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One side of Boulevard Garden

The Boulevard Gardens Apartments, Queens in Woodside, Queens opened in June 1935, during the Great Depression. The buildings are located at 51st Street and 32nd Avenue.[1] They were designed by architect Theodore H. Englehardt[2] and operated under the New York City Housing Authority.[1]


Low-income housing

The housing project had ten units which housed 96 families each,[2], 960 families in all.[3] The buildings were low-rent model tenements[3] with an average rental price of $11 a room. They were completed with a Federal loan of $3,450,000 from the Public Works Administration in Woodside, Queens.[1] By September 1935 the builders, Boulevard Gardens Housing Corporation, reported that all of the units were leased.[3]

The Dick-Meyer Corporation built a block front of fourteen stores adjacent to the apartments. They were entirely rented by October 1935.[4] The 3,000 inhabitants of the development had easy access to twenty-seven retail stores, a 300 car garage, and a movie theater.[1]

In October 1935 John Volpe, president of the Lower East Side Public Housing Conference, wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times. He contended that the slum problem was only partially solved by government assistance to projects like Knickerbocker Village, Boulevard Gardens, and Hillside, Queens. The low income group was unable to afford the rent as the prices were not low enough. He offered the example of a New York City Housing Authority project on East 3rd Street (Manhattan). These dwellings were most attractive and were much less expensive.[5]

In May 1936 the majority of the families in the larger buildings paid between $35 and $50 per month for rent. A ruling by the New York State Board of Housing cautioned the Boulevard Gardens Housing Corporation to reserve their accommodations for low income families. Management was advised to gradually eliminate tenants whose annual family incomes exceeded five times their annual rentals. Eleven other housing projects were affected by the action. State board data indicated that 3.8 % of families residing at the Boulevard Gardens Apartments had annual incomes of $4,000 or more.[6]

Dwight L. Hoopingarner, associate director of the Public Works Administration housing division, reported a waiting list of 5,000 families for vacancies at Boulevard Gardens on July 29, 1936.[1] Boulevard Gardens was assessed a property tax of $3,635,000 for 1937, an increase of $660,000 from the previous year.[7]

Late 20th century

In November 1999 the Boulevard Gardens were a 960-unit co-op encompassing 12 acres (49,000 m2) and 10 buildings with 6 stories each.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Reports Big Waiting List". New York Times: p. 36. July 30, 1936. Retrieved August 30, 2009.  
  2. ^ a b "Model Apartments Opening in Queens". New York Times: p. RE2. June 23, 1935.  
  3. ^ a b c "Model Flats in Woodside Are Fully Rented; Last of Ten Units to Be Opened on Oct. 15". New York Times: p. RE1. September 29, 1935.  
  4. ^ "Store Group Quickly Rented". New York Times: p. RE3. October 13, 1935.  
  5. ^ "The Housing Problem". New York Times: p. 20. October 4, 1935. Retrieved August 30, 2009.  
  6. ^ "Curbs on Tenants Widened By State". New York Times: p. 5. May 9, 1936. Retrieved August 30, 2009.  
  7. ^ "Tentative Tax Valuations on Big Buildings and Other Realty in Five Boroughs". New York Times: p. 19. October 2, 1936. Retrieved August 30, 2009.  
  8. ^ Cohen, Joyce (November 14, 1999). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Woodside, Queens; A Polyglot Enclave, At First, 'Irishtown'". New York Times: p. RE7. Retrieved August 30, 2009.  

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