, a park on the southern end of Forest Hills, began in 1895. Starting in 1896, the landscaping firm of Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot was contracted to provide a plan for the park.:428
In 1906, Brooklyn attorney Cord Meyer bought abutting land made up of six farms (those of Ascan Bakus, Casper Joost-Springsteen, Horatio N. Squire, Abram V. S. Lott, Sarah V. Bolmer, and James Van Siclen) and then renamed the aggregated 600 acres Forest Hills. There is a street named after Ascan Bakus, Ascan Avenue, in Forest Hills today. In 1909, Margaret Sage, who founded the Russell Sage Foundation, bought 142 acres (0.57 km2) of land from the Cord Meyer Development Company. Grosvenor Atterbury, a renowned architect, was given the commission to design Forest Hills Gardens. The neighborhood was planned on the model of the garden communities of England. As a result, there are many Tudor-style homes in Forest Hills, some more sprawling ones located in Forest Hills Gardens while most are located in the Cord-Meyer section (loosely bounded by 68th Avenue on the north; 72nd Road on the south; 108th Street on the west; and Grand Central Parkway on the east). The construction of this area used a prefabricated building technique; each house was built from approximately 170 standardized precast concrete panels, fabricated off-site and positioned by crane. In 1913, the West Side Tennis Club moved from Manhattan to Forest Hills Gardens. The U.S. Open and its predecessor national championships were held there until 1978, making Forest Hills synonymous with tennis for generations.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Forest Hills was 86,364 a increase of 1,318 (1.5%) from the 85,046 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,328.22 acres (537.51 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 63.0 inhabitants per acre (40,300/sq mi; 15,600/km2).
Forest Hills has one of the highest percentage of residents working from home in the borough of Queens. Forest Hills has 4.4% of employed residents who work from home.
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 58.3% (48,822) White, 2.5% (2,086) African American, 0.1% (63) Native American, 24.2% (20,233) Asian, 0.0% (22) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (373) from other races, and 2.1% (1,719) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.4% (10,410) of the population.
The southern part of Forest Hills contains a particularly diverse mixture of upscale housing, ranging from single-family houses, attached townhouses, and both low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings. South of the Long Island Rail Road, the Forest Hills Gardens area is a private community that features some of the most expensive residential properties in Queens County. It was subject to restrictive covenants until the 1970s, which contained no explicit economic, social or racial restrictions even if "working-class people" were said to be excluded by Eric P. Nash in a 2002 New York Times article, in his review of A Modern Arcadia. Forest Hills Gardens was named "Best Community" in 2007 by Cottage Living Magazine. The adjacent Van Court community also contains a number of detached single-family homes. There are also attached townhouses near the Westside Tennis Center and detached frame houses near Metropolitan Avenue. Finally, there are a number of apartment buildings scattered throughout the community. The most notable high-rise apartment buildings are The Continental on 108th St, Kennedy House, the Pinnacle, Parker Towers, the Windsor and a 17-story luxury condo building completed in 2014, the Aston.
On the northwestern edge of Forest Hills, on 62nd Drive and 108th Street, immediately adjacent to the Long Island Expressway is a NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) low-income housing project that provoked controversy among the residents in the more prestigious areas of Forest Hills when it was constructed in the early 1970s.
The north side of Forest Hills is home to the Cord Meyer community, which contains detached single-family homes. Teardowns and their replacement with larger single family residences has had a significant impact on the architectural integrity of the area. However, the Bukharian Jewish community, whose members have settled in the area in large numbers since the late 1990s, advocating the changes say the bigger homes are needed for their large extended families.
Points of interest
Forest Hills was once the home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. The event was held at the West Side Tennis Club before it moved to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park, about 4 miles (6.4 km) away. When the Open was played at the tennis stadium, the tournament was commonly referred to merely as Forest Hills, just as All-England Lawn Tennis Association Championships are referred to simply as Wimbledon. In the 2001 motion picture, The Royal Tenenbaums, Luke Wilson's character plays a tennis match at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. A pivotal scene in Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 film Strangers on a Train, in which the main character (played by Farley Granger) is a professional tennis player, features a lengthy championship game at the Club, with distinctive shots of the surrounding community. The Tennis Stadium, which hosted numerous music concerts including The Beatles after the U.S. Open departed for Flushing Meadows, resumed hosting music concerts during the summer of 2013 when the British rock band Mumford & Sons played there to an overflowing crowd. Stadium officials have said they will now host as many as six music or cultural events at the Stadium each season.
Two monuments are erected in Forest Hills Gardens: a tribute to the victims of World War I, the "Great War"; and the mast of the Columbia, the winner of the America's Cup yacht races in both 1899 and 1901.
Forest Hills is served by the New York City Department of Education.
Pupils attend several public different elementary Schools, including:
- P.S. 101 School In The Gardens
- P.S. 144 Col. Jeromus Remsen School
- P.S. 175 Lynn Gross Discovery School
- P.S. 196 Grand Central Parkway
- P.S. 220 Edward Mandel
Junior high students in Forest Hills attend either J.H.S. 157 Stephen A. Halsey (commonly referred to as Halsey) in Rego Park or J.H.S. 190 Russell Sage (known as Sage) in Forest Hills as well as the newest school from grade 6 to 12, M.S. 167 (otherwise known as Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS)), "a school for a sustainable city". This school has a partnership with New York City Outward Bound. New York City high school students at the turn of the 21st century began applying to the high schools of their choice, as there is no longer a zoning policy for Forest Hills High School or Queens Metropolitan High School. Students from all over New York City may apply to high schools in other parts of the city. In addition to Forest Hills High School, a large percentage of students from both J.H.S. 157 and J.H.S. 190 gain admission to other high schools in New York City. Many J.H.S. 157 students also attend the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School.
Traditionally many more students from J.H.S. 190 choose to study at Stuyvesant High School and Townsend Harris High School, in addition to the Bronx High School of Science. Numerous students from Forest Hills also choose to attend middle and high school at the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, a public school in Astoria, which teaches grades 7 through 12 and follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Many of the students from outside the district accepted to attend Forest Hills High School are those who applied to either the school's Law & Humanities program, or the Carl Sagan program in accelerated math and science. FHHS began admitting students by audition to their Academy of Instructional Music and Performing Arts in 2006. Notable graduates of Forest Hills High School include Jacob Lew, former US Secretary of the Treasury, Dennis Tito, the first outer space tourist, as well as many show-business stars, including musicians Burt Bacharach, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Ramones.
Bramson ORT College is an undergraduate college operated by the American branch of the Jewish charity World ORT. Its main campus is in Forest Hills, with a satellite campus in Brooklyn. Touro College/NYSCAS has a branch location in Forest Hills.
The main thoroughfare is Queens Boulevard; the street's width and complexity have led to a large number of pedestrian deaths, earning it the moniker "Boulevard of Death". Metropolitan Avenue is known for its antique shops. The commercial heart of Forest Hills is a mile-long stretch of Austin Street between Yellowstone Boulevard and Ascan Avenue: the latter thoroughfare was named in 1909 by developer Frederick Backus for his own father, Ascan Backus, II.
Forest Hills – 71st Avenue, an express subway station at the intersection of Continental Avenue and Queens Boulevard, serves the E F M R trains. The local 75th Avenue stop (E F trains) is also in the area, and some entrance/exits of the express Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike station (E F trains) service the southeastern portion of Forest Hills. In northwest Forest Hills is the local 67th Avenue station, serving the E M R trains.
Parks and recreation
Forest Hills is bordered by two of the more sizable parks in Queens managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: the 1,255 acres (5.08 km2) Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, which is the site of two World's Fairs (in 1939 and 1964) and the iconic Unisphere; as well as the 544 acres (2.20 km2) Forest Park. Within Forest Hills, parks and playgrounds include the Yellowstone Municipal Park – Katzman Playground (located on Yellowstone Boulevard, between 68th Avenue and 68th Road); the Annadale Playground (located on Yellowstone Boulevard, between 64th Road and 65th Avenue); the Willow Lake Playground (located off the Grand Central Parkway, between 71st and 72nd Avenues); the Ehrenreich-Austin Playground (located on Austin Street, between 76th Avenue and 76th Drive); and the Russell Sage Playground (located on 68th Avenue, between Booth and Austin Streets).
In popular culture
- Jacob Arabov, founder of Jacob & Co. 
- Awkwafina (born 1989), rapper
- Hank Azaria (born 1964), actor and voice artist
- Walter Becker (born 1950), half of the musical duo Steely Dan
- Jimmy Breslin (born 1930), journalist
- Joseph Bowler (born 1928), artist and illustrator
- Michael A. Burstein (born 1970), science fiction writer
- Dale Carnegie (1888–1955), self-improvement lecturer and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People lived at 27 Wendover Rd in Forest Hills.
- David Caruso, (born 1956), actor in CSI: Miami, and NYPD Blue
- Candy Darling (1944–1974), Warhol Superstar who appeared in a number of his films
- John R. Dilworth (born 1963), animator and creator of Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog
- Sergei Dovlatov (1941–1990), Russian short story writer and novelist; in 2014, the corner of 63rd Drive and 108th Street was given an honorary designation in his name.
- Billy Eichner (born 1978), comedian, actor, and host of Billy on the Street 
- Geraldine Ferraro (1935–2011), member of U.S. House of Representatives, television personality
- Art Garfunkel (born 1941), singer-songwriter
- Ernie Grunfeld (born 1955), former player and general manager of the Washington Wizards
- Alan Hevesi (born 1940), disgraced former Comptroller of New York
- Steve Hofstetter (born 1979), comedian/radio personality
- John V. Hogan (1890–1960), radio pioneer
- John Francis Hylan (1848–1936), Mayor of New York City (1918–1925)
- Ethel D. Jacobs (1910–2001), thoroughbred horse owner and breeder, wife of Hirsch Jacobs
- Hirsch Jacobs (1904–1970), thoroughbred jockey, husband of Ethel D. Jacobs
- Donna Karan (born 1948), fashion designer
- Helen Keller (1880–1968), lecturer, author, fundraiser, activist
- Alan King (1927–2004), actor/comedian 
- Andrea King (1919–2003), actress
- David Krumholtz (born 1978), actor
- Gary Kurfirst (1947–2009), concert promoter and record producer
- Michael Landon (1936–1991), actor known for his roles on Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie
- Harvey J. Levin (1924–1992), internationally recognized pioneer of communications economics, holder of Long Island's first professorial chair
- Jack Lew (born 1955), United States Secretary of the Treasury since 2013
- Trygve Lie (1896–1968), first Secretary-General of the United Nations, serving from 1946 to 1952
- Jack McAuliffe (1866–1937), world lightweight boxing champion
- Chieli Minucci (born 1958), jazz musician
- Min Xiao-Fen (born 1961), pipa player and vocalist 
- Michele "Big Mike" Miranda (1896–1973), consigliere of the Genovese crime family and one of the most powerful New York gangsters in the 1950s and 1960s
- Lore Noto (1923–2002), Off-Broadway producer
- Carroll O'Connor (1924–2001), actor, best known for his role as Archie Bunker on All in the Family
- Rick Overton (born 1954), actor and comedian
- Susan Polgar (born 1969), chess grandmaster
- The Ramones, seminal punk rock band:
- Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), psychiatrist known for his theories of Orgone energy
- Daniel Ribacoff (born 1959), private investigator and polygraph expert for The Steve Wilkos Show
- Branch Rickey (1881–1965), Major League Baseball executive
- Thelma Ritter (1902–1969), actress
- Ray Romano (born 1957), actor-comedian, best known for Everybody Loves Raymond
- Chris Rush, stand-up comedian
- Renato Russo (1960–1996), Brazilian bandleader
- Joan Shawlee (née Fulton; 1926–1987), actress
- Todd Strauss-Schulson (born 1980), film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, and cinematographer
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (born 1966), member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida's 20th congressional district.
- Paul Simon (born 1941), singer-songwriter
- Fred Stone (1873–1959), actor
- Tatiana Troyanos (1938–1993), mezzo-soprano known for her work at the Metropolitan Opera
- Bob Tufts (born 1955), former Major League Baseball pitcher
- Jeff Wayne (born 1943), musician known for his musical version of The War of the Worlds
- Katharine Weber (born 1955), novelist, author of five novels, including Triangle and True Confections.
- Leslie West (born 1945), of the hard rock band Mountain
- Anthony Weiner (born 1964), politician
- Adolph Alexander Weinman (1870–1952), sculptor
- Henry Willson (1911–1978), Hollywood agent
- Jack Wyatt (1917–2008), host of ABC's Confession; Episcopalian priest
- Gideon Yago (born 1978), journalist, former correspondent at MTV and CBS News
- Manuel Ycaza (born 1938), jockey inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
- Pia Zadora (born 1953), actress
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- Truong, Peggy. "Awkwafina Cherishes Buffalo Wild Wings and Other Forest Hills Chains", Vice (magazine), December 15, 2015. Accessed July 5, 2016. "If you ever run into Nora Lum—better known as the rapper and comedian Awkwafina—don't assume she's from Flushing. She gets that a lot. Instead, ask if she has time to hit up the Buffalo Wild Wings or one of the other chains in Forest Hills, where she grew up and where her folks still live."
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- Sweet, Brian. "Steely Dan", p. 11. Omnibus Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7119-8279-1; accessed June 18, 2009. "Walter Becker was born on Monday, February 20, 1950, in the Forest Hills area of Queens in New York."
- Breslin, Jimmy. The World of Jimmy Breslin, p. 440. Open Road Media, 2012. ISBN 9781453245330. Accessed July 5, 2016. "Breslin writing at home in Forest Hills, Queens."
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- "In Step With David Caruso" Archived March 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Parade, March 6, 2005; accessed June 2, 2009. "The redheaded David Caruso grew up in Forest Hills, N.Y. He was drawn to movies like The Godfather and went to work early."
- Bell, Arthur. "Darling Candy, where were you the night Jean Harlow died?", The Village Voice, May 18, 1972. Accessed June 18, 2009. "The young boy from Forest Hills had to have it for himself. He became Candy Darling."
- Lenburg, Jeff. Who's who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-winning and Legendary Animators, p. 64. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006. ISBN 9781557836717. Accessed April 28, 2017. "One of four children, including three sister, Dilworth was raised in Forest Hills and Queens, New York, and educated in private schools in Queens."
- Staff. "Forest Hills corner to be renamed Sunday", Queens Chronicle, September 4, 2014. Accessed July 5, 2016. "The corner of 108th Street and 63rd Drive in Forest Hills will be renamed on Sunday at 10 a.m. for Sergei Dovlatov, a Russian writer and journalist who emigrated to the United States, specifically Forest Hills, to escape harassment from authorities in 1979."
- Zinoman, Jason. "Chase a Stranger, Then Make a Scene; Billy Eichner Scours the Sidewalks for Comedy", "The New York Times", 7 March 2014; accessed 26 September 2014. "The same could be said of the career of Mr. Eichner, a ferociously funny comic who started as a child actor and was raised in a supportive middle-class household in Forest Hills, Queens."
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- Brown, Clifton. "BASKETBALL; Grunfeld Is a Candidate for Bucks' Post", The New York Times, May 21, 1992; accessed June 18, 2009. "Grunfeld, who is 37 years old and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, still has two years remaining on his Knick contract."
- Navarro, Mireya. "A Comptroller Candidate Fights for Recognition", The New York Times, July 5, 2016. Accessed October 8, 2007. "A native New Yorker, Mr. Hevesi lives in Forest Hills with his wife, Carol."
- Silverberg, Alex. "Comic Thanks His Queens Upbringing", copy of article from The Queens Tribune, July 6, 2007. Accessed October 18, 2007. "Hofstetter has been all around Queens. He spent his younger years in Briarwood before moving on to Forest Hills, and finally settling down in Rego Park for the duration of his teen years."
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- Staff. "EX-MAYOR HYLAN DIES SUDDENLY OF HEART ATTACK; Stricken After Retiring in His Forest Hills Home, Succumbs Within a Few Minutes. MAYOR FROM 1918 TO 1925 An Up-State Farm Boy With Little Schooling, He Studied Law While Working", The New York Times, January 12, 1936. Accessed July 5, 2016. "Former Mayor John F. Hylan died of a heart attack about 1:15 o'clock this morning in his residence at 2 Olive Place, Forest Hills, Queens."
- "Hirsh Jacobs Absolved in Hores Doping Case: New York Racing Commission Probe Finds Trainer and Help Blameless". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. April 2, 1961. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
Trainer Hirsh Jacobs, who exactly one year ago saddled his 3,000th winner for a world record, was absolved of blame today in the stimulation of a filly owned by his wife, Mrs. Ethel D. Jacobs of Forest Hills, N. Y.
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- Li, Kenneth. "MAKING A FASHIONABLE EXIT DONNA KARAN RESIGNS AS CEO", New York Daily News, July 29, 1997. Accessed June 17, 2009. "The move follows months of turmoil for the Forest Hills, Queens-born designer, who has become one of the world's best-known brands by creating sophisticated yet comfortable clothing that women cherish as both casual and evening wear."
- Whitman, Alden. "Triumph Out of Tragedy; Helen Keller, Blind and Deaf Writer, Traveler and Humanitarian, Is Dead at 87", The New York Times, June 2, 1968. Accessed July 5, 2016. "In the twenties, Miss Keller, Miss Sullivan and her husband and Miss Thomson (who had joined the household in 1914) moved from Wrentham, Mass., to Forest Hills, Queens, in New York. Miss Keller used this home as a base for her extensive fund-raising tours for the American Foundation for the Blind, of which she was counselor until her death."
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- Hirshon, Nicholas. "Jazz star rose & remains in Forest Hills", New York Daily News, April 5, 2007. Accessed July 5, 2016. "Jazz guitarist Chieli Minucci of Special EFX, who recently received his eighth Emmy nomination for his music for Guiding Light, has called Forest Hills home since he was 8."
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- Feinberg, Alexander. "MIRANDA BALKS AT GANG INQUIRY; Auto Dealer Questioned in Anastasia Slaying Is One of 7 to Refuse Answers", The New York Times, December 15, 1957. Accessed July 5, 2016. "Miranda, who lives in Forest Hills, Queens, and has an automobile agency in Manhattan, took the Fifth Amendment thirty-two times as a witness before the Joint Legislative Committee on Government Operations, the so-called watchdog committee."
- Goldman, Ari L. "Lore Noto, Producer of The Fantasticks, 79, Is Dead", The New York Times, July 10, 2002. Accessed July 5, 2016. "Lore Noto, the theatrical producer who nurtured a little show called The Fantasticks and turned it into the world's longest-running musical, died on Monday at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx. He was 79 and lived in Forest Hills, Queens."
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- Mikael J. "DCC4N's Rick Overton Interview", DC Comedy: 4 Now blog, May 12, 2009; accessed June 18, 2009. "I Grew up in Forest Hills until 1966, at which point we moved to Englewood NJ because Dizzy Gillespie found us a house near him!"
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- Jeff Wayne, Sony Music. Accessed June 18, 2009. "Jeff Wayne was born in Forest Hills, New York and discovered early in his life two passions that have remained with him — music and tennis."
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- Ferber, Lawrence. "Oh, Henry Oh, Henry" Archived July 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Gay and Lesbian Times, no. 934, 17 November 2005. Accessed June 18, 2009. "During his youth in Forest Hills, N.Y., Willson was close to his father, a man who both enabled his showbiz obsession and hindered his personal development."
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