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Great Neck
—  Village  —
Great Neck, Nassau County, viewed west from Northern Boulevard.
Nickname(s): The Old Village[citation needed]
U.S. Census Map
Great Neck, New York is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°47′14″N 73°43′38″W / 40.78722°N 73.72722°W / 40.78722; -73.72722Coordinates: 40°47′14″N 73°43′38″W / 40.78722°N 73.72722°W / 40.78722; -73.72722
Country United States
State New York
County Nassau
Town North Hempstead
 - Total 1.4 sq mi (3.5 km2)
 - Land 1.4 sq mi (3.5 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)  0%
Elevation 108 ft (33 m)
Population (2000)[1]
 - Total 9,538
 Density 7,062.3/sq mi (2,726.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 11020–11027
Area code(s) 516
FIPS code 36-30169
GNIS feature ID 0951636

The term Great Neck is commonly applied to a peninsula on the North Shore of Long Island, containing the Village of Great Neck as well as an area south of the peninsula near Lake Success. The larger Great Neck area comprises a residential community of some 40,000 people made up of nine villages, as well as hamlets of North Hempstead, of which Great Neck is the northwestern quadrant. Larger Great Neck has a single postal zone and a school district.[citation needed]

The hamlets are census-designated places that consolidate various unincorporated areas. They are statistical entities and are not recognized locally. However, there are locally recognized Harbor Hills, Saddle Rock Estates, University Gardens, and Manhasset neighborhoods within the hamlet areas. The Manhasset neighborhood (in zip code 11030) is not considered part of Great Neck. The part of the Hamlet of Manhasset that is considered part of Great Neck includes the Great Neck Manor neighborhood. Great Neck Gardens is featured on many maps as a name of one such hamlet, even as the name is used rarely if ever by local residents.

Larger Great Neck is a 25-minute commute from Manhattan's Penn Station on the Port Washington Branch of the Long Island Rail Road via the Great Neck station, which is one of the most frequently served in the entire system.[2] Long Island Bus connects the villages to the train station and offers service to several destinations in Nassau and Queens from the station, while the southern part of the Great Neck area can also directly access the Q46 New York City Bus on Union Turnpike at the border with Glen Oaks and the Q12 bus on Northern Boulevard at the border with Little Neck.


Village of Great Neck

The Village of Great Neck is located at 40°48′10″N 73°43′53″W / 40.802671°N 73.731255°W / 40.802671; -73.731255.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.5 km2), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.5 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (1.46%) is water.

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,538 people, 3,346 households, and 2,552 families residing in the village. The population density was 7,062.3 people per square mile (2,727.9/km2). There were 3,441 housing units at an average density of 2,547.9/sq mi (984.1/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 85.33% White, 2.82% African American, 0.10% Native American, 4.94% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.28% from other races, and 3.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.17% of the population.[1]

As of 2000 Great Neck was the second most ethnic Iranian populated place in the United States with 21.1% of its population reporting Iranian ancestry.[4]

There were 3,346 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.9% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.7% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.30.[1]

In the village the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.[1]

The median income for a household in the village was $76,645, and the median income for a family was $89,733. Males had a median income of $52,445 versus $37,476 for females. The per capita income for the village was $38,790. About 5.5% of families and 7.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.[1]

Communities Comprising Larger Great Neck

Westernmost portion of the Hamlet of Manhasset, that lies between the villages of Thomaston and Lake Success and has Great Neck postal codes (1102x)


Great Neck, originally called "Madnan's Neck", was settled in the late 17th century, not long after settlers landed on Plymouth Rock. The area had previously been inhabited by the Mattinecock Native Americans.

During the late 19th century Great Neck was the rail head of the New York and Flushing Railroad, and began the process of converting from a farm village into a commuter town.

In more recent days, Great Neck—in particular the Village of Kings Point—provided a backdrop to F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby. It was thinly disguised as "West Egg," in counterpoint to Manor Haven/Sands Point, which was the inspiration for the more posh "East Egg" (the next peninsula over on Long Island Sound), Great Neck symbolized the decadence of the Roaring Twenties as it extended out from New York City into the then-remote suburbs. The Great Gatsby's themes and characters reflected the real-world transformation that Great Neck was experiencing at the time, as show-business personalities like Sid Caesar and the Marx Brothers bought homes in the hamlet and eventually established it as a haven for Jews, formerly of Brooklyn and the Bronx.

In 1943, the United States Merchant Marine Academy was founded at the former location of Walter P. Chrysler's palatial estate in Kings Point.[5] It remains the only Academy or College in Great Neck to this day.

The end of World War II saw a tremendous migration of Ashkenazi Jews from the cramped quarters to the burgeoning suburb. They founded many synagogues and community groups and pushed for stringent educational policies in the town's public schools. Jay Cantor's novel, Great Neck, portrays the eponymous town of this era, with recently installed residents of all stripes trying to secure the brightest futures for their children.

During the 1960s, many residents frequented the local pool and ice-skating complex, Parkwood, but in the past fifteen years attendance has declined as homeowners built their own inground pools. (After the events of September 11, 2001, the ice-skating rink was renamed in honor of Andrew Stergiopoulos, a local resident who was killed in the attack).

Things have changed in Great Neck since the Baby Boomer era. In the 1980s, an influx of affluent Iranian Jews who left their country following the 1979 Islamic Revolution settled in Great Neck. Though the majority of their children attended Great Neck schools, they did not integrate into the existing Ashkenazi synagogues, instead starting their own Iranian synagogues, where they could follow Mizrahi traditions. The Persian community also established its own grocery shops.

From the late 1990s, the Great Neck peninsula has been home to another Jewish shift. During this time, more observant, Orthodox Jews have moved to the area. This is a similar trend to what has happened in the Five Towns area on the South Shore of Long Island, although Reform and Conservative Jews appear to remain predominant in Great Neck.

On one road, Old Mill Road, there are three synagogues representing the three main branches of American Judaism: Temple Beth-El (Reform), Great Neck Synagogue (Orthodox), and Temple Israel of Great Neck (Conservative). Old Mill Road also has an honorific extra naming, "Waxman Way," in memory of Temple Israel's renowned rabbi, Mordechai Waxman, who led the congregation for 50 years.

Also beginning in the late 1990s and continuing till present day, a number of East Asians, predominantly Chinese and Korean, have been moving into the area. Many of these families move to Great Neck for a better environment for their children as well as the well-known public school education. Great Neck's proximity to ethnic enclaves such as Flushing and Bayside make it ideal for East Asians.

The general trend is that the northern part of Great Neck (north of the LIRR tracks) has a greater number of Iranian families, while the southern part (south of the LIRR tracks) has a larger East Asians population. The African-American population is low in all of Great Neck.

Besides the synagogues, Great Neck also includes St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church and All Saints Episcopal Church. A Mormon church is located just over the border in Little Neck, near two additional synagogues.

The Parkwood pool and skating rink complex, the Village Green and sections of Kings Point Park are managed by the Great Neck Park District. The park district serves all of Great Neck except the villages of Saddle Rock, Great Neck Estates, and Lake Success, and the neighborhoods (not hamlets) of Harbor Hills and University Gardens. The areas not served by the Great Neck Park District each have their own facilities for their residents, run by the villages or civic associations. Parkwood can also provide tennis lessons and skating lessons. During the summer it is apart of the Great Neck day camp program, where young campers use the swimming pool facilities.[6]

Home of the United Nations (1947-1952)

During the construction of the current complex United Nations Complex from 1947 through 1952, the United Nations was temporarily headquartered at the Sperry Corporation facility in the Great Neck community of Lake Success due to its proximity to Manhattan. Eleanor Roosevelt headed the UN Commission on Human Rights at this location.

Emergency services

The Village of Great Neck is protected by the Nassau County Police Department's Sixth Precinct, as is the rest of Great Neck except for the villages of Great Neck Estates, Kings Point, Kensington and Lake Success. Those villages have their own police departments, which are reinforced by the NCPD during any criminal activity, event, or other incident that falls outside the realm of "routine."

Great Neck is served by three all-volunteer fire departments. The Great Neck Alert Fire Company was founded in 1901 . The Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company was founded in 1904. Company 3 of the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department was founded in 1912, and Company 4 of the M-LFD was founded in 1926. Alert covers the northern part of the peninsula, including the Village of Great Neck, providing fire and heavy rescue response. Vigilant serves the middle portion of Great Neck with fire and heavy rescue response. The Vigilant Fire Companyalso provides emergency ambulance services to both its own territory and Alert's, due to the fact that Alert does not operate an ambulance. M-LFD Co. 3 and 4 serve the southern part of Great Neck, including the villages of Thomaston and Lake Success. These two companies offer fire and rescue services. The M-LFD Ambulance Unit operates two ambulances out of Co. 3's firehouse. In addition, the Nassau County Police Emergency Ambulance Bureau also provides EMS service to the Manhasset-Lakeville fire district.

Culture and tourism

Currently, Great Neck, connected to New York City by the Long Island Rail Road, serves primarily as a bedroom community for New York City. As such, it contains few "touristy" attractions. Notable exceptions include:

  • Saddle Rock Grist Mill, a historical grain-mill powered by tides; known to have been in operation as early as the 1700s.
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point
  • Steppingstone Park, formerly part of the Walter P. Chrysler estate in Kings Point
  • Kings Point Park
  • Great Neck Arts Center
  • Great Neck Plaza Shopping District
  • Handful of Keys, a trompe l'oeil (fool the eye) mural painted by Willian Cochran located in Great Neck Plaza
  • Great Neck Promenade Nights- Several summer nights in Great Neck's thriving Downtown area, the streets are closed off and local restaurants bring all of their seating outdoors for a festival evening of dining, live music, and entertainment.

The Great Gatsby

As everyone who lives in Great Neck knows, F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in Great Neck, at six Gateway Drive in Great Neck Estates -- probably the Great Neck's greatest claim to fame. He lived here, in the 1920s, in a modest house, not dis-similar to that of Nick, the protagonist of his novel, The Great Gatsby. It is said that Fitzgerald modeled West Egg -- the fictional town in which Nick lives, next to the mansion of Jay Gatsby, the epitome of Nouveau Riche gaudiness -- after his own Great Neck (specifically Kings Point) and the atmosphere and lifestyle there; and he modeled East Egg, the town where Daisy and Tom live, after Great Neck's eastern neighbor, Port Washington, or, more specifically, Sands Point.

Great Neck School District

The Great Neck Union Free School District is the school district of most of larger Great Neck. It also includes parts of unincorporated New Hyde Park and Manhasset Hills. A small part of eastern Great Neck around Northern Boulevard is part of the Manhasset Union Free School District, whose students attend Manhasset High School.

About 6,200 students, grades K-12, attend the Great Neck Public Schools. There are three high schools: North, South, and Village (a small alternative high school). There is a districtwide, alternative high school program, SEAL Academy (Supportive Environment for All Learners). There are also two middle schools and four elementary schools. Students have diverse backgrounds; they come from more than 40 countries and represent a broad socioeconomic range.[7]

Great Neck's two major high schools are rated among the top in the country. Its students have been frequent finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search, and Great Neck has produced several Intel STS winners since 1999. In addition, the district has produced several high school winners of the international First Step to the Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded in Poland. In the 2008 Newsweek magazine's annual list of the top 1,300 American high schools, Great Neck South is ranked 49th, and Great Neck North is ranked 68th.[8]

People associated with Great Neck


  1. ^ a b c d e "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "LIRR Great Neck Timetable". Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ Iranian ancestry by city - ePodunk
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ University Gardens Property Owners Association
  7. ^ Class profile; URL accessed November 9, 2006.
  8. ^ "America's Top Public High Schools 2008". Newsweek. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  9. ^ Miller, David Ian. "Finding My Religion: Dan Ahdoot, Jewish Iranian American comic, on holidays and life in America", San Francisco Chronicle, December 11, 2006. Accessed November 12, 2008. "I grew up in Great Neck, N.Y., which is actually a hotbed of Iranian Jewry, so I didn't really know that I was very different until I went to college."
  10. ^ a b Kerr, Kathleen. "They Began Here: Around the country, leading thinkers in health and science can trace their roots to Long Island", Newsday, July 16, 2008. Accessed September 17, 2008.
  11. ^ Amodio, Joseph V. "Great Neck's Nikki Blonsky makes nightclub debut",, Newsday, September 23, 2008. Accessed November 12, 2008.
  12. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Theodore Nierenberg, Founder of Dansk, Dies at 86", The New York Times, August 3, 2009. Accessed August 4, 2009.
  13. ^ Goldman, Ari L. "Mordecai Waxman, Rabbi Who Chided Pope, Dies at 85", The New York Times, August 15, 2002. Accessed November 12, 2008.
  14. ^ Wodehouse, P.G.. "Dogs and Cats and Wodehouse; Dogs, Cats and Wodehouse", The New York Times, October 3, 1971. Accessed August 5, 2009. "When I was married 57 years ago, I lived in Bellport. Then I moved to Great Neck."

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