Westbury, New York
Westbury, New York
|Village of Westbury|
|• Total||2.34 sq mi (6.07 km2)|
|• Land||2.34 sq mi (6.07 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||102 ft (31 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||6,549.06/sq mi (2,529.07/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0970896|
Westbury's Jericho Turnpike, which provides connection to Mineola and Syosset as well as to the Long Island Expressway (or LIE), was once a trail used by the Massapequa Indians. As far back as the 17th century, it served as a divider between the early homesteads north of the Turnpike and the great plains to its south. Today, it serves as a state highway complex.
In 1657, Captain John Seaman purchased 12,000 acres (49 km2) from the Algonquian Tribe of the Massapequa Indians. In 1658, Richard Stites and his family built their homestead in this area. Theirs was the only family farm until an English Quaker, Edmond Titus, and his son Samuel joined them and settled in an area of Hempstead Plains, known today as the Village of Westbury. In 1675 Henry Willis, also an English Quaker, named the area "Westbury", after Westbury, Wiltshire, his hometown in England. Other Quaker families who were also seeking a place to freely express their religious beliefs joined the Tituses and Willises. The first Society of Friends meeting house was built in 1700. The early history of Westbury and that of the Friends are so interconnected that they are essentially the same.
These settlers, like many other landowners throughout the colonies, owned slaves. In 1775, compelled by their religious beliefs, the Quakers freed all 154 African-Americans that they owned. Many of these freed men and women built their own homesteads on the open land near the sheep grazing pastures. Their new community consisted of farms and dairies. In 1834, with Quaker assistance, they and their descendants built the New Light Baptist Church. In 1867 the congregation moved to 247 Grand Boulevard, and in 1892 changed their name to Westbury A.M.E. Zion Church. In 2014, the congregation celebrated its 180th anniversary. The building still stands on the corner of Union Ave. and Grand Blvd.
The outbreak of the American Revolution disrupted Westbury's tranquility. From the beginning of the war until 1783, British soldiers and German-speaking mercenaries occupied local homes, confiscated livestock, and cleared the woods for firewood for the troops. With the close of the war, Westbury received its third group of settlers, the Hessians, mostly from Hesse-Cassel in the Holy Roman Empire, who chose not to return to their home country. Instead, they remained in an area now known as New Cassel, a name chosen in honour of the part of Hesse from which most had come.
By 1837, the Long Island Rail Road had built through Westbury. Schedules from March 1837 mention a stop at Westbury, but by June list Carle Place instead, with schedules from 1842 listing both. In 1840, the first public school was built. The railroad made it easier for Italian and Irish immigrants to work Westbury's farms and in 1857, St. Brigid's Parish was founded.
At the same time more African-American families came to the area via the Underground Railroad. For some, Westbury was only one stop on the way to Canada, but several stayed in this area after being harbored in secret rooms in the homes of the Quakers. In the years after the Civil War, until near the turn of the century, the few stores that comprised the small village around the railroad depot, were mainly black owned.
The Village moved from its agricultural setting in the late 19th century when the very wealthy began to settle and build mansions. This area is now known as Old Westbury. Post Avenue soon became a commerce center to serve the surrounding estates. Various estate workers began to move in as well. Streets were mapped out and constructed. Post Avenue received electricity in 1902 and in 1914 a water company was founded.
From the 1850s to the 1900s, Westbury's population and ethnic diversity began to rise as many people of Irish and Italian origins continued to settle. New Cassel began to be developed in the first quarter of the 20th century.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, a couple of hundred yards south of downtown, for the history-making flight to Paris, marking probably the most famous event tied to Westbury.
In response to a rumor that northern Westbury planned to incorporate, thereby leaving the southern part without a name, residents[who?] collected enough petitions for third class[clarification needed] incorporation in 1932. The Village included Grantsville, the section south of Union Avenue around A.M.E. Zion church, but did not take in New Cassel, since the few families that lived there thought it would only unnecessarily increase their taxes.
In 1938, the Northern State Parkway was constructed and in 1940, Roosevelt Raceway. In 1941, the Second World War began. Westbury sent 1,400 persons to serve the country. This was 20% of the community's population, making it the highest percentage of any comparable community in the United States.
In the mid-1950s, Westbury virtually ran out of undeveloped land and with it came the end of the building boom. In 1940, Westbury listed its population at 4,525. By 1960, Westbury's population had grown to 14,757, according to the census data for that year. Many Caribbean and Latin American families began to settle during this time and in the decades that followed.
On 8 September 1974, Crosby, Stills & Nash performed at the Roosevelt Raceway.
As the birth rate declined, people married at a later age and the high cost of buying a home prevented many people from assuming a mortgage in the 1970s, Westbury again underwent change. Becoming more urban and city like over time.
From the Early 1970's through the 1990s Westbury has faced heavy decline through rampant crime rates, heavy drug trade and abuse, white flight, arson, high unemployment, slightly continuing today. The Village section of Westbury was hit hard along a small Central Westbury area bounded by (Clinton street to the north, Jefferson street to the south, Powells Lane to the west and King street to the east). Bordering New Cassel was also hit hard, but not to the extent of Westbury's Village section.
Westbury is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all of it land.
In addition to Westbury Village itself, unincorporated regions surrounding its borders also use the Westbury name, including New Cassel, Salisbury (South Westbury) and parts of Jericho. For example, the world-famous Westbury Music Fair performing venue (now known as the NYCB Theatre at Westbury), located in the Westbury postal zone, is part of the Jericho hamlet.
The region is grouped under the name Greater Westbury, a region that also includes organizations with common interests, such as those in New Cassel, New York. The school districts that serve the Greater Westbury region, based on the boundaries, are Westbury (including New Cassel)(Westbury Union District) and East Meadow (Clark District) . The only homes zoned for East Meadow Schools are actually located in the Hamlet of Salisbury, which is in the Town of Hempstead.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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Westbury is a very diverse minority community, made up of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Caribbeans; particularly Haitians, Guyanese and Jamaicans. Many of the Hispanics are of Salvadoran, Honduran and Mexican origin. As of the census of 2010, there were 15,146 people, 4,638 households, and 3,441 families residing in the village. The population density was 5,979.0 people per square mile (2,304.2/km2). There were 4,714 housing units at an average density of 10,976.1 per square mile (7615/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 62.65% African American, 0.1% Native American, 7.72% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.0% from other races, 3.8% from two or more races and 3.92% (declining) White. Latinos make up 26.85% of the population.. There were 4,638 households, out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.8% were non-families. 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 3.49.In the village, the population was spread out, with 22.3% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.
Westbury is a predominantly low income village, on borderline high poverty lines as well. The median income for a household in the village is $36,316. About 38.6% of families and 42.3% of the population were below the poverty line.
Westbury is considered a high crime area, as advised by the NCPD "Not an area travel to through during sundown hours", Gang violence occurs often between many Members of MS-13, Barrio 18 and other street gangs like the Pirus. Warring between gangs are not uncommon. Broad-daylight shootings which occur are predominantly gang/drug related. Central Westbury is the predominate area of this advisory (Bounded by Clinton street to the north, Jefferson street to the south, Powells Lane to the west and King street to the east).
The Central Westbury section of Westbury was built on dumping grounds/Junkyards for many industrial plants and gas refinery waste grounds resulting in high levels of radiation and more. There are many factories in the area which are known to contribute to Westbury (Central Westbury's) high asthma rate, shortened lifespan, etc. and further contributes to its industrial/residential neighborhood roots.
Water Contamination and Crisis
Westbury's water district has been detected to have many harmful, dangerous chemicals, ultimately unsafe for drinking. A handful out of the hundred/thousands of these chemicals are: Chromium (hexavalent), which is linked to cancer, liver damage and productive system damages. 1,4-Dioxane, which is a likely human carcinogen that contaminates groundwater through industrial wastewater discharges, plastic manufacturing runoff and landfill runoff. Nitrate and nitrite— these chemicals enter water from fertilizer runoff, septic tanks and urban runoff. These contaminants can cause oxygen deprivation for infants and increase the risk of cancer. Nitrite is significantly more toxic than nitrate. Nitrate, a fertilizer chemical, which can cause oxygen deprivation in infants and increase the risk of cancer. Perchlorate, which is a component of rocket fuel, can interfere with thyroid function if ingested. Exposure to perchlorate during pregnancy and childhood can impair cognitive development. Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), which is linked to cancer, pollutes soil and groundwater due to emissions from dry cleaning facilities, and automotive, metalworking and other industries. Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) which are linked to bladder cancer, skin cancer and fetal development issues Chloroform which is linked to cancer and fetal development issues Bromodichloromethane which is linked to harm to child and fetuses, as well as reproductive difficulties Radium-226 and -228 which is linked to cancer Dibromochloromethane which is linked to cancer and harm to fetuses Dichloroacetic acid which is linked to cancer and harm to reproduction and child development Trichloroacetic acid which is linked to cancer, and harm to reproduction and child development Chromium (hexavalent) which is linked to cancer, liver damage and productive system damages 1,2,3-Trichloropropane which is linked to cancer Trihalomethanes which are linked to bladder cancer, skin cancer and fetal development issues Haloacetic acids (HAA5) which is linked to cancer and harm to fetuses Arsenic which is linked cancer, harm to the central nervous system, harm to the brain and nervous system, skin damage, changed to the heart and blood vessels, heart disease, stroke and diabetes Barium which is linked to harm to the kidney, high blood pressure and harm to the heart and blood vessels Radium which is linked to cancer.
Westbury is served by the Main Line of the Long Island Rail Road with connection to Penn Station, Hicksville and Port Jefferson. It is also served by the following bus routes operated by Nassau Inter-County Express:
- N22: Jamaica - Hicksville via Hillside Avenue & Prospect Avenue
- N22X: Jamaica - Hicksville via Hillside Avenue & Prospect Avenue
- N24: Jamaica - Hicksville via Jericho Turnpike & Old Country Road
- N35: Westbury - Baldwin
The village is served by Westbury Public School District
- Bud Anderson (born 1956), Major League Baseball player, attended Clarke High School, Westbury
- Sarah Ban Breathnach, author
- Michael Cimino (1939–2016), Academy Award-winning film director of The Deer Hunter, attended Clarke High School, Salisbury
- Kevin Conroy (born 1955), actor, voice of Batman in Batman the animated series and Justice League
- Arthur Dobrin (born 1943), author and professor at Hofstra University
- Doctor Dré (born 1963), co-host of Yo! MTV Raps with Ed Lover and radio DJ
- Paul Hewitt (born 1963), men's basketball head coach at George Mason University and Georgia Tech
- Skip Jutze (born 1946), Major League Baseball player, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals.
- Nancy McKeon (born 1966), actress
- Philip McKeon (1964–2019), actor
- Ron Klimkowski (1944–2009), Major League Baseball player, attended Clarke High School, Westbury
- DJ Rekha (born 1971), credited with starting New York's South Asian bhangra scene
- Irene Rosenfeld (born 1953), CEO of major corporations; born in Westbury and attended Clarke High School
- Joe Satriani (born 1956), virtuoso guitarist, composer, producer and guitar teacher
- Spann Watson (1916–2010), Tuskegee Airman, was a longtime resident of Westbury
- Freddie Foxx a.k.a Bumpy Knuckles in associated acts with Eric B., Gang Starr, Gang Starr Foundation, etc.
- Colors filmed scenes in Westbury.
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- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Richard Panchyk, A History of Westbury, Long Island (The History Press, 2007), p. 14
- Abraham, Betsy (3 June 2014). "A.M.E. Zion Celebrates 180 Years". The Westbury Times. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
- Panczyk (2007), p. 40
- "Union Course Race track".
- "Brooklyn and Jamaica RailRoad".
- The Spirit of St. Louis, Scribner 1953, Chapter 5
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "New York Home Showcase". nyhomeshowcase.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
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- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
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- "Player Bio: Paul Hewitt". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
Hewitt spent three years as the junior varsity head coach at his alma mater, Westbury High School on Long Island (1985-88), following his graduation from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y.
- "Skip Jutze". Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "DJ Rekha" (PDF). sangament.com. Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- "1956 - Joseph "Satch" Satriani". Retrieved 2009-05-12.