Long Island City
Location within New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Queens 1, Queens 2|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
11101–11106, 11109, 11120
|Area codes||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Long Island City (LIC) is a residential and commercial neighborhood located on the extreme western tip of Queens, New York City, at the western edge of Long Island. It is bordered by Astoria to the north; the East River to the west; Hazen Street, 49th Street, and New Calvary Cemetery in Sunnyside to the east; and Newtown Creek—which separates Queens from Greenpoint, Brooklyn—to the south.
Incorporated as a separate city in 1870, Long Island City was originally the seat of government of the Town of Newtown, before becoming part of New York City in 1898. Starting in the early 21st century, Long Island City became known for its rapid and ongoing residential growth and gentrification, its waterfront parks, and its thriving arts community. The area has a high concentration of art galleries, art institutions, and studio space.
Long Island City is the eastern terminus of the Queensboro Bridge, the only non-tolled automotive route connecting Queens and Manhattan. Northwest of the bridge are the Queensbridge Houses, a development of the New York City Housing Authority and the largest public housing complex in the Western Hemisphere.
Long Island City is part of Queens Community District 1 to the north and Queens Community District 2 to the south. It is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 108th Precinct. Politically, Long Island City is represented by the New York City Council's 26th District.
Long Island City was formerly a city of its own, created in 1870 from the merger of the Village of Astoria and the hamlets of Ravenswood, Hunters Point, Blissville, Sunnyside, Dutch Kills, Steinway, Bowery Bay and Middleton in the Town of Newtown. At the time of its incorporation, Long Island City had between 12,000 and 15,000 residents. Its charter provided for an elected mayor and a ten-member Board of Alderman with two representing each of the city's five wards. City ordinances could be passed by a majority vote of the Board of Aldermen and the mayor's signature.
Long Island City held its first election on July 5, 1870. Residents elected A.D. Delmars the first mayor; Delmars ran as both a Democrat and a Republican. The first elected Board of Aldermen was H. Rudolph and Patrick Lonirgan (Ward 1); Francis McNena and William E. Bragaw (Ward 2); George Hunter and Mr. Williams (Third Ward); James R. Bennett and John Wegart (Ward Four); and E.M. Hartshort and William Carlin (Fifth Ward). The mayor and the aldermen were inaugurated on July 18, 1870.
In the 1880s, Mayor De Bevoise nearly bankrupted the Long Island City government by embezzlement, of which he was convicted. Many dissatisfied residents of Astoria circulated a petition to ask the New York State Legislature to allow it to secede from Long Island City and reincorporate as the Village of Astoria, as it existed prior to the incorporation of Long Island City, in 1884. The petition was ultimately dropped by the citizens.
Long Island City continued to exist as an incorporated city until 1898, when all of Queens was annexed to New York City. The last mayor of Long Island City was an Irish-American named Patrick Jerome "Battle-Axe" Gleason.
The Common Council of Long Island City in 1873 adopted the coat of arms as "emblematical of the varied interest represented by Long Island City." It was designed by George H. Williams, of Ravenswood. The overall composition was inspired by New York City's coat of arms. The shield is rich in historic allusion, including Native American, Dutch, and English symbols. In 1898, Long Island City became part of New York City.
The city surrendered its independence in 1898 to become part of the City of Greater New York. However, Long Island City survives as ZIP code 11101 and ZIP code prefix 111 (with its own main post office) and was formerly a sectional center facility (SCF). The Greater Astoria Historical Society, a nonprofit cultural and historical organization documenting the Long Island City area's history, has operated since 1985.
Through the 1930s, three subway tunnels, the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, and the Queensboro Bridge were built to connect the neighborhood to Manhattan. By the 1970s, the factories in Long Island City were being abandoned. In 1981, Queens West on the west side of Long Island City was developed to revitalize the area.
In 2001, the neighborhood was rezoned from an industrial neighborhood to a residential neighborhood, and the area underwent gentrification, with developments such as Hunter's Point South being built in the area. Since then, there has been substantial commercial and residential growth in Long Island City, with 41 new residential apartment buildings being built just between 2010 and 2017. A resident of nearby Woodside proposed establishing a Japantown in Long Island City in 2006, though this did not occur.
In addition to the Hunters Point Historic District and Queensboro Bridge, the 45th Road – Court House Square Station (Dual System IRT), Long Island City Courthouse Complex, and United States Post Office are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. New York City designated landmarks include the Pepsi-Cola sign along the East River, which was designated in April 2016.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of the combined Queensbridge-Ravenswood-Long Island City neighborhood was 20,030, a decrease of 1,074 (5.1%) from the 21,104 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 540.94 acres (218.91 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 37.0 inhabitants per acre (23,700/sq mi; 9,100/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 14.7% (2,946) White, 25.9% (5,183) African American, 0.3% (62) Native American, 15.5% (3,096) Asian, 0.0% (6) Pacific Islander, 1.2% (248) from other races, and 1.9% (385) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 40.5% (8,104) of the population.
Long Island City is split between Community Board 1 to the north of Queens Plaza and Community Board 2 south of Queens Plaza. The entirety of Community Board 1, which comprises northern Long Island City and Astoria, had 199,969 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 83.4 years.:2, 20 The entirety of Community Board 2, which comprises southern Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside, had 135,972 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 85.4 years.:2, 20 Both figures are higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) In both community boards, most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth.:2:2
As of 2017, the median household income was $66,382 in Community Board 1 and $67,359 in Community Board 2. In 2018, an estimated 18% of Community Board 1 and 20% of Community Board 2 residents lived in poverty, compared to 19% in all of Queens and 20% in all of New York City. The unemployment rate was 8% in Community Board 1 and 5% in Community Board 2, compared to 8% in Queens and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 47% in Community Board 1 and 51% in Community Board 2, slightly lower than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 53% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], northern LIC is considered to be gentrifying, while southern LIC is considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7:7
Long Island City was once home to many factories and bakeries, some of which are finding new uses. The former Silvercup bakery is now home to Silvercup Studios, which has produced notable works such as NBC's 30 Rock and HBO's Sex and the City. The Silvercup sign is visible from the IRT Flushing Line and BMT Astoria Line trains going into and out of Queensboro Plaza (7, <7>, N, and W trains). The former Sunshine Bakery is now one of the buildings which houses LaGuardia Community College. Other buildings on the campus originally served as the location of the Ford Instrument Company, which was at one time a major producer of precision machines and devices. Artist Isamu Noguchi converted a photo-engraving plant into a workshop; the site is now the Noguchi Museum, a space dedicated to his work.
The Standard Motor Products headquarters, a manufacturing site producing items like distributor caps, was once located in the industrial neighborhood of Long Island City until purchased by Acuman Partners in 2008 for $40 million. The Standard Motor Products Building was put on the market by Acuman in 2014 and acquired by RXR Realty, LLC for $110 million. The former factory built in 1919 now houses the Jim Henson Company, Society Awards, and a commercial rooftop farm run by Brooklyn Grange.
High-rise housing is being built on a former Pepsi-Cola site on the East River. From June 2002 to September 2004, the former Swingline Staplers plant was the temporary headquarters of the Museum of Modern Art. Other former factories in Long Island City include Fisher Electronics and Chiclets Gum. Long Island City's turn-of-the-century district of residential towers, called Queens West, is located along the East River, just north of the LIRR's Long Island City Station. Redevelopment in Queens West reflects the intent to have the area as a major residential area in New York City, with its high-rise residences very close to public transportation, making it convenient for commuters to travel to Manhattan by ferry or subway. The first tower, the 42-floor Citylights, opened in 1998 with an elementary school at the base. Others have been completed since then and more are being planned or under construction.
Long Island City contains several of the tallest buildings in Queens. The 658-foot (201 m) Citicorp Building, built in 1990 on Courthouse Square, is the second tallest building in Queens and the third-tallest on Long Island; until 2019, it was Queens' tallest building. The tallest building in both Queens and Long Island, the 778-foot (237 m) Skyline Tower one block away, was architecturally topped-out in October 2019.[a] Yet another skyscraper, the 755-foot (230 m) Queens Plaza Park, is under construction at Queens Plaza and will become the tallest skyscraper in Queens and Long Island when complete.
Socioeconomic diversity is very visible in Long Island City; the Queensbridge Houses are composed of over 3,000 units, making it the largest public housing complex in North America.
Eagle Electric, now known as Cooper Wiring Devices, was one of the last major factories in the area, before it moved to China; Plant No. 7, which was the largest of their factories and housed their corporate offices, is being converted to residential luxury lofts.
Long Island City is currently home to the largest fortune cookie factory in the United States, owned by Wonton Foods and producing four million fortune cookies a day. Lucky numbers included on fortunes in the company's cookies led to 110 people across the United States winning $100,000 each in a May 2005 drawing for Powerball.
Online grocery company FreshDirect serves the greater New York metropolitan area via deliveries from a warehouse and administrative offices on Borden Avenue. A customer can also order online and come to the warehouse for pickup.
Long Island City is the new home of independent film studio Troma.
In spring 2010, JetBlue Airways announced it was moving its headquarters from Forest Hills to Long Island City, also incorporating the jobs from its Darien, Connecticut, office. The airline, which operates its largest hub at JFK Airport, also operates from LaGuardia Airport, and made the Brewster Building in Queens Plaza its home. The airline moved there around mid-2012.
In November 2018, news media claimed that Amazon.com was in final talks with the government of New York State to construct one of two campuses for its proposed Amazon HQ2 at Queens West in Long Island City. The other campus would be located at National Landing in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. Both campuses would have 25,000 workers. The selection was confirmed by Amazon on November 13, 2018. On February 14, 2019, Amazon announced it was pulling out, citing unexpected opposition from local lawmakers and unions.
Dutch Kills was a hamlet, named for its navigable tributary of Newtown Creek, that occupied what today is centrally Queensboro Plaza. Dutch Kills was an important road hub during the American Revolutionary War, and the site of a British Army garrison from 1776 to 1783. The area supported farms during the 19th century. The canalization of Newtown Creek and the Kills at the end of the 19th century intensified industrial development of the area, which prospered until the middle of the 20th century. The neighborhood is currently undergoing a massive rezoning of mixed residential and commercial properties.
Blissville, which has the ZIP code 11101, is a neighborhood within Long Island City, located at 40°44'4.87"N73°56'9.81"W and bordered by Calvary Cemetery to the east; the Long Island Expressway to the north; Newtown Creek to the south; and Dutch Kills, a tributary of Newtown Creek, to the west. Blissville was named after Neziah Bliss, who owned most of the land in the 1830s and 1840s. Bliss built the first version of what was known for many years as the Blissville Bridge, a drawbridge over Newtown Creek, connecting Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Blissville; it was replaced in the 20th century by the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, also called the J. J. Byrne Memorial Bridge, located slightly upstream. Blissville existed as a small village until 1870 when it was incorporated into Long Island City. Historically an industrial neighborhood, it has Triangle 54, a small park with a monument at 54th Avenue and 48th Street.
Hunters Point Historic District
Religious procession crossing 50th Avenue, 1989.
Church at rear is undergoing repair.
|Location||Along 45th Ave., between 21st and 23rd Sts., New York City|
|Area||1.5 acres (0.61 ha)|
|Architectural style||Mixed (More Than 2 Styles From Different Periods)|
|NRHP reference #||73001251 |
|Added to NRHP||September 19, 1973|
Hunters Point is on the south side of Long Island City. It contains the Hunters Point Historic District, a national historic district that includes 19 contributing buildings along 45th Avenue between 21st and 23rd Streets. They are a set of townhouses built in the late 19th century. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Long Island City is home to a large and dynamic artistic community.
Woodside, Sunnyside, and Long Island City are patrolled by the 108th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 5-47 50th Avenue. The 108th Precinct ranked 25th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 19 per 100,000 people, Sunnyside and Woodside's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 63 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 108th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 88.2% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 2 murders, 12 rapes, 90 robberies, 108 felony assaults, 109 burglaries, 490 grand larcenies, and 114 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm births are more common in southern Long Island City than in other places citywide, but are less common in northern Long Island City; teenage births are less common than citywide in both areas.:11:11 In northern Long Island City, there were 84 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 15.1 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 In southern Long Island City, there were 90 preterm births per 1,000 live births, and 14.9 teenage births per 1,000 live births.:11 Long Island City has a high population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 12% in Community Board 1 and 16% in Community Board 2, compared to the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, is 0.0078 milligrams per cubic metre (7.8×10−9 oz/cu ft) in northern Long Island City and 0.0093 milligrams per cubic metre (9.3×10−9 oz/cu ft) in southern Long Island City.:9 Nineteen percent of Community Board 1 residents and fourteen percent of Community Board 2 residents are smokers, compared to the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13:13 In Community Board 1, 19% of residents are obese, 11% are diabetic, and 29% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In Community Board 2, 20% of residents are obese, 9% are diabetic, and 23% have high blood pressure.:16 In addition, 22% of children in northern Long Island City and 19% of children in southern Long Island City are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12:12
Eighty-nine percent of Community Board 1 residents and ninety-two percent of Community Board 2 residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is higher than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 79% of residents in both areas described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," slightly higher than the city's average of 78%.:13:13 For every supermarket, there are 17 bodegas in southern Long Island City and 10 in northern Long Island City.:10:10
Long Island City generally has a slightly higher ratio of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. In Community Board 1, half of residents (50%) have a college education or higher, while 16% have less than a high school education and 33% are high school graduates or have some college education. In Community Board 2, 45% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 19% have less than a high school education and 35% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 39% of Queens residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6:6 The percentage of Community Board 1 students excelling in math rose from 43 percent in 2000 to 65 percent in 2011, and reading achievement rose from 47% to 49% during the same time period. Similarly, the percentage of Community Board 2 students excelling in math rose from 40% in to 65%, and reading achievement rose from 45% to 49%, during the same time period.
Long Island City's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is about equal to the rest of New York City. Nineteen percent of elementary school students in Community Board 1 and eleven percent in Community Board 2 missed twenty or more days per school year, less than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6:6 Additionally, 78% of high school students in Community Board 1 and 86% of high school students in Community Board 2 graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.:6:6
Long Island City is served by the New York City Department of Education. Long Island City is zoned to:
Additionally, Long Island City is home to:
Long Island City is home to numerous high schools, some of which offer specializations, as indicated below. These specialized schools are not to be confused with the elite specialized high schools. Rather, these schools offer programs that are included at specialized high schools.
Numerous institutions of higher education have (or have had) a presence in Long Island City.
The Hunters Point Community Library is located at 47-40 Center Boulevard on the bank of the East River. Designed by Steven Holl Architects in 2010,the library has a floor area of 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) and is 82 feet (25 m) tall. Some of its outstanding features include an art installation by Julianne Swartz, designer furniture by Eames and Jean Prouvé, and a reading garden surrounded by Gingko trees designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh. It cost $40 million to construct the new library to benefit a new and useful place for others to gather information and prevent any further remediation, due to a past factory that processed asphalt and other bituminous products on which the library was built. The new Hunters Point Library includes over 50,000 books along with an abundant amount of book collections with languages in Spanish and Chinese, with furniture to sit and a view of Manhattan. Also an environmental education center, a section for young children, and a space for teenagers equipped with a video game area.
There are several waterfront parks in Long Island City. These include or have included:
Other parks include:
Long Island City is served by the New York City Subway via the elevated BMT Astoria Line (N and W trains) at Queensboro Plaza and 39th Avenue, and the IRT Flushing Line (7 and <7> trains) at Vernon Boulevard–Jackson Avenue, Hunters Point Avenue, Court Square, and Queensboro Plaza. It is also served by the underground IND 63rd Street Line (F and <F> trains) at 21st Street–Queensbridge, the IND Queens Boulevard Line (E, M, and R trains) at Queens Plaza and Court Square–23rd Street, and IND Crosstown Line (G train) at Court Square and 21st Street. The Long Island City and Hunterspoint Avenue stations of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) are also located within Long Island City. The US$11.1 billion East Side Access project, which will bring LIRR trains to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, is under construction and is scheduled to open in 2022; this project will create a new train tunnel beneath the East River, connecting Long Island City and Queens with the East Side of Manhattan.
During the summer, the New York Water Taxi Company used to operate Water Taxi Beach, a public beach artificially created on a wharf along the East River, accessible at the corner of Second Street and Borden Avenue. It was discontinued in 2011 due to new construction on the site of the old landing.
Cars enter from Brooklyn by the Pulaski Bridge from Brooklyn; from Manhattan by the Queensboro Bridge and the Queens–Midtown Tunnel; and from Roosevelt Island by the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Major thoroughfares include 21st Street, which is mostly industrial and commercial; I-495 (Long Island Expressway); the westernmost portion of Northern Boulevard (New York State Route 25A), which becomes Jackson Avenue (the former name of Northern Boulevard) south of Queens Plaza; and Queens Boulevard, which leads westward to the bridge and eastward follows New York State Route 25 through Long Island; and Vernon Boulevard.
In June 2011, NY Waterway started service to points along the East River. On May 1, 2017, that route became part of the NYC Ferry's East River route, which runs between Pier 11/Wall Street in Manhattan's Financial District and the East 34th Street Ferry Landing in Murray Hill, Manhattan, with five intermediate stops in Brooklyn and Queens. One NYC Ferry stop for the East River route is located at Hunters Point South, while another NYC Ferry stop for a route to Astoria is located at Gantry Plaza State Park.
There are plans to build the Brooklyn–Queens Connector (BQX), a light rail system that would run along the waterfront from Red Hook in Brooklyn through Long Island City to Astoria. However, the system is projected to cost $2.7 billion, and the projected opening has been delayed until at least 2029.
Long Island City was incorporated and had elected mayors beginning in 1870. Long Island City, and the rest of Queens, were annexed to New York City in 1898.
|A.D. Ditmars||1870–1873||Democrat, Republican[b]|
|Henry S. De Bevoise[c]||1873–1874||Democrat|
|George H. Hunter (acting)[c]||1873–1874||Democrat|
|Henry S. De Bevoise[c]||1874–1875||Democrat|
|John Quinn (acting)||1875–1876||Democrat|
|Henry S. De Bevoise||1876–1883||Democrat|
|George Petry||1883–1887||Independent Democrat, Republican|
|Patrick J. Gleason||1887–1897||Democrat|
Seven Major League Baseball players were born in Long Island City, and two have died there:
Other notable residents of Long Island City include:
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Long Island City, Queens.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Queens/Long Island City and Astoria.|