Glendale, Queens: Wikis


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Glendale is a neighborhood in the west-central portion of the borough of Queens in New York City.[1] It is bounded by the Long Island Rail Road's Montauk Division tracks to the north,[1] Woodhaven Boulevard to the east, numerous cemeteries to the south and Fresh Pond Road to the West. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 5.[2]

It is characterized as a low-scale residential community, in relation to the more developed neighborhoods directly surrounding it such as Forest Hills, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Jamaica, and Kew Gardens,[citation needed] because of its relative isolation from the New York City Subway system and its bordering by various cemeteries and parks. The zip code of Glendale is 11385.



Originally named Fresh Ponds, Glendale was a swampy area of land with fresh water pools. It was part of 74,000 acres (300 km²) of land collectively called Newtown, chartered by the Dutch West India Company in 1642. It's name is derived from the town of Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland.


Early land division

By the mid-nineteenth century, Fresh Ponds was a thriving German farming community. In 1860, George C. Schott, a developer, was given a large amount of land in Fresh Ponds as repayment for a debt. He renamed the land Glendale after his hometown in Ohio. Nine years later, one John C. Schooley, a real estate agent, bought a substantial amount of property and also called it Glendale. Schooley laid out streets and divided his property into 469 lots, measuring 25 x 100 ft (7.6 x 30 m), which he then sold off for $300 each[1].

The Cemetery Belt

Harry Houdini's Grave

In 1847, The State Rural Cemeteries Act was passed in New York, which by 1850 put an end to the establishment of any new cemeteries in Manhattan. Cemetery owners were however encouraged to build in Brooklyn and Queens. Glendale quickly became almost encircled by cemeteries, as seen in the accompanying map, being located in what is called the “Cemetery Belt”.[3] Among the cemeteries that surround Glendale are Saint John’s, Cypress Hills, All Saint’s Lutheran, Mount Lebanon, Mount Carmel, Beth-El, Mount Neboh, and Union Field. Some of these cemeteries are the resting places of many famous people, including Jackie Robinson, Mae West, and Harry Houdini, at whose tomb devotees gather each year on Halloween to see if he can pull off the ultimate escape trick and return from the grave.


In 1869, a railroad stop at 73rd Street was opened by the South Side Railroad, which was sold in 1874 to the North Side Railroad, which then was merged into the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in 1876, becoming part of the Montauk Branch. In 1927, the station burned down and was never replaced. In 1998, service to the Glendale station was discontinued. However, freight trains still operate, although in recent years controversy over trains transporting radioactive waste through the community has arisen.

Farms continued to provide the backbone of the economy until World War I, though development was beginning along Myrtle Avenue, Glendale’s main thoroughfare, as many family-run stores began opening and steam powered trolleys were introduced on the avenue in 1891.


In Glendale, many ethnic groups are represented. Many residents of Glendale are White Americans of German, Irish, and other Western European descent. However, an influx of people of South American descent and Asian descent have moved into this area. A Mitchell Lama housing development known as Forest Park Crescent is home to many Russians, Hispanics, and Koreans.


Myrtle Avenue was greatly enjoyed for its parks often frequented by picnickers. With the Steam Trolley running along the Avenue, several investors bought a total of 500 acres (2 km²) of land in the eastern end of Glendale and opened a number of parks and beer gardens. "In the 1890’s on the north side of Myrtle Avenue from what is now 83rd Street to Woodhaven Boulevard, the following picnic parks opened: Schmidt’s Woods, Glendale Schuetzen Park, Greater New York Park and Casino and Tivoli Park. On the south side of Myrtle Avenue from 88th Place to Woodhaven Boulevard: El Dorado Park, Emerald Park and Florida Park opened." These parks drew large crowds, not only from Glendale but from Eastern Brooklyn, where there were no proper parks at the time. Roller hockey is popular at Mafera Park, as the 104th Precinct Roller Hockey League exists there. In the mid-nineteen-twenties, the parks closed as they were unable to financially weather Prohibition. The parks were incorporated by the city into what is known today as Forest Park.

Economy and immigrants

After World War I, Glendale's economic base shifted from farming to textiles and breweries. The largest employer was the Atlas Terminal, a vast industrial park, consisting of 16 buildings (factories). It was demolished in 2004 and a massive shopping center called “The Shops at Atlas Park” opened in May 2006.

Traditionally, Glendale was home to a large and active community of German immigrants. And while this group is still heavily represented in the neighborhood, most of the local businesses have become more Americanized over the generations.

ZIP code

While having always been part of Queens, until the late 1970s Glendale and neighboring Ridgewood were served by the Brooklyn post office in Bushwick. After the 1977 blackout, which was accompanied by riots and looting in Bushwick, Ridgewood and Glendale disassociated themselves from Bushwick. In 1979, the two areas were granted a Queens ZIP Code, 11385.

Noted restaurants and bars

Glendale was renowned for its many authentic German restaurants, namely Zum Stammtisch (The Family Table), Von Westernhagen's, Gebhardt's, and Hans Gasthaus. However, in the last decade all but Zum Stammtisch and Von Westernhagen's have closed their doors for good. Stammtisch can be found highly regarded in most New York City tour guides even though it's located in an outer borough.

The oldest operating business in Glendale dates to the 1830s. Originally called the Woods Inn, the Woods is a two-story house with a bar on the first floor and apartments, which were once rooms-for-rent, on the second floor. It had been conveniently located just half a block from the train station. However, with the station's closing, it is now an off-the-beaten-path watering hole for locals. Part of an episode of NYPD Blue was filmed here in the late 1990s. "A Stranger Is Watching" (1982) starring Rip Torn was also filmed here, and most of the crew ate lunch with the owner at that time, John Virga.

Another of Glendale’s bars, The Assembly, figured prominently in the 1996 film Trees Lounge, written, directed, and starring Steve Buscemi. It served as the set for the fictional bar for which the movie is named.

Glendale is also home to Cooper's Ale House, which is featured in the show The King of Queens as a local bar. Cooper's was taken over by new ownership and is now called Yer Man's Irish Pub. It's on 88th Street right off Cooper Avenue.[4]

Glendale's newest addition, The Shops at Atlas Park, has a number of chain and independent restaurants, including California Pizza Kitchen, Chili's Grill & Bar, Johnny Rockets, Manor Oktoberfest, Orange, Pasticcio, and Shiro of Japan.

Local schools

Glendale is home to seven schools: P.S. 91 Elementary, P.S. 113 Elementary, I.S. 119 The Glendale Intermediate School, Saint John's Lutheran Elementary, Sacred Heart Elementary, Redeemer Lutheran Elementary, and Saint Pancras Elementary.

Fire department

In 1896, Glendale's first fire department, the Ivanhoe Park Hose Company, a volunteer fire company, was established. It was funded by one Henry Meyer, a wealthy businessman, who owned a cigar factory, a lucrative holding of stocks, and a sizable amount of land, part of which would become the neighborhood of Liberty Park. The fire department's uniforms, a hose cart and the hose were subsidized by Meyer. He also undertook several construction projects, such as building pumping stations, to ensure water would be available anywhere long the major streets (i.e., Myrtle Avenue and Cypress Hills Street). Later that year, the first company was expanded with a hook and ladder and renamed Ivanhoe Fire Hook and Ladder Company and 2 months later became Company 10 in the Newtown Fire Department.

Today, the neighborhood is serviced by Fire Department Engine Company #286 and Ladder Company #135, housed on the south side of Myrtle Avenue between 66th Place and 67th Street and by the 104th Police Precinct located on Catalpa Avenue at 64th Street.

Forest Park

Forest Park has been a place for fun for the residents of Glendale. The park has a bandshell, which provides shows for the community; a golf course and the park is a popular spot for skaters. It also has a public golf course, as well as riding trails (stables are located off the park grounds).

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Glendale include:


  • Jackson, Kenneth (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. Yale University Press and New-York Historical Society. 


See also

External links


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