Pomonok is a working class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. This large public housing development in South Flushing was built in 1949 on the former site of Pomonok Country Club. The name comes from a Native American word for eastern Long Island, and means either "land of tribute" or "land where there is travelling by water".
The Pomonok Country Club was a golf course in Pomonok between 1886 and 1949. The golf course was located between Kissena Boulevard and 164th Street, just to the south of Horace Harding Boulevard (now the Long Island Expressway) and to the east of Queens College. The club was established in 1886 by members of the Flushing Athletic Club in Flushing and moved to the Kissena Boulevard location in 1921. Devereux Emmet designed the golf course. The members disbanded and sold the course in 1949. Part of the site today contains the Electchester cooperative housing development, Pomonok public housing and an extension of Parsons Boulevard. The golf course hosted the PGA Championship in 1939, which Henry Picard won. The tournament was held at the same time as the 1939 New York World's Fair, which was located at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Pomonok Country Club.
Today, Pomonok is a part of Queens Community Board 8, which also includes Fresh Meadows, South Flushing, Cunningham Heights, Hilltop Village, Jamaica Estates, Holliswood, Utopia, Kew Gardens Hills, and Briarwood. Nearby are major facilities such as Queens College, St. John's University, Touro College, Rabbinical Seminary of America, Queens Hospital Center, New York–Presbyterian Hospital Queens, Cunningham Park and many public and private schools. CUNY Law School, formerly in this area, moved to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in May 2012. Queens Library has a branch in Pomonok. New York City Bus routes Q25, Q34, Q64, Q65 serve Pomonok. The QM4 runs express from Pomonok to Midtown. The Whitestone Expressway connects Flushing north to the Bronx, south to the Van Wyck Expressway to John F. Kennedy International Airport, and to the Grand Central Parkway and LaGuardia Airport. Main Street is a major commercial street, as is Kissena Boulevard.
Electchester housing complex
In Pomonok, there is also Electchester, a cooperative housing complex at Jewel Avenue and Parsons Boulevard in Pomonok, which was established by Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. and Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1949, when Van Arsdale worked with the Joint Industry Board of the Electrical Industry to purchase 103 acres (0.42 km2) of the former Pomonok Country Club and build apartment buildings. 5,550 people live in about 2,500 units in 38 buildings, many of which are six-story brick structures. It is served by Public School 200, which is on land donated by Electchester. The union provided the majority of the mortgage. New York state offered tax abatements. Electchester was classified as a "limited dividend nonprofit", subject to state regulations. The first families paid $475 per room for equity shares, and carrying charges of $26 per month per room, on apartments ranging from three and a half to five and a half rooms.
The housing complexes that make up the neighborhood of South Flushing (Pomonok Housing Project & Electchester Co-Op) have had some issues with crime, specifically with gangs and drugs. There have been various shootings, robberies and drug busts over the years in the area. Both housing complexes are patrolled by the NYPD's 107th Precinct. There is also an NYPD PSA-9 Housing Police Unit station located in the Pomonok Houses.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Pomonok (including the Pomonok and Electchester houses) include:
- Gary Ackerman (born 1942), former U.S. Representative from New York, serving from 1983 to 2013.
- Barry Grodenchik (born 1960), council member representing the 23rd District of the New York City Council.
- Michael Simanowitz (1971–2017), member of the New York State Assembly.
- Harry Van Arsdale Jr. (1905-1986), labor and community leader in New York City, who was behind the development of Electchester.
- Bob Weinstein (born 1954), film producer.
- Harvey Weinstein (born 1952), film producer and film studio executive accused of sex crimes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pomonok, Queens.|
- NYCHA Archived 2009-08-23 at the Wayback Machine Pomonok Houses
- "Pomonok". Forgotten NY. Retrieved 2014-10-12.
- Quirin, William L. (2002). America's Linksland: A Century of Long Island Golf. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press. p. 199. ISBN 1-58536-087-2.
- Queens Community Board 8
- "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- Harry Van Arsdale Jr.: Labor's Champion (M.E. Sharpe, 2002)
- Colangelo, Lisa L. "New documentary on Queens' Pomonok Houses recalls fond memories and 'what worked' in public housing", New York Daily News, June 27, 2015. Accessed September 5, 2017. "Terry Katz and Al Stark spent almost four years interviewing more than 140 current and former residents of the Pomonok Houses, including television weatherman Irv Gikofsky — known as Mr. G — and former U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens)."
- Barry Grodenchik, New York City Council. Accessed September 5, 2017. "A lifelong Queens resident, Barry grew up in NYCHA’s Pomonok Houses in Flushing, where he developed a deep understanding of the concerns that working and middle class families face in New York."
- Taylor, Kate. "Friends Recall Selflessness That Embodied Queens Assemblyman", The New York Times, September 3, 2017. Accessed September 5, 2017. "Mr. Simanowitz grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, and lived in Electchester, a cooperative in Flushing of 38 buildings and roughly 2,500 units built in the mid-20th century by Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers."
- Chen, David W. "Electchester Getting Less Electrical; Queens Co-op for Trade Workers Slowly Departs From Its Roots", The New York Times, March 15, 2004. Accessed September 14, 2017. "As recently as perhaps two decades ago, about 90 percent of Electchester's units were occupied by Local 3 members. This percentage far exceeded the one-quarter or one-third that was typical of other union cooperatives, and was due largely to the power of Mr. Van Arsdale, who lived there himself, and the fact that Electchester, privately funded, could choose its residents."
- Weinstein, Bob. "All Thanks to Max", Vanity Fair, February 7, 2011. Accessed September 14, 2017. "They moved to Queens, and my brother was born in 1952; I came along in 1954. We grew up in a small two-bedroom apartment in a lower-middle-class housing development called Elechester [sic]."