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Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst, Queens NY

East Elmhurst is a culturally diverse area in New York City, in the northwest of the borough of Queens. It is located north of Jackson Heights and Corona and is bounded on the east and north by Flushing Bay. Residents are mostly moderate-income families, but there are also low-income areas. It includes Trainsmeadow, which is its western section. It is patrolled by the New York Police Department's 115th Precinct. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 3.[1] The zip codes of East Elmhurst are 11369 and 11370.

During the ‘50’s and '60's East Elmhurst and its neighbor, Corona, was home to legendary African American musicians, civil rights leaders, professionals and athletes including Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Heath, Frankie Lymon, Charlie Shavers, Ella Fitzgerald, Norman Mapp, Willie Mayes and BBQ George Williams, former Harlem Night Club Dancer turned restaurateur who owned the renown BBQ George’s Supper Club. The club was frequented by the Black elite of Queen and New York politicos including civil rights activist Judge William “Bill” Booth, Publisher and NYC Commissioner Ken Drew, New York City's Mayor John Lindsay and New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. The two communities were often referred to as one “Corona/East Elmhurst”.

Corona/East Elmhurst is the childhood home of US Attorney General Eric Holder and is home to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.



Corona/East Elmhurst houses one of the most extensive collections of African American art and literature in the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center. A component of the Queens Library system, the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center is located on Northern Boulevard.

The Black Heritage Reference Center, a part of the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center, serves Queens County with a comprehensive reference and circulating collection, totaling approximately 30,000 volumes of materials written about and related to Black culture. Emphasis is given to those geographic areas where African-Americans have lived in significant numbers, including West Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. The Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County includes books, periodicals, theses and dissertations, VHS videos, cassettes and CDS, photographs, posters, prints, paintings, and sculpture. The curator is responsible for the coordination, supervision, and care of the special collection for its continued development and on-going maintenance. Cultural arts programs are scheduled through the Black Heritage Reference Center. Meeting space is available to community organizations by application.

Special features of the Black Heritage Center include:

  • The Schomburg Clipping File — an extensive microfich collection of periodicals, magazine clippings, typescripts, broadsides, pamphlets, programs, book reviews, menus and ephemera of all kinds.
  • The UMI Thesis and Dissertation Collection — consists of more than 1,000 volumes of doctoral and master dissertations concerning Africans and African-Americans in the Diaspora. The focus of the collection is on criticisms of Black writers, with special emphasis on the works of writer and poet Langston Hughes.
  • The Adele Cohen Music Collection — contains most of America's foremost Black publications on microfilm. The papers cover 15 states beginning in 1893, and are updated each year with current issues.
  • The Black Heritage Video Collection — documents the history and culture of Africans and African-Americans on tape, and in all subject areas including literature, biography, social science, fine arts; and titles such as "Sankofa," and the "Million Man March." Through the Black Heritage Reference Center literature readings, workshops and lectures are scheduled, as well as cultural arts programming in fine art exhibitions, film festivals, dance, musical, and dramatic presentations/ performances.


In 1987 British Airways moved its United States corporate offices to the Bulova Corporate Center, a converted watch factory in the East Elmhurst/Jackson Heights area.[2] In 1999 British Airways said it would close its headquarters in the watch factory and move to a new headquarters building in a location in the New York City area by 2002, when the airline's lease would run out.[3] By 2001 the airline said it would keep 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) of office space in the watch building, but that its telephone operations would move to Jacksonville, Florida.[4] As of 2008 British Airways maintains offices in the Bulova building.[5][6]


East Elmhurst (Queens, New York)
Population (2000)
Demographics White
Median income $42,182
Source: U.S. Census, Record Information Services

In recent years, the population has become increasingly Latino, with growing Dominican and Mexican populations. Although this area still has a great African -American and Caribbean-American population, many of the Black residents have died, retired or relocated. In the East Elmhurst 11369 and 11370 ZIP code, almost 30 percent of the 36,000 residents were born abroad.



Primary and secondary schools

New York City Department of Education operates public schools in the area. P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet School, an elementary school for grades PK-8, and I.S. 227 Louis Armstrong Middle School for grades 5-8 are in the neighborhood.

Private schools in the neighborhood include Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School, an all-boys catholic school for grades 9-12 and St. Gabriel School, a co-ed catholic school for grades PK-8.

Notable residents

The legendary Fair Theater in East Elmhurst

Notable current and former residents include:


  1. ^ Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  2. ^ Oser, Alan S. "Perspectives: Offices in Queens; British Airways Lands in Jackson Heights." The New York Times. May 17, 1987.
  3. ^ Toy, Vivian S. "British Airways Will Close Base in Queens." The New York Times. April 9, 1999.
  4. ^ Siwolop, Sana. "Commercial Real Estate; Major Changes in Works At Bulova Site in Queens." The New York Times. March 21, 2001.
  5. ^ "London in Style - Terms and Conditions." British Airways. Accessed September 20, 2003.
  6. ^ "Bulova Corporate Center." Blumenfeld Development Group. Accessed September 20, 2008.

External links

Coordinates: 40°45′40″N 73°51′54″W / 40.76111°N 73.865°W / 40.76111; -73.865


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