South Jamaica, Queens

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"South Jamaica" redirects here. For the country, see Jamaica.
A Seventh Day Adventist church
August Martin High School

South Jamaica (also commonly known as "The Southside") is a residential neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York City, located south of downtown Jamaica. It is part of Queens Community Board 12.<ref name="QCB12Profile">"QUEENS COMMUNITY DISTRICT 12" (PDF). nyc.gov. Government of New York City. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016. </ref> Although a proper border has not been established, the neighborhood is an overall subset of the greater Jamaica area that faces the Long Island Rail Road Main Line tracks, Jamaica Avenue or Liberty Avenue to the north; the Van Wyck Expressway on the west; and Merrick Boulevard toward the east, adjoining the neighboring community of St. Albans.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010">Jackson, Kenneth T.; Keller, Lisa; Flood, Nancy (2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300182570. Retrieved October 7, 2012. </ref> Other primary thoroughfares of South Jamaica include Baisley, Foch, Linden, Guy R. Brewer, Sutphin, and Rockaway Boulevards.<ref name="Brown2010" />

Considered a slum in the early 20th century,<ref name="Eisenstadt2011">Peter Eisenstadt (February 23, 2011). Rochdale Village: Robert Moses, 6,000 Families, and New York City's Great Experiment in Integrated Housing. Cornell University Press. pp. 49–52. ISBN 0-8014-5968-0. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref><ref name=NYTimes-BeforePublicHousing-May2005>Roberts, Sam (May 8, 2005). "Before Public Housing, a City Life Cleared Away". The New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref> the neighborhood now consists of working-class and middle-class residents.

Location

South Jamaica is generally considered to be the area south of Downtown Jamaica (Jamaica Center) or Jamaica Avenue, with the Van Wyck Expressway to the west, and Merrick Boulevard to the east. The eastern border extends as far as the LIRR Montauk Branch tracks in the northern part of the neighborhood. John F. Kennedy International Airport lies to the south across the Belt Parkway.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Copquin2007">Claudia Gryvatz Copquin (2007). The Neighborhoods of Queens. Yale University Press. pp. 100–107. ISBN 0-300-11299-8. </ref><ref name="NYCFactFinder" /><ref name="NYDaily-GuidetoSJamaica-Dec2010"/><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958">"QUEENS COMMUNITIES Population Characteristics and Neighborhood Social Resources: Volume II". BJPA.org. Bureau of Community Statistical Services Research Department, The Community Council of Greater New York. June 1958. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref><ref name="JamaicaNow-Feb2015">"JAMAICA NOW Neighborhood Action Plan" (PDF). nycedc.com. New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York City Department of City Planning. February 2015. Retrieved April 10, 2016. </ref> This area overlaps with the neighborhoods of St. Albans to the east, and Rochdale and Springfield Gardens to the south.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="NYCFactFinder" /> Many maps however consider South Jamaica to be bounded by Linden Boulevard to the north, and Rockaway Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard to the south, with the northern section (including the South Jamaica Houses) defined as part of Jamaica.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name=MTAJamaicaMap-2015>"MTA Neighborhood Maps: Jamaica" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015. </ref> Other maps consider the area between Linden Boulevard and Baisley/Rockaway Boulevards to be a southern subsection of South Jamaica called Baisley Park;<ref name="Copquin2007"/><ref name="NYCFactFinder"/><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009">Pinchevsky, Tal (May 7, 2009). "ON GOLDEN POND". New York Post. Retrieved April 10, 2016. </ref> Baisley Pond Park, the Baisley Park Houses, the Baisley Park Branch of Queens Library, and the Baisley Park Bus Depot are located in this area.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="NYCFactFinder">"NYC Census FactFinder". nyc.gov. </ref><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009"/><ref name=NYCParks-BaisleyPondPk>"Baisley Pond Park". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved November 8, 2013. </ref><ref name="AMNY-JamaicaQns-Frontier-Oct2015">Brennan, Casey (October 1, 2015). "Jamaica, Queens: What to do, see, eat and more in NYC's next affordable frontier". AM New York. Retrieved April 10, 2016. </ref> The neighborhood south of Rockaway and Baisley Boulevards to the Belt Parkway (including Rochdale Village) historically has been considered part of South Jamaica,<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/> but is now often mapped as Springfield Gardens North or Rochdale.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="NYCFactFinder" /><ref name="FreedomTicket-Dec2015">Brashears, Bradley; Shannon, Ellyn; Bellisio, Angel (December 2015). "Freedom Ticket: Southeast Queens Proof of Concept" (PDF). pcac.org. New York City Transit Riders Council. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> The three sections constitute the western half of Queens Community Board 12.<ref name="QCB12Profile" />

South Jamaica is covered by the 103rd and 113th Precincts of the New York City Police Department.<ref name="NYTimes-QnsRiseInMurders-Ap1987"/><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaica-NoMansLand-1992" /><ref name="DNA-SJamaicaCrime" /><ref name="Ferranti-SupremeTeam"/>

Nicknames

South Jamaica is often referred to as "Southside" or "Southside Jamaica" (also spelled as "South Side").<ref name="Brown2010">Ethan Brown (December 8, 2010). Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip Hop Hustler. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 7–14. ISBN 978-0-307-48993-7. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref><ref name="NYDaily-GuidetoSJamaica-Dec2010">Pesce, Nicole Lyn (December 26, 2010). "Your Nabe: Guide to South Jamaica, Queens". Daily News. New York. Retrieved April 9, 2016. </ref><ref name="Ferranti-SupremeTeam">Seth Ferranti. The Supreme Team: The Birth of Crack and Hip-Hop, Prince’s Reign of Terror and the Supreme/50 Cent Beef Exposed. Gorilla Convict Publications. ISBN 978-0-9800687-5-7. Retrieved April 9, 2016. </ref><ref name="Britton2013">Felicity Britton (April 1, 2013). Nicki Minaj: Conquering Hip-Hop. Twenty-First Century Books. pp. 8–11. ISBN 978-1-4677-1060-2. Retrieved April 9, 2016. </ref><ref name="Hombach">Jean-Pierre Hombach. 50 Cent. Lulu.com. pp. 57–60. ISBN 978-1-4716-0385-3. Retrieved April 9, 2016. </ref> This is said to be derived from the location of the neighborhood and its demographics; Hollis, Queens in the northeast corner of greater Jamaica and Queens CB12 is referred to as "Northside".<ref name="Brown2010"/> The South Side nickname dates back to the first half of the 20th century, when several local community organizations carried the name.<ref name="BklynEagle-SJamaicaSlum-Aug71935">"South Jamaica Slum Clearing Urged on U.S.: Leaders Argue Over Designation, but Agree Area Needs Changes". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 7, 1935. p. 30. Retrieved April 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. </ref><ref>"Independent Voters Club Backs Siegel". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 25, 1935. p. 5. Retrieved April 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. </ref><ref>"St. Peter's Society Sets Dance Date". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 5, 1935. p. 25. Retrieved April 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. </ref> An additional nickname, "South Suicide Queens", is a reference to the high crime rate in the neighborhood since the 1980s.<ref name="Hombach"/>

History

Etymology

South Jamaica is named for its location south of Jamaica; the name Jamaica itself is derived from the Lenape word Yameco meaning "beaver".<ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003"/> This was reflected in the naming of Beaver Pond at the border of Jamaica and South Jamaica.<ref name="NYTimes-ProspectCem-Mar2004">Worth, Robert F. (March 22, 2004). "At a Legendary Cemetery, a Rare Look Behind the Gates". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> Through the 20th century, the neighborhood was also known as Cedar Manor.<ref name="Seyfried-LIER-JamaicaCtrl" /><ref name="NYPress-CedarManorAd-May1908"/>

17th century to 1930s

Through the 19th century, what is now South Jamaica consisted of farmland.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003"/> Early developments in South Jamaica included the Prospect Cemetery opened in 1668, and the Prospect and St. Monica's Churches opened around 1857.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="NYDaily-GuidetoSJamaica-Dec2010" /><ref name="NYTimes-ProspectCem-Mar2004">Worth, Robert F. (March 22, 2004). "At a Legendary Cemetery, a Rare Look Behind the Gates". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> Baisley Pond, created by local farmers from dammed streams, was acquired by the City of Brooklyn's Williamsburg Water Works Company in 1852 for municipal water supplies.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="NYCParks-BaisleyPondPk" /><ref>Costella, Ann Marie (January 7, 2014). "Farmer Baisley’s pond: now a beautiful park". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved June 13, 2014. </ref>

The Jamaica Race Course was opened in 1894 at Baisley Boulevard and New York Avenue (today's Guy R. Brewer Bouelvard), and expanded in the early 1900s. Some sources state its official opening year as 1903.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003"/><ref name="Seyfried-LIER-JamaicaCtrl" /><ref>"New Track Opens To-day". The New York Times. April 27, 1903. p. 8. Retrieved October 13, 2009. </ref> Transportation was introduced into the neighborhood at the turn of the century. The Far Rockaway Line streetcar was opened along New York Avenue between downtown Jamaica and the Jamaica Racetrack on September 1, 1896, and was extended to the Rockaways by summer 1897.<ref name=Seyfried-LIER-JamaicaCtrl>Seyfried, Vincent F. (1961). "Full text of "Story of the Long Island Electric Railway and the Jamaica Central Railways, 1894–1933 /"". archive.org. F. E. Reifschneider. Retrieved December 20, 2015. </ref> The Cedar Manor station opened at Linden Boulevard along the LIRR Atlantic Branch in 1906.<ref name="NYPress-CedarManorAd-May1908">"In Cedar Manor" (PDF). New York Press (historical). Fultonhistory.com. May 6, 1908. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref><ref name="KellerLynch2005">David Keller; Steven Lynch (2005). Revisiting the Long Island Rail Road: 1925–1975. Arcadia Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7385-3829-7. </ref> The Queens Boulevard Line streetcar to Midtown Manhattan was extended along Sutphin Boulevard to 109th Avenue in South Jamaica in April 1916.<ref name=Seyfried-NYQnsCounty-Steinway>Seyfried, Vincent F. (1950). "Full text of "New York and Queens County Railway and the Steinway Lines, 1867–1939."". archive.org. Vincent F. Seyfried. Retrieved December 20, 2015. </ref><ref name=NYERA-QnsTrolleys-2007>"Several Queens Trolley Lines Quit 70 Years Ago". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders Association. 50 (10): 1, 4. October 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2016. </ref> Baisley Pond Park was opened by the city in 1919.<ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009" /><ref name="NYCParks-BaisleyPondPk" />

In the 1920s, the neighborhood's population exploded after streets were laid down and houses constructed.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="NYCParks-BaisleyPondPk" /><ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003"/><ref name="Seyfried-LIER-JamaicaCtrl" /> Many African Americans began moving into the neighborhood at this time, while White residents began leaving the neighborhood, coinciding with other white flight periods in the city. By the 1930s, the neighborhood was considered to be predominantly Black, especially in contrast to other southeast Queens neighborhoods, although a significant White population remained.<ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/><ref name="NYTimes-Well&TrulyLaid-April1940">"Well and Truly Laid". The New York Times. April 16, 1940. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref><ref name="Harris2016">LaShawn Harris (April 5, 2016). Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City's Underground Economy. University of Illinois Press. pp. 191–192. ISBN 978-0-252-09842-0. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref> At this time, the neighborhood was considered a major slum, due to overcrowding, high crime, and lack of infrastructure. Many houses were frame houses constructed only of wood and were not fireproof, while residences in the neighborhood were without modern utilities such as electricity and indoor plumbing.<ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name=NYTimes-BeforePublicHousing-May2005/><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/><ref name="NYTimes-Well&TrulyLaid-April1940"/><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaicaHouses-July191939">"To Clear Housing Area: Workmen to Start Razing Monday on South Jamaica Site". The New York Times. July 19, 1939. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref><ref>"Jamaica Slum Plea Pressed: Rothman Says Commission Will Continue Fight for Clearance". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 31, 1935. p. 1. Retrieved April 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. </ref> The Jamaica Racetrack, meanwhile, was blamed for bringing down property values,<ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /> and was in poor operating condition.<ref name="NYCGov-EisenstadtRochdale2"/>

Urban renewal

In 1939, the city began slum clearance projects in the neighborhood. The first was the South Jamaica Houses public housing project, originally referred to as the "'South Jamaica' slum clearance project", opened in July 1940.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/><ref name="NYTimes-Well&TrulyLaid-April1940"/><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaicaHouses-July191939"/><ref name="NYTimes-5Projects-Aug171939">"$20,000,000 HOUSING TO PROCEED HERE; Mayor Announces Action on 5 Projects as Result of Pact Ending Building Stoppages UNION PLAN IS PRAISED Coyne Says That Jurisdictional Disputes No Longer Will Result in Tie-Ups". The New York Times. August 17, 1939. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref><ref>"$1,397,000 Construction Bid On Jamaica Housing Approved". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 22, 1939. p. 15. Retrieved April 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. </ref> A second portion of the project opened in 1954.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/> By 1955, following the takeover of the Jamaica Race Course by the Greater New York Association,<ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref>Nichols, Joseph C. (October 5, 1955). "New Track Group Takes Over Today". The New York Times. p. 45. Retrieved October 13, 2009. </ref> the city and city planner Robert Moses began evaluating plans to replace the track with new development. Plans included an additional public housing development, and one of several potential Queens sites for the failed relocation of the Brooklyn Dodgers.<ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name=cooperator>Olear, Greg (January 2008). "The Largest Cooperative in Queens". The Cooperator. Retrieved December 16, 2014. </ref> In October 1956, Moses planned a middle-income cooperative to be constructed on the site.<ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="NYCGov-EisenstadtRochdale2"/><ref>Bigart, Homer (October 5, 1956). "Moses Plans Deal on Jamaica Track". The New York Times. p. 26. Retrieved October 13, 2009. </ref> The track was closed in 1959 and demolished in 1960, replaced by an expanded Aqueduct Racetrack.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name=cooperator/><ref>Nichols, Joseph C. (August 2, 1959). "Babu First as Jamaica Closes". The New York Times. p. S1. Retrieved October 11, 2009. </ref><ref>"Din of Destruction at Jamaica Replaces Thunder of Hoofbeats". The New York Times. September 24, 1960. p. 25. Retrieved October 13, 2009. </ref>

In 1959, the LIRR Atlantic Branch was grade-separated, leading to the closure of the Cedar Manor station.<ref name="KellerLynch2005" /> The Baisley Park Houses were opened in 1961. Rochdale Village opened in December 1963 on the former Jamaica Racetrack site, bringing with it the neighborhood's first supermarkets and shopping centers.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="NYCGov-EisenstadtRochdale2"/><ref name=cooperator/> The Cedar Manor Co-op opened around this time as well.<ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003"/><ref>"Local Speakers At The Planning Commission Hearing" (PDF). The Leader-Observer. Fultonhistory.com. December 19, 1963. p. 1. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> By this time, the neighborhood was overwhelmingly Black, with the exception of the racially integrated Rochdale Village.<ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="NYCGov-EisenstadtRochdale2"/><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaicaProfile-Ap1972" /><ref name="NYTimes-Qns-BastionMiddleClass-1972"/> In 1970, the New York City Board of Higher Education approved plans to replace 50 acres (20 ha) of slum land with a permanent campus for York College. The site included the Prospect Cemetery and the Prospect and St. Monica's Churches.<ref name="NYTimes-YorkColl-Nov1970">Clines, Francis X. (November 24, 1970). "City Approve York College Campus Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref><ref name=NYTimes-QBLExpansion-1971>"New Line May Get Double Trackage: Transit Unit Studies Shift on Queens Super-Express". The New York Times. February 21, 1971. Retrieved September 26, 2015. </ref> At the same time, under the Program for Action the Metropolitan Transportation Authority planned to extend subway service into the neighborhood, by connecting the LIRR Atlantic Branch with the planned Archer Avenue subway in downtown Jamaica via a ramp in or near the campus site.<ref name="NYTimes-YorkColl-Nov1970"/><ref name=NYTimes-QBLExpansion-1971/> The subway connection was never constructed, due to funding issues caused by the city's fiscal crisis.<ref name=Raskin-RoutesNotTaken-2013>Joseph B. Raskin (November 1, 2013). The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System. Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-5369-2. Retrieved August 12, 2015. </ref><ref name=NYTimes-NYCS-BigChanges-1988>Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2015. </ref> The York College campus, also delayed by the fiscal crisis, began construction in 1980 and opened in stages beginning in 1988.<ref name="NYTimes-YorkColl-Permanenet-Nov1988">James, George (November 2, 1988). "YORK COLLEGE IN QUEENS GETS A PERMANENT HOME". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref>

1970s to 1990s

Despite urban renewal efforts, in 1966 South Jamaica was designated an official poverty zone by the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson during the president's War on Poverty,<ref name="NYCGov-EisenstadtRochdale2"/> and was considered one of the few remaining slums in the otherwise middle-class borough of Queens.<ref name="NYTimes-Qns-BastionMiddleClass-1972">Schumach, Murray (April 10, 1972). "Queens: Bastion of the Middle Class". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> In the late 1960s and continuing though the 1970s, South Jamaica and other Southeast Queens neighborhoods saw increasing rates of drug sales and usage, including cocaine and heroin epidemics.<ref name="Brown2010" /><ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="NYCGov-EisenstadtRochdale2">Eisenstadt, Peter (2007). "Rochdale Village and the rise and fall of integrated housing in New York City" (PDF). nyc.gov. </ref><ref>"Possession of Dangerous Drugs Found a Postscript to Many Routine Arrests in Middle-Class Queens". The New York Times. November 14, 1971. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> The neighborhood also had some of the highest rates of automobile theft in the city, attributed to the proximity to car theft rings centered in John F. Kennedy International Airport.<ref name="NYCGov-EisenstadtRochdale2"/><ref name="NYTimes-CrimeDisparity-Feb1972">Burnham, David (February 14, 1972). "A Wide Disparity is Found in Crime Throughout City". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> In 1972, South Jamaica was declared "the largest officially designated poverty area in Queens" by the Human Resources Administration.<ref name="NYTimes-SJamaicaProfile-Ap1972">Burks, Edward C. (April 30, 1972). "'Social Profile' of Depressed South Jamaica". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref>

The neighborhood was also the center of several racial issues in the 1970s. Students from South Jamaica were bused into other school districts in order to maintain integration of schools, leading to outcry from White residents of those districts.<ref>Lelyveld, Joseph (September 11, 1970). "School Busing Put to Queens Test". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref><ref>Shipler, David K. (March 20, 1972). "Busing in New York: Ambivalence, Not Outrage". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref> Other racial events included the shooting of Clifford Glover on April 28, 1973 by a plainclothes NYPD officer.<ref name=NewStraitsTimes>"Policeman Charged with Negro Boy's Murder". New Straits Times. April 30, 1973. Retrieved September 15, 2010. </ref><ref name="NYDaily-ThomasShea-2012">Krajicek, David J. (March 11, 2012). "Justice Story: NYPD cop kills boy, 10; officer acquitted of murder but fired from force: Walkie-talkie transmission broadcasts cop saying 'Die, you little bastard' after shooting". Daily News (New York). Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref><ref name="NYTimes-CliffGlover-2015">Dwyer, Jim (April 16, 2015). "A Police Shot to a Boy’s Back in Queens, Echoing Since 1973". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref><ref>Perlmutter, Emanuel (April 29, 1973). "Officer Kills a Suspect, 10; A Murder Charge Is Filed: Boy Was Slain During an Investigation of a Queens Taxi-Driver Robbery-P.B.A. Calls Arrest 'Outrage'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref> The acquittal of the officer and his partner<ref name="NYDaily-ThomasShea-2012"/><ref name="NYTimes-CliffGlover-2015"/><ref>Johnston, Laurie (June 13, 1974). "Jury Clears Shea In Killing of Boy: Finds Queens Officer Shot in Self-Defense-'Holes' in Witness's Account Cited". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref> led to incidents of looting, rioting, and incidents of violence against Whites in South Jamaica and Downtown Jamaica.<ref name="NYTimes-CliffGlover-2015"/><ref>Montgomery, Paul L. (May 4, 1973). "Youths Rampage After Slain Boy's Rites". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref>

In the 1980s and 1990s, South Jamaica was one of several New York City neighborhoods victimized by the national crack cocaine epidemic. Several gangs operated in the neighborhood. The Corley gang operated out of the South Jamaica Houses. The Supreme Team, formed in 1981 by Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, operated out of the Baisley Park Houses. The cartel of Lorenzo "Fat Cat" Nichols was also headquartered in the neighborhood, supplying much of the cocaine in the area and around Queens. These groups had originated from the Seven Crowns gang that was started during the cocaine and heroin epidemic in the 1970s, and which expanded into a multi-state operation by the 1980s. Increases in murder rates and other crime followed the spike in drug-related activity.<ref name="Brown2010" /><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009" /><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaica-NoMansLand-1992"/><ref name="Ferranti-SupremeTeam" /><ref name="Britton2013" /><ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003" /><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaicaDrugRing-Ap1999" /> In 1986, the 113th and 103rd police precincts led Queens in murder incidents, with the 113th precinct ranking tenth in the city.<ref name="NYTimes-QnsRiseInMurders-Ap1987">James, George (April 19, 1987). "Seeking Answers to Queens's Rise in Murders". The New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2016. </ref><ref name="NYTimes-SevenCrowns-Sep1995">Holloway, Lynette (September 30, 1995). "Officials Say Gang Broken By 21 Arrests". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2016. </ref><ref name="QChron-Feurtados-May2006">Muhammed, Tahira (May 25, 2006). "Former Kingpins Urge Youth To Stay Straight". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved August 27, 2016. </ref> On February 26, 1988, rookie police officer Edward Byrne was killed while guarding the house of a witness in a drug-related trial.<ref name="NYTimes-SJamaica-NoMansLand-1992">Dao, James (August 6, 1992). "Seeking Revival in No Man's Land of the Drug War". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref><ref name="Ferranti-SupremeTeam" /><ref name="NYDaily-EdwardByrne-2015">Krajeck, David J. (January 20, 2015). "Rookie police officer Edward Byrne is gunned down while guarding a witness in 1988: Officer Edward Byrne is assassinated while guarding the house of a drug witness in South Jamaica, Queens. The Mayor Koch, COP-SHOT and The News each offered $10,000 rewards for information leading to the killers.". Daily News (New York). Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref><ref name="Krajicek2013"/> Byrne's murder, and other violent crime in the neighborhood led South Jamaica to become a symbol for the national drug epidemic, and the city's war on drugs instigated by Mayor Ed Koch.<ref name="NYTimes-SJamaica-NoMansLand-1992"/><ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003" /><ref name="Krajicek2013">David J. Krajicek (August 13, 2013). Scooped!: Media Miss Real Story on Crime While Chasing Sex, Sleaze, and Celebrities. Columbia University Press. pp. 108–109. ISBN 978-0-231-50025-8. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> Following the killing, Koch created the Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT) program, with the first team dispatched to South Jamaica on March 14, 1988.<ref name="NYTimes-SJamaica-NoMansLand-1992"/><ref name="Ferranti-SupremeTeam" /><ref>Pitt, David E. (December 9, 1988). "Police Leave Queens House Where Drug Witness Lived". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaicaTask-Mar1988">James, George (March 15, 1988). "18 Are Arrested By Task Force On Its First Day". The New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref>

2000s

Entering the 21st century, South Jamaica has seen a revival in terms of safety and quality of life.<ref name="NYDaily-GuidetoSJamaica-Dec2010" /><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009" /><ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003" /> While crime is still higher than other Queens areas, the NYPD 113th Precinct (which also patrols Hollis, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens) saw dramatic decreases in violent crime since the 1990s, with a drop in major crime of 76 percent between 1993 and 2010.<ref name="DNA-SJamaicaCrime">"ST. ALBANS & SOUTH JAMAICA". DNAinfo.com. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref><ref name="NYDaily-SJamaicaComback-Apr2003" /><ref>Hughes, C.J. (November 23, 2012). "Side by Side, Yes; Carbon Copies, Never". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2016. </ref>

Demographics

Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of South Jamaica was 38,894, an increase of 3,713 (10.6%) from the 35,181 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 918.87 acres (371.85 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 42.3 inhabitants per acre (27,100/sq mi; 10,500/km2).<ref name=PLP5>Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.</ref>

The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 72.2% (28,084) African American, 1.0% (378) White, 0.8% (316) Native American, 5.2% (2,018) Asian, 0.1% (43) Pacific Islander, 2.5% (972) from other races, and 3.0% (1,166) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.2% (5,917) of the population.<ref name=PLP3A>Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.</ref>

South Jamaica is predominantly African-American with a strong majority of Afro-Caribbean descent.<ref name="NYDaily-GuidetoSJamaica-Dec2010"/> In recent decades, the Hispanic community has expanded, with residents from Mexico, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic moving to the area.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Britton2013"/> Guyanese and Bangladeshis make up much of the larger portion of newcomers to the community.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Britton2013"/> Bengalis can be found mostly around Sutphin and Merrick Boulevards along 145th, 153rd, 157th, and 170th Streets; South Road; and 105th, 107th, and 109th Avenues. There is also a small population of Haitians, Pakistanis and Trinidadians who live in this area.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Britton2013"/>

Housing

The area is largely a middle-class community consisting of suburban one- and two-family houses ranging from colonials built around the 1960s to new developments.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="NYDaily-GuidetoSJamaica-Dec2010"/><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009" />

A number of smaller apartment buildings along with some public housing projects are also located in the area. This includes the NYCHA-operated Baisley Park Houses and South Jamaica Houses housing projects, as well as the Rochdale Village and Cedar Manor Co-op developments, and the Baisley Park Garden development (also known as Baisley Gardens).<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="Eisenstadt2011" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009" />

Education

Public and charter schools

Several elementary schools are located in South Jamaica:

  • Samuel Huntington School (P.S. 40), on 109th Avenue and Union Hall Street near the South Jamaica Houses.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /><ref name="NYTimes-SJamaicaDrugRing-Ap1999">Toy, Vivian S. (April 8, 1999). "Counselor at Youth Home Is Accused of Running a $3 Million-a-Year Drug Ring". The New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref>
  • William Wordsworth School (P.S. 48), on 155th Street and 108th Avenue, two blocks west of the South Jamaica Houses.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" />
  • Walter Francis Bishop School (P.S. 160), on Inwood Street off of Sutphin Boulevard.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/>
  • P.S. 123, on 119th Avenue between Inwood Street and 145th Street, just south of Foch Boulevard.<ref name="QCB12Profile" />
  • Edward K. Ellington School (P.S. 140), on 116th Avenue east of Brewer Boulevard; named after Duke Ellington.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/>
  • Ruby S. Couche Elementary School (P.S. 30) and P.S. 354, on Baisley Boulevard and Bedell Street in Rochdale Village.<ref name="QCB12Profile" />
  • Lyndon B. Johnson School (P.S. 223), on Sutphin Boulevard just north of Rockaway Boulevard adjacent to the Baisley Park Garden development; named after U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009" />
  • Clarence Witherspoon School (P.S. 45), on Rockaway Boulevard and 150th Street across from Baisley Pond Park and Baisley Park Garden.<ref name="QCB12Profile" />
  • Talfourd Lawn Elementary School (P.S. 50), on 101st Avenue and Allendale Street one block north of Liberty Avenue, and just west of the Van Wyck Expressway.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/>
  • Thurgood Marshall Magnet School (P.S. 80), on 137th Avenue in Rochdale Village; named after Thurgood Marshall.<ref name="QCB12Profile" />
  • Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School, on Baisley Boulevard and 165th Street across from Rochdale Village.<ref name="QCB12Profile" />

Middle and junior high schools include:

  • Junior High School 40, adjacent to P.S. 40.<ref name="QnsCommunities-1958"/><ref name="Ahern2013">Pete Ahern (November 12, 2013). 3 – Pete: One man's journey. AuthorHouse. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-4918-3137-3. Retrieved April 2, 2016. </ref>
  • Richard Grossley Junior High School (J.H.S. 8), just off of Merrick Boulevard between 108th and 109th Avenues.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" />
  • Eagle Academy for Young Men of Southeast Queens (Eagle Academy III), a middle and high school located at Merrick and Linden Boulevards.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>
  • Catherine and Count Basie School (M.S. 72; formerly J.H.S. 72), on Brewer Boulevard in Rochdale Village.<ref name="QCB12Profile" />
  • York Early College Academy, a middle and high school in the M.S. 72 building on Brewer Boulevard in Rochdale Village.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>

High schools include:

  • August Martin High School, a vocational aviation school, on Baisley Boulevard on the south side of Baisley Pond Park; named after Tuskegee Airmen Army Air Forces pilot August Martin.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="NYDaily-GoldenPond-BaisleyPk-2009"/><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>
  • Eagle Academy for Young Men III<ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>
  • The High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety, on Brewer Boulevard and 116th Avenue just north of Foch Boulevard, adjacent to the Baisley Park Houses.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>
  • Queens High School for the Sciences, a specialized high school, located on the York College campus.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>
  • York Early College Academy<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>

The closest zoned high school is Hillcrest High School just north of Hillside Avenue in Jamaica. Richmond Hill High School is located west of the Van Wyck Expressway in Richmond Hill. Many other regional high schools serving the area have since been converted into educational campuses, housing multiple small high schools. The closest educational campuses are the Jamaica Campus (formerly Jamaica High School) near the Grand Central Parkway to the north, and Springfield Gardens Educational Campus (formerly Springfield Gardens High School) to the south. Campus Magnet (formerly Andrew Jackson High School) is located in Cambria Heights to the east. John Adams Educational Campus (formerly John Adams High School) is located in Ozone Park to the west.<ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog>"2016 New York City High School Directory" (PDF). schools.nyc.gov. New York City Department of Education. 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. </ref><ref name="QnsPress-50Cent-BadGuy-May2003">Shams, Tarek (May 16, 2003). "Jamaica’s ‘Own Bad Guy’ 50 Cent Making Good In The Music Biz". Queens Press. Retrieved May 22, 2007. </ref><ref name="NYTimes-QnsHighSchoolLines-May1971">Buder, Leonard (May 30, 1971). "High School Lines in Queens Voted: New Zones Approved Over Objections of Board Head". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016. </ref> The Young Women's Leadership School of Queens was formerly located in the P.S. 40 facility, but is now located across from Hillcrest High School.<ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /><ref name=2016NYCSchoolsCatalog/>

Other schools:

Higher education

The campus of CUNY York College is located at the north end of South Jamaica, between the LIRR Main Line to the north and South Road to the south, across from the South Jamaica Houses.<ref name="QCB12Profile" /><ref name="JacksonKeller2010" /><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" />

Libraries

The following Queens Library branches are located in South Jamaica:

  • Baisley Park Library<ref name="QCB12Profile" />
  • Rochdale Village Library<ref name="QCB12Profile" />
  • South Jamaica Library<ref name="QCB12Profile" />

Parks and recreation

Baisley Pond Park has over 100 acres (0.40 km2) of outdoor recreational space, including a 30 acres (0.12 km2) pond.<ref name="JacksonKeller2010" />

Landmarks

Current

Former

Transportation

A bus at Linden and Brewer Boulevards along the former Template:NYC bus link route, discontinued in 2010

The AirTrain JFK route transports people between Jamaica and JFK International Airport on its elevated route over the Van Wyck Expressway without stopping.<ref name="NYDaily-GuidetoSJamaica-Dec2010"/><ref name="MTAJamaicaMap-2015" /> A southern extension of the New York City Subway's IND Archer Avenue Line to South Jamaica was planned under the 1968 Program for Action by way of the LIRR Atlantic Branch, but not completed.<ref name=Raskin-RoutesNotTaken-2013/><ref name="int-arch">"Full text of "Metropolitan transportation, a program for action. Report to Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of New York."". Internet Archive. November 7, 1967. Retrieved October 1, 2015. </ref><ref name=NYTimes-ArcherGrndbk-Oct1973>Burks, Edward C. (October 24, 1973). "Work Begun on Queens Subway Extension". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2015. </ref><ref name=NYTimes-ArcherProgress-1975>Burks, Edward C. (March 9, 1975). "Building Progresses On Subway In Jamaica". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015. </ref>

Numerous MTA bus lines run through the neighborhood, including the Template:NYC bus link, and Template:NYC bus link.<ref name=MTA-QnsBusMap-Current>Template:Cite NYC bus map</ref> Template:Clear left

Notable residents

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See also

References

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External links

Template:Queens

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