|Neighborhood of Queens|
|Population (2010 United States Census)|
|o Total||21,376 (main section only)|
|Ethnicity (Census 2010)|
|o Median income||$41,291|
|ZIP code||11416, 11417|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917|
Ozone Park is a neighborhood located in the southwestern section of the borough of Queens, in New York City, New York, United States. It is the home of the Aqueduct Racetrack, a popular spot for Thoroughbred racing. The neighborhood is known for its large Italian-American population.
The northern border is Atlantic Avenue; the southern border is South Conduit Avenue, and the eastern border is 108th Street and Aqueduct Racetrack. The western border is the county line with Brooklyn (mostly along Ruby and Drew Streets). Different parts of the neighborhood are covered by Queens Community Board 9 and 10. The neighborhood is located in the Fifth Congressional District, and is represented by Democrat Gregory Meeks.
The name "Ozone Park" was chosen for the development to "lure buyers with the idea of refreshing breezes blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean to a park-like community," with the word "Ozone" in the neighborhood's name referring to a park-like area with cool ocean breezes (an earlier definition of the word "ozone" not related to the alternate form of oxygen).
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An area now part of Ozone Park that pre-dated that community was called "Centreville". It was founded in the 1840s and was centered around Centreville Street and the Centreville Community Church. Part of Ozone Park is still called "Centreville".
In the 1870s, two immigrants from France named Charles Lalance and Florian Grosjean developed a factory in Woodhaven. The factory manufactured cooking materials and porcelain enamelware, but burned down in a fire in 1876. Lalance and Grosjean built a second factory, as well as a hundred houses for workers, at Atlantic Avenue and 92nd Street in modern-day Ozone Park.
During the 1870s, an economic depression caused residents of New York City to look for better housing opportunities in the suburbs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, where housing would be cheaper. In 1880, the New York, Woodhaven & Rockaway Railroad began service on the Montauk Branch and Rockaway Beach Branch from Long Island City to Howard Beach, Queens. Two years later, two wealthy partners named Benjamin W. Hitchcock and Charles C. Denton bought plots of land around what would later become the Woodhaven Junction station. The Rockaway Beach Branch's Ozone Park station opened in 1883. Advertisements for Ozone Park proclaimed that the development had "pure air" and "no malaria". called Ozone Park was called "the Harlem of Brooklyn" because at the time, the borough of Queens did not yet exist, and Harlem was a thriving Jewish and Italian neighborhood in Manhattan. Hitchcock and Denton chose the "Ozone Park" name because in the 1880s, ozone was associated with breezes from the sea, and the Atlantic Ocean was located nearby.
The Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company's Fulton Street elevated railroad line above Liberty Avenue opened in 1915, with a station at Lefferts Avenue (now Lefferts Boulevard). The elevated train system only charged a 5-cent fare. The nickel fare was another major factor in the development of Ozone Park, as residents could travel across the entire elevated and subway system for 5 cents. After the opening of the elevated line, real estate developers began buying up all the lots on either side of Liberty Avenue in hopes the new station would attract more people to want to live in Ozone Park.
Extensive housing construction occurred in the 1920s. The houses featured enclosed front porches, open back porches and stained-glass windows in the living rooms. Most of the houses were detached or semi-detached (very close to the neighboring house, but not sharing a common wall) built to roughly the same plan, with the living room, dining room and kitchen all in line and three bedrooms and a bath upstairs. The stairs were usually in the dining room. One of the builders was named Weyerman.
During the 1920s, Woodhaven Avenue was the main north-south artery in the area, though its southern terminus was at Liberty Avenue. In conjunction with the extension of Woodhaven Avenue to the Rockaway Peninsula, the avenue was widened to 150 feet (46 m) and renamed Woodhaven Boulevard. The extension itself, named Cross Bay Boulevard, opened to traffic in 1925.
Because Ozone Park was now more accessible by car, the land became much more valuable, leading to a construction boom . Between 1921 and 1930, Ozone Park saw a population increase of over 180% from 40,000 to 112,950 people.
With this increase in population came the need for schools and sources of entertainment. In response to this demand came the construction of John Adams High School in 1930. This school was built just as the construction boom slowed down and right before the Great Depression. The 1,800-seat Cross-Bay Movie Theatre opened in December 1924, and a 2,000-seat theater at 102nd Street and Liberty Avenue was also built during this time.
The Centreville Community Church merged with the United Methodist Church of Ozone Park in 1957 and a new church, the Community Methodist Church of Ozone Park, was built at the Southeast corner of Sutter Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard. It was completed for Christmas 1958. The old church and the property that surrounded it were sold to Aqueduct Racetrack and the old, historic church was torn down in mid-1959.
The Lalance and Grosjean factory closed in the 1960s and was left to deteriorate over two decades. In 1981, the factory complex was designated as a New York City Landmark. What remains is now "adaptively reused" as a medical clinic. Only the factory's old clock tower remains.
In 1996, a scandal broke surrounding two Ozone Park Jewish cemeteries, Mokom Sholom Cemetery and Bayside Cemetery, which share a coterminous tract bounded by 80th and 84th Streets and Liberty and Pitkin Avenues with Acacia Cemetery, which was not involved. Allegations of the re-using of graves of long-dead mostly infants and small children from the mid-to-late 19th Century, for re-sale to recent Russian Jewish immigrants, were made against the owners of Mokom Sholom, and both it and Bayside had also been ravaged (Mokom Sholom more) by a combination of vandals, grave-robbers, and self-styled necromancers. The former was exposed by WABC-TV Channel 7 in a series of news items, while the latter spawned philanthropic efforts to repair the damage.
One area of Ozone Park is known as "The Hole", and includes the area bounded by 75th (Ruby) Street, South Conduit Avenue, 78th Street and Linden Boulevard. It is named as such because the houses in this area were built below grade. In the 1930s, the city of New York decided to install sewers and sewer lines in Ozone Park to stop the serious flooding that was a major problem. In order to install the sewers, the houses had to be raised almost an entire floor. Owners were given a stipend to raise their homes but some chose not to do so. The first floor in some of the non-raised homes subsequently became basements. And even today, there are still a few homes that remain below grade.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Ozone Park was 21,376, an increase of 324 (1.5%) from the 21,052 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 576.32 acres (233.23 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 37.1 inhabitants per acre (23,700/sq mi; 9,200/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 30.5% (6,511) White, 5.6% (1,188) African American, 0.4% (82) Native American, 19.4% (4,143) Asian, 0.0% (2) Pacific Islander, 2.6% (559) from other races, and 3.6% (779) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.9% (8,112) of the population.
Since its beginnings, Ozone Park has been largely populated by various groups of immigrants. The first wave were French immigrants associated with a pot factory on Atlantic Avenue. Germans and the Irish made up a large part of Ozone Park in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Eventually, the Italians, who are one of the largest ethnic groups in the neighborhood (giving it the name "the Little Italy of Queens"), started to migrate into Ozone Park from East New York, Brooklyn. Most of the current Italians in the neighborhood are originally from Brooklyn. Fears of changing neighborhoods caused a stir amongst the Italians that caused them to move into Ozone Park, which at the time was mostly Germans and Irish who had migrated themselves from neighboring East New York. A significant Polish population also developed based around Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Roman Catholic Church and its associated elementary school.
Census data from the early years[when?] shows how Ozone Park was a sparsely populated neighborhood because of the lack of transportation. By 1915, the Fulton Street Line opened, connecting Ozone Park with the rest of New York City, thus starting the enormous influx by the Italians. Ozone Park then formed many smaller sub-neighborhoods with specific identities. The Tudor Village section, which is still known by this name, was located on the south bordered by Pitkin Avenue and North Conduit Avenue and from east to west Cross Bay Boulevard and North Conduit Avenue. Centreville, which also still uses this name, is bordered by Aqueduct on the east, Cross Bay Boulevard on the west, North Conduit Avenue on the south, and Rockaway Boulevard on the north. Liberty Heights, which is only known by the old-timers, is a triangular area bordered by Liberty Avenue on the south, diagonal-running 101st Avenue (Jerome Avenue) from the southwest to the northeast, and Woodhaven Boulevard to the east. Balsam Village, which is also known by the old-timers, was named after Balsam Farms, which sold off parcels of land for development, and is bordered by Liberty Avenue on the north, 84th Street on the west, and Cross Bay Boulevard on the east.
In the 1980s, Ozone Park's 106th police precinct became the source and scene of several police brutality incidents, including April 17, 1985's stun gunning of high schooler Mark Davidson, who was arrested on marijuana possession charges.
At the turn of the 21st century immigrants from Latin America, South Asia (Bangladesh), the West Indies, and South America (Indo-Guyanese & Indo-Surinamese) moved in, adding a diverse atmosphere to the neighborhood, which is especially apparent along 101st Avenue and Liberty Avenue near the neighborhood's border with Richmond Hill. The neighborhood remains largely Italian-American; however, these new arrivals have made Ozone Park become one of the fastest-growing and most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in New York City. Aside from these larger groups, there is a large Hispanic population in Ozone Park, mainly concentrated in the northern portion of the neighborhood near the Woodhaven border, and an African-American minority, spread throughout the neighborhood.
Residents vary from working-class to middle-class families, who own or rent private homes on the neighborhood's tree-lined residential streets. There are pockets of wealthier areas in the southern part of the neighborhood close to the Belt Parkway.
The current ground level of Ozone Park is about four feet higher than the original ground level.[original research?] Initially the avenues and cross streets were raised above ground level and then all of the basements were set on ground level and the land was backfilled around the houses. The older houses that were at the original ground level now appear "sunken"; these can be observed on the south side of Sutter Avenue between 83rd and 85th streets.
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South Ozone Park is an urban neighborhood in Ozone Park, but despite its name, South Ozone Park is mostly in the east of the neighborhood of Ozone Park. It extends from the Aqueduct Racetrack eastward to the Van Wyck Expressway. Its main thoroughfare is Rockaway Boulevard. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 10.
South Ozone Park is home to a more diverse population of about 45,498, with many Indians, Pakistani, Guyanese, Trinidadian, and Blacks living in the area, in addition to the area's longtime Italian-American population; Italian-Americans are most prevalent in the southern and western areas in the neighborhood near the Conduit. There has been a recent surge of development in South Ozone Park that rivals many of the surrounding communities in terms of home value. Rockaway Boulevard is South Ozone Park's main business strip. There is also a high concentration of small businesses along Liberty Avenue in nearby Richmond Hill. In 2000, the population was 7.8% white, 45.7% Asian Indian, 12.7% Hispanic, 12.8% non-Indian Asian, and 25.6% black. The Median income is $80,000, and the ZIP code is 11420.
The neighborhood, in western Ozone Park, is extremely small, consisting of approximately two hundred and fifty homes; it spans only five residential streets and two avenues. Its population consists mostly of Italian Americans. Its residents consist of approximately six hundred people, mostly families. Most of its inhabitants have lived there for many years. The village was incorporated in the late 1800s and has since flourished. Tudor Village hosts suburban tree-lined streets with what is referred to as the "Tudor Malls" in its center, boasting floral arrangements throughout. The village is also home to Tudor Park, a 20-acre (81,000 m2) recreational park which features a baseball field, racquetball courts, picnic area, and a fountain as well as a play area with slides, swings and almost everything else one would expect to find in a suburban park. Located on the southeast end of the village are another baseball field and benches and shaded areas for resting. Tudor Village is on the border of Howard Beach.
Numerous New York City Bus routes stop in the area, such as the Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, Q11, Q21, Q24, Q37, Q41, Q52 SBS, Q53 SBS, Q112. The B15 runs through the neighborhood without stopping. The New York City Subway's IND Fulton Street Line ( train) and IND Rockaway Line ( train) also run through the neighborhood.
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Ozone Park has served as the setting and subject of numerous media works.
Notable current and former residents of Ozone Park include:
The New-York, Woodhaven and Rockaway Railroad, which began operations on Thursday last, has already grown into popular savor by reason of the comparative shortness of the route and the superior accommodation
...at which members of long-forgotten groups like the Elegants (from Staten Island) and the Capris (Ozone Park, Queens) examined the Italian-American influence on doo-wop.
Carol Heiss of Ozone Park, Queens, Miss Personality of the ice, skated off with her third world figure skating championship tonight with a perfectly-executed freestyle exhibition.
She found simpatico musicians to help her repossess the songs that reverberated through her childhood block in Ozone Park, Queens. And she felt ready to celebrate a lifetime of spirited dancing.
After relating such immediate events, the book, which will be in stores Aug. 6, recounts Von Essen's life story. It's that of a boy from Ozone Park, Queens, who was adrift until he joined the Fire Department in 1970 at age 24.[permanent dead link]