Douglaston, Queens

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FDNY Engine 313/Ladder 164 Firehouse on 244th St.

Douglaston, population 14,168 (2000 Census), is a community in the New York City borough of Queens. Douglaston comprises six distinct neighborhoods: Doug Bay, Douglas Manor, and Douglaston Hill, all located north of Northern Boulevard on the peninsula abutting Little Neck Bay; Douglaston Park, located between Northern Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway; and two areas south of the Expressway, Winchester Estates and an area simply known as Douglaston. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 11[1] and New York City school district 26.

Douglaston is located on the North Shore of Long Island, bordered to the east by Little Neck, and to the west by Bayside. Douglaston's two ZIP Codes are 11362 and 11363.

Douglaston represents one of the least traditionally urban communities in New York City, with many areas (particularly those north of Northern Boulevard) having a distinctly upscale suburban feel, similar to that of wealthy Nassau County towns located nearby (such as Great Neck).

The area is also known for its historical society and other civic groups, notably the Douglas Manor Association, which has garnered attention from the New York Times.


Contents

History

The earliest known residents of the area that would become Douglaston were the Matinecock Native Americans. Early Dutch settlers were drawn to the area by the rich land and abundant fishing. Thomas Hicks settled the area in 1656 on a peninsula first called Little Madnan's Neck. In 1796, his estate passed to Thomas Wickes (1770-1854), and in 1819, to Wyant Van Zandt, a wealthy merchant, who built a large Greek Revival mansion in the area. Today, this mansion houses the Douglaston Yacht Club.[2] In 1835, George Douglas bought 240 acres (0.97 km2) of land along with Van Zandt's mansion. Upon Douglas' death in 1862, the land was inherited by his son, William Douglas. Four years later, the North Shore Railroad extended its service to the area. William Douglas donated an outbuilding for use as the station house, and in thanks, the railroad named its new stop "Douglaston," which soon was taken on as the name of the community.

Douglaston Hill is the oldest area of the community, and is characterized by turn-of-the-20th-century homes in Queen Anne and Victorian styles. It was laid out with very large lots in 1853, at the very beginning of a movement in the United States to create suburban gardens. The area was recognized as an Historic District of New York City in December 2004 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.[3]

In the early 20th century, the Rickert-Finlay Realty Company of Manhattan purchased 175 acres (0.71 km2) of the Douglas' family holdings, and formed the Douglas Manor Association, creating a planned community. Many of the houses in this area were built in architectural styles popular at the time, such as Tudor, Mediterranean, Colonial Revival, and Arts and Crafts. In 1997, New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission designated Douglas Manor as the Douglaston Historic District, ensuring that no new buildings or external alterations could be made without the commission's approval.[4]

Other areas of Douglaston were developed during the latter half of the 20th century. Douglaston Park contains a mixture of large, older homes as well as Capes, Tudors, and ranch-style homes dating from the 1960s. The areas adjacent to the Douglaston Shopping Center are occupied mainly by attached single-family homes built in the early-1970s, as well as four-story condominiums added in the mid-1980s.[5]

Community activities

Because northern Douglaston is surrounded by water many residents take advantage of the waterfront. The Douglaston Yacht Squadron[6] is the local yacht club. It is a part of the Douglaston Club, a country club based in Van Zandt's original mansion in Douglas Manor. The Douglaston Club is also site of various community events, such as the Douglaston Chess Congress' annual championships, which decides the community's best players.

Douglaston also boasts an 18-hole, par 67 golf course. Formerly known as the North Hills Country Club, the 104-acre (0.42 km2) course opened in 1927 and became a municipal course in the 1960s. The Douglaston Golf Course underwent significant renovations in 2004. The course is situated at one of the highest points in the borough of Queens, providing picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline, and also boasts a restaurant.

This area also has several parks under the administration of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. To the west of Douglaston along the waterfront is Alley Pond Park, a 635-acre (2.57 km2) wildlife and bird sanctuary, and home to the Queens Giant, the oldest known tree (and living thing) in New York City. To the east along the water is Udalls Cove, a 90-acre (360,000 m2) wildlife sanctuary.

There are numerous other community activities that take place in Douglaston, including Theater á la Cartè, which provides live theater at the Douglaston Community Church, and the Douglaston Community Theater players, who perform at the Zion Episcopal Church. The 74-year-old National Art League on Douglaston Parkway offers classes and provides a place for artists to show and sell their work. Monthly concerts are held at the Douglaston Community Church.

The Immaculate Conception Center,[7] formerly a college-level seminary named Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception and owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, is located in southern Douglaston. It is a large conference center, hosting Diocese events and activities including language immersion classes, lay ministry preparation, adult continuing education, seminarian instruction, parish retreats and also hosts community civic conferences.

Every year Douglaston also hosts a Memorial Day Parade which runs from Little Neck towards the St. Anastasia School.

Douglaston is serviced by a local Volunteer ambulance corps the Little Neck - Douglaston Community Ambulance Corps that is supported and run by people in the community. It also hosts blood drives and classes to teach the community CPR for free.

Schools

Like many other neighborhoods in Northeast Queens, Douglaston is regarded as having some of the best schools in New York City. Its two public elementary schools are P.S. 98 The Douglaston School and P.S. 221 North Hills School, which both offer classes from kindergarten through 5th grade. These schools feed into Louis Pasteur Middle School, which hosts children in grades 6 through 8. After middle school, Douglaston's public school students are zoned for Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, in neighboring Bayside. St. Anastasia School is a private Catholic school, with classes from the pre-school level to 8th grade. PS 811 -- the Multiple Handicap School of Queens, is devoted to students with physical and mental disabilities. It is an elementary school, for grades 1-6. Before it was designated The Multiple Handicap School of Queens, it was known as PS 187, and served as an elementary school for mainstream children in grades 1-6.

Local economy

Douglaston boasts a number of independently-owned and operated restaurants and shops, many of which are located in the area around the intersection of Douglaston Parkway and Northern Boulevard. This area is home to a distinct cultural presence and traditional New York City style delis and pizzerias.

The Douglaston Plaza Shopping Center is a major hub of the community's economic activity. It contains a Waldbaum's supermarket,[citation needed] Toys 'R' Us, Modell's sporting goods store, Macy's, Burger King, and a MovieWorld theater. Walbaums has closed its store in late February 2010. Fairway supermarket will eventually occupy this spot. Until 2004, the Shopping Center was owned by Yale University[8]. In August 2004, however, it was purchased by Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corporation, a Manhattan real estate company, for US$60 million.[8] In 2008 Grimaldi's opened a location in the center.

Transportation

Many residents of Douglaston are daily commuters to Manhattan.

The Douglaston Long Island Rail Road station, is located at 235th Street and 41st Avenue, off Douglaston Parkway and Wainscott Avenue. Situated on LIRR's Port Washington Branch, a trip from Douglaston to Penn Station takes 30 minutes on a local train, and just over 20 minutes by express train.

Douglaston is served by several buses, the main being the Q12, which connects to the subway in Flushing, the Q30, which connects to the subway in Jamaica, the QM5, an express bus which directly to the East Side of Manhattan, theQM8, an express bus directly to Downtown Manhattan, and the QM3, another express bus directly to the East Side of Manhattan.

Three major Long Island highways all pass through Douglaston: the Long Island Expressway, Grand Central Parkway, and Cross Island Parkway.

Local media

The area is served by the Little Neck Ledger, owned by the TimesLedger Newspapers,[9] a chain of 14 weekly newspapers spread throughout Queens. Media giant News Corporation, which also owns the New York Post, bought TimesLedger in October 2006.

Notable residents

Popular culture

References

  1. Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  2. Kenneth T. Jackson: "The Encyclopedia of New York City", p.342.
  3. Landmarks Preservation Commission Designates the Douglaston Hill Historic District in Queens, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, 2004-12-14
  4. LeDuff, Charlie (June 29, 1997). "A Place 'Like No Other Place' Is Now a Landmark, Too". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/29/nyregion/a-place-like-no-other-place-is-now-a-landmark-too.html. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  5. Shaman, Diana (February 8, 2004). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Douglaston, Queens; Timeless City Area, With a Country Feel". The New York Times: p. 11. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/08/realestate/if-you-re-thinking-living-douglaston-queens-timeless-city-area-with-country-feel.html. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  6. Douglaston Yacht Squadron
  7. Immaculate Conception Center
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ashkenazy Acquisition Buys 3 Retail Sites In New York Metro Area, accessed 2006-07-25.
  9. Little Neck Ledger
  10. 10.0 10.1 http://www.dlnhs.org/douglasmanor/dmindex.cfm Douglaston/Little Neck Historical Society
  11. biography of BastianichHarper Collins
  12. Scheiber, Dave (August 25, 2006). "Whirlwind Woman". St. Petersburg Times. http://www.sptimes.com/2006/08/25/Sports/Whirlwind_woman.shtml. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  13. Angela’s Return, Queens Tribune, 2006-02-02
  14. 14.0 14.1 John McEnroe - Growing Up
  15. The Seven Storey Mountain
  16. http://www.dlnhs.org/douglastonhill/dhresidentsTreacher.cfm Douglaston/Little Neck Historical Society
  17. http://www.librarything.com/author/hopperhedda
  18. http://www.celebspreads.com/heddahopper

External links

Template:Queens Coordinates: 40°45′54″N 73°44′38″W / 40.765°N 73.74389°W / 40.765; -73.74389

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