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Far Rockaway, Queens

"Far Rockaway" redirects here. For other uses, see Far Rockaway (disambiguation).
Far Rockaway
Neighborhood of Queens
Far Rockaway street scene
Far Rockaway street scene
Country United States
State New York
City New York City
County/Borough Queens
Named for Place name of the Native American Lenape.
Population (2010)
 • Total 60,035
 • White 31.0%
 • Black 50.1%
 • Hispanic 25.2%
 • Asian 2.0%
 • Other 14.3%
 • Median income $27,820
ZIP code 11691
Area code(s) 718, 347, 917

Far Rockaway is a neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula in the New York City borough of Queens in the United States. It is the easternmost section of the Rockaways. The neighborhood starts at the Nassau County line and extends west to Beach 32nd Street. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 14.[1] The name "Rockaway" may have meant "place of sands" in the Munsee language of the Native American Lenape. Other spellings include Requarkie, Rechouwakie, Rechaweygh, Rechquaakie and Reckowacky.[note 1]


In September 1609, Henry Hudson and his crew were the first Europeans to see the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay.[2] Hudson was attempting to go to the Northwest Passage. In September 11, Hudson sailed into the Upper New York Bay,[3] and the following day began a journey up the modern-day Hudson River.

Rockaway was, back then, inhabited by Canarsie Indians. The name Reckowacky, which is also spelled Requarkie, Rechouwakie, Rechaweygh, or Rechquaakie,[note 1] was to distinguish the Rockaway village from other Mohawk Nation villages; "Reckowacky" means "lonely place", or "place of waters bright".[4] By 1639, the Mohegan tribe sold most of the Rockaways to the Dutch West India Company. In 1664, the English got the land from the Dutch.[note 2][5] In 1685, the tribal chieftain, Chief Tackapoucha, and the English governor agreed to sell the Rockaways to one Captain Palmer for 31 pounds sterling.[2]

The Rockaway Peninsula was originally part of the Town of Hempstead, then a part of Queens County. Palmer and the town of Hempstead disputed over who owned Rockaway, so the land was sold to Richard Cornell, an iron master from Flushing in 1687. Cornell and his family lived on a homestead on Central Avenue, near the Atlantic Ocean shore; upon his death, Cornell was buried in a small family cemetery, Cornell Cemetery, which is the only designated New York City landmark in the Rockaways.[2] The Rockaway Association wanted to build a hotel on the Rockaway peninsula. The association, consisting of many wealthy members, bought most of Cornell's old homestead property. The Marine Hotel, which was built on that site, became a place where the Vanderbilt family, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Washington Irving, eventually stayed. The Rockaway Association also built the Rockaway Turnpike. The Marine Hotel burned to the ground in 1864, but more hotels and private residences were built in the area.[2]

Horse-drawn carriages and horses originally comprised a transport mode to the Rockaways. A ferry traveled from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. By the 1880s, the Long Island Rail Road's Rockaway Beach Branch was built from Far Rockaway station.[2] The steam railroad went to Long Island City and Flatbush Terminal (now Atlantic Terminal), which facilitated population growth on the Rockaway Peninsula when it opened in the 1880s.[6] Benjamin Mott gave the LIRR Script error: No such module "convert". of land for a railroad depot. Land values increased and businesses in the area grew, and by 1888, Far Rockaway was a relatively large village.[2]

By 1898, the area was incorporated into the Greater City of New York. Far Rockaway, Hammels, and Arverne, tried to secede from the city several times. In 1915 and 1917, a bill approving the secession passed in the legislature but was vetoed by the mayor at the time, John Purroy Mitchel.[7]


File:48th street rockaway.jpg
Looking east from Beach 48th St at location of former bungalows cleared for a development project

The proximity of the location to the beach made it an ideal place for tourists and vacationing people from the other boroughs. Bungalows were the homes of choice for many residents of the community who lived in Far Rockaway. In the 1950s and '60s the Rockaways saw many public housing developments built because the neighborhood's heyday as a resort community ended about 1950. The families that used the nearby Long Island Rail Road to get to the area each summer began to vacation elsewhere as travel by automobile became more accessible to many people. The popularity of the area also suffered after the railroad abandoned the Rockaway Beach Branch in 1950, making travel to the Rockaway Peninsula far less convenient to people from other parts of New York City. Much of the housing in the area was converted into year-round housing for low-income residents, and some of the bungalows were used as public housing.[8][9] In the 1970s, New York City went through a crippling budget crisis that had a massive negative impact on social services.[10] This decline in service impacted the Far Rockaway community severely.[citation needed]

The Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association was created by Betzie Parker White, Roger White, and Carole Lewis in September 1984. The mission of the organization was to improve the quality of the Far Rockaway community through preservation, education, and cultural programs. Fellow community resident Richard George became a board member in 1985 and became organization chairman in 1990. He continues the mission of the founding members with a special emphasis placed on the preservation of the bungalows “because they are a piece of the city’s history and a reminder of what the Rockaways were.”[11]

The collection was donated to the Queens Library Archives in 2008. The collection contains 11 boxes of materials that highlight the history, correspondence, and activities of the organization devoted to the preservation of the Far Rockaway bungalows.


File:Subway viaduct and houses in NYC.jpg
The IND Rockaway Line subway viaduct on a background of Far Rockaway residential buildings
File:Far Rockaway viaduct jeh.JPG
Another view of IND Rockaway Line viaduct

Far Rockaway is served by the following transportation services:

Education and library

The neighborhood, like all of New York City, is served by the New York City Department of Education. Far Rockaway residents are zoned to several different elementary schools:

Far Rockaway residents are zoned to I.S. 53 Brian Piccolo.

All New York City residents who wish to attend a public high school must apply to high schools. Far Rockaway High School was located in Far Rockaway, but was shut down in 2011. Beach Channel High School is near Far Rockaway.

Church of God Christian Academy is a K–12 co-ed school, located on Central Avenue.

Nikitas Language Abroad Schools, a series of language schools, is also located in Far Rockaway.

A library is planned for the neighborhood, to be built by internationally known architectural firm Snøhetta.[14]

Jewish institutions

Notable people



  1. ^ Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f
  3. ^ Nevius, Michelle and James, "New York's many 9/11 anniversaries: the Staten Island Peace Conference", Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  4. ^ Rockaway, The Playground of New York, Annual yearbook of the Rockaways, June, 1934
  5. ^ Henry L. Schoolcraft, "The Capture of New Amsterdam," English Historical Review (1907) 22#88 674–693 in JSTOR
  6. ^ Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300055366. , p. 120.
  7. ^ "The Rockaways". Retrieved December 6, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Beach Bungalow Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Charles (16 March 2012). "The Subway-Accessible, Surf-Ready, Urban Beach Paradise". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Fiscal crisis in 1975 taught New York hard lessons of chopping, freezing that are handy now". Daily News (New York). 
  11. ^ Autz, Lisa. "Far Rock Man Stands Up for Bungalows". TimesLedger Newspapers. Community Newspaper Group. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  12. ^ IND Rockaway Branch/Jamaica Bay Crossing, accessed June 14, 2006.
  13. ^ a b Queens Bus Map
  14. ^ "Approval Matrix". New York magazine. Sep 30, 2013. 
  15. ^ Morales, Tina. "SCHOOL OF THE WEEK/Far Rockaway High School", Newsday, February 25, 1990. Accessed July 3, 2010.
  16. ^ a b c "The Best Queens Celebrities 2002", Queens Tribune, accessed May 14, 2007.
  17. ^ Dr. Joyce Brothers: Television and Radio Writer, Producer, Host, Museum of Television & Radio, Accessed May 14, 2007. "The daughter of lawyers, Joyce Diane Bauer was born in Manhattan and raised in Far Rockaway, Queens."
  18. ^ Nancy Lieberman player profile, Old Dominion University, accessed May 14, 2007. "On May 6, 2000, the Far Rockaway, NY native earned her degree from Old Dominion University in interdisciplinary studies."
  19. ^ " John Carney. The Education of Bernie Madoff: The High School Years". Clusterstock. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  20. ^ Dominguez, Robert. "BRINGING IT BACK HOME. Steve Madden's new ad campaign focuses on his fashion center - Queens", Daily News (New York), October 19, 2006. Accessed November 24, 2008. "But Madden was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, where his family is from, and his corporate headquarters are in a huge, Tudor-style building in Long Island City not far from the Queensboro Bridge."
  21. ^ We Love Our Nielsen (Pat McNamara. January 9, 2009)
  22. ^ Tomasson, Robert E. "Phil Ochs a Suicide at 35; Singer of Peace Movement", The New York Times, April 10, 1976. Accessed July 24, 2008.
  23. ^ Weiss, Jeff (July 1, 2010). "R.I.P. Rammellzee: The original abstract-rapping outlaw". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 3, 2010. 
  24. ^ "IN SEARCH OF THE Z PARTICLE", The New York Times, October 26, 1986. Accessed October 2, 2007. "BURTON RICHTER was born in Brooklyn 55 years ago, but grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens."
  25. ^ Jackson, Brian Keith. "Ice, Ice Babies: Reality-TV show tries to create the next Eminem.", New York (magazine), December 31, 2006. Accessed November 23, 2007. "I grew up in Far Rockaway, and you’d always see shoes on the line."
  26. ^ Raymond M Smullyan, University of St Andrews School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences. Accessed June 11, 2007. "Raymond Smullyan, known as Ray, was brought up in Far Rockaway in New York City."
  27. ^ Herbert "Cobbles" Sturhahn, College Football Hall of Fame. Accessed August 13, 2007.

External links

Coordinates: 40°36′03″N 73°45′25″W / 40.600920°N 73.756971°W / 40.600920; -73.756971{{#coordinates:40.600920|-73.756971|region:US-NY_type:city_scale:5000_source:Wikimapia|||||| |primary |name= }}