College Point Fields took many years of patience to complete and is a source of pride for College Point residents who participate in organized sports leagues.
The area surrounding this community was first settled in 1645 when Dutch Governor Willem Kieft purchased the parcel of land and granted use to Dutch and English families. College Point takes its name from St. Paul’s College, a short-lived college that was founded in 1838 and discontinued in 1850.
Until the mid-20th century, College Point was geographically isolated from the rest of Queens, with only four roads crossing the Mill Creek wetlands to the peninsular neighborhood. To the east of College Point Fields, Flushing Airport operated atop the marshland between 1927 and 1984. Throughout its tenure, the airport was troubled by its proximity to the larger LaGuardia Airport, neighborhood opposition due to noise and accidents, and flooding on the runways. Its main clientele were private airplanes and blimps. Whenever northwest or southwest winds rose above 35 miles per hour, the runways would not operate. Lacking proper lighting, the runway also never allowed for nighttime usage.
While the airport was facing call for closure, the city designated nearly 300 acres adjacent to it in 1960 as the College Point Corporate Park. The goal was to reduce the flight of manufacturers from the city and generate tax income from the undeveloped land. At the northwest corner of the Corporate Park, the College Point Sports Complex received a lease to operate sports fields on the site. In 1996, a contractor hired to raise the level of the land was found to have illegally dumped hazardous material on the fields. The city closed the fields in the following year and a lengthy cleanup began on the site.
College Point Fields was assigned to the Parks Department in 1996 and its Little League fields reopened to the public on April 17, 2004. The rebuilt park includes two baseball fields, two Little League fields, a roller hockey rink, soccer field, comfort station and bleachers.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to College Point Fields.|