Huguenot, Staten Island
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Huguenot is the name of a neighborhood located on the South Shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, United States. In recent years it has become increasingly customary to refer to the western part of Huguenot as a separate neighborhood called Woodrow. Originally named "Bloomingview", its present name is derived from the Huguenots, led by Daniel Perrin, who settled in the area during the late 17th century and early 18th centuries to escape religious persecution.
Huguenot is bordered by Arden Heights to the north, Woodrow to the west, Prince's Bay to the south, and Annadale to the east. The neighborhood is represented in the New York City Council by Joe Borelli, who was born and raised there.
The community was named after French Protestants fleeing persecution in Catholic-dominated France who settled in the area in the 17th century, and formed one of the first permanent settlements on Staten Island.
The community gained the Huguenot station along the Staten Island Railway soon after the line was extended to Tottenville in 1860. This station was given the name "Huguenot Park", even though no park was actually located nearby; by the 1970s the word "Park" had been dropped, but later a branch of the New York Public Library was opened one block west of the station, replacing what was once the smallest New York Public Library building just east of the station (still standing), and named the Huguenot Park Branch, perhaps in honor of the station's former name.
Long noted for the beauty of its woodlands, Huguenot had a transformation that led to a significant rise in the population of the neighborhood. The first visible sign of this transformation, however, came not in the form of new home construction, but rather with the building of the new Tottenville High School campus, which opened in 1972 in Huguenot (the existing high school buildings in Tottenville were converted into a junior high school).
Public amenities have not kept up with the explosive pace of population growth in Huguenot and the surrounding neighborhoods that has taken place from the 1970s onward, as public transportation and sewer lines have not been upgraded fast enough to meet the increasing demand. Road problems include potholes, and there are few organized activities for adolescents, a fact often blamed for the considerable amount of vandalism that occurs there. However, the region is one of the most mainstream on Staten Island, and one of the borough's most well maintained neighborhoods.
The local Roman Catholic parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea, has completed a major reconstruction/expansion. It is one of the largest parishes on the South Shore, and has experienced overcrowding problems for many years because of the rapid boom of new residents in the area.
It is served by the S55 and S56 local buses along Luten Avenue, and the S59 and S78 along Hylan Blvd. It is also served by the X17 and X19 express buses along Huguenot Avenue, the X23 along Foster Road and Huguenot Avenue, and X24 along Woodrow Road.