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Fresh Meadows, Queens

"Fresh Meadows" redirects here. For other uses, see Fresh Meadows (disambiguation).
Fresh Meadows
Neighborhood of Queens
St. Francis Preparatory School
Country United States
State New York
County Queens
 • Total 13,286
 • White 56.9%
 • Black 1.9%
 • Hispanic 29.7%
 • Asian 24.5%
 • Other 9.6%
 • Median income $75,123
ZIP code 11365, 11366
Area code(s) 718, 347, 917

Fresh Meadows is a residential neighborhood in the northeastern section of the New York City borough of Queens. Fresh Meadows is located on the northeast side near Hillcrest, bordered to the east by Cunningham Park, to the south by Union Turnpike and St. John's University, and to the west by South Flushing. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 8[2] and is served by the United States Postal Service as ZIP codes 11365 and 11366.


The name "Fresh Meadows" dates back to before the American Revolution. Fresh Meadows was part of the Town of Flushing, which had large areas of salt meadows, such as the original "Flushing Meadows". The wetlands in the hilly ground south and east of the village of Flushing, however, were fed by freshwater springs, and thus were "fresh meadows". Fresh Meadows Road (which today follows the same route under a number of names, including Fresh Meadows Lane and part of Utopia Parkway) traversed the area, and served as the route from the landing place at Whitestone to the village of Jamaica.

During the American Revolution, British troops were encamped in the area. General Benedict Arnold drilled his troops in the area, on the current location of M.S. 216. To facilitate the transport of military supplies from British ships using the Whitestone Landing and the troops encamped further east, a new road was built to connect the Fresh Meadows Road with Hempstead. This road began at what is now the intersection of Utopia Parkway and 73rd AVenue, near a local landmark along the Fresh Meadows Road: the remnants of a large tree that had burned after being struck by lightning, and that was known as the "Black Stump". The road took its name from this feature, and was called "Black Stump Road."[3][4][5] During the 19th century, a farming community known as Black Stump developed in the area. Black Stump School was located at present-day Utopia Playground, at 73rd Avenue and Utopia Parkway.[6] For several years, the woods of Black Stump were rumored to be haunted because people heard strange sounds coming from the woods.[7] In 1908, the mysterious sounds were discovered to be coming from a recluse who lived in a small hut and sang Irish folk songs at night.[7]

Fresh Meadow Country Club opened in 1923.[8] The country club was named after an area northeast of Flushing even though it was actually located southeast of Flushing, just south of what is presently the Long Island Expressway near 183rd Street.[8] The golf course was designed by A.W. Tillinghast.[8] The PGA Championship was held at Fresh Meadow Country Club in 1930,[9] and the U.S. Open was held at the course in 1932.[10] In 1937, the golf course hosted a charity game between John Montague, Babe Ruth, Babe Didrikson, and Sylvania Annenberg,[11] a game that was watched by 10,000 fans, some of whom rushed the golf course and left Babe Ruth's shirt in tatters.[12]

In February 1946, the land was sold to New York Life Insurance Company,[13] and it became the Fresh Meadows Housing Development.[14] New York Life Insurance Company did not allow black individuals to live in the Fresh Meadows Housing Development.[15] It was also built to house local World War II veterans. The complex and its eponymous shopping center were among the first in the United States designed primarily to accommodate automobile rather than pedestrian traffic.[16] In 1949, Lewis Mumford described the Fresh Meadows housing complex as "perhaps the most positive and exhilarating example of large-scale community planning in this country."

Cunningham Park

Until 2004, the neighborhood was home to Klein Farm, the last surviving commercial farm in New York City, located on 73rd Avenue between 194th and 195th Streets.[17] Efforts by local residents and civic officials are currently under way to reopen the farm.[18]

In October 2011, a book written by Fred Cantor and Debra Davidson that chronicled the history of Fresh Meadows was released.[19]

Today, the area has Cunningham Park,[20] and the Long Island Motor Parkway, a disused highway now used as a biking/walking trail also goes through the area as part of the Brooklyn–Queens Greenway.


Fresh Meadows is home to an estimated population of 13,286. Its residents have a median income of $75,123, and the neighborhood has a cost of living at approximately twice the national average.[1] According to recent census data, 44 percent of its 16,100 residents are white, 30 percent Asian, 14 percent black, 8 percent Hispanic and 3 percent describe themselves as multiracial. [21] The neighborhood has historically and traditionally been home to one of New York City's most thriving Jewish communities, with the Jewish population at one time making up as many as 90% of all people who live in Fresh Meadows. Today, there is an increasing presence of younger Asian American families, Israelis, and Bukharian Jews living in the neighborhood.[22]



Hillcrest is in southern Fresh Meadows.[23] Its name derives from its location on the hills between Jamaica and Flushing. The neighborhood runs from Union Turnpike to the LI Expressway, between Utopia Parkway and 164th Street. Union Turnpike is its main commercial strip. It is part of Queens Community Board 8. The ZIP Codes for the neighborhood are 11365 and 11366. It neighbors are Jamaica Hills and Jamaica Estates to the south, Briarwood and Kew Gardens Hills to the west, and Pomonok, Utopia, and FreshMeadows to the north and east. It is mostly made up of single-family homes, is in a relatively well-off public school districts, and has a low crime rate according to the NYPD 107th Pct.

As with many neighborhoods in the city, the perception of boundaries is quite different from what ever official or unofficial maps exist, especially in Queens, where there were many towns and villages. Most folks in the northeastern part of Hillcrest self-identify as being in Fresh Meadows, as does everyone living in the nearby "Utopia" area. Others tend to identify with neighborhoods that surround them. There is a small group in the center of the Hillcrest area that identify exclusively with it. Hillcrest is home to an Orthodox Jewish community.


Utopia, a middle class neighborhood, is in western Fresh Meadows, bordered by Utopia Parkway to the west, 188th Street to the east, Union Turnpike to the south, and 73rd Avenue to the north. It adjoins the neighborhoods of Jamaica Estates, Hillcrest, and Fresh Meadows. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community Board 8.[24] ZIP code is 11366. Utopia is a predominantly middle-class neighborhood. It contains a large group of Conservative and Orthodox Jews as well as groups of Chinese, Korean, Russian, Indian, and Hispanic people. Utopia is a mostly suburban-like neighborhood with tree-lined streets.[citation needed]

In 1905, the Utopia Land Company purchased 50 acres of farmland "between the communities of Jamaica and Flushing". The group intended to build a cooperative community for Jewish families interested in moving away from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. After the initial acquisition, the company was unable to secure enough funding to further develop the area, however. Thirty-five years later, the Gross-Morton Park Corporation of nearby Jamaica began to develop the area, which had remained farmland since the original purchase.[25]

Post office

The United States Postal Service operates the Fresh Meadows Finance Post Office.[26] The Utopia Post Office is in Utopia.[27]


The neighborhood is served by New York City Transit bus routes Q17, Q26, Q30, Q31, Q46, Q88, QM1, QM5, QM6, QM7, and QM8. Fresh Meadows is not a major transportation hub, as no New York City Subway or Long Island Railroad stations are located within its boundaries, though a New York City Subway extension was proposed in the 1970s. It does, however, contain the interchange between the Long Island Expressway and the Clearview Expressway.


The New York City Department of Education operates public schools. Public schools located in Fresh Meadows include Francis Lewis High School, George J. Ryan Middle school,P.S. 26 Rufus King school, and P.S. 173 The Fresh Meadows School.

Fresh Meadows is home to St. Francis Preparatory School, the largest Catholic high school in the United States.

On December 22, 1980,[28] The Japanese School of New York moved from Jamaica Estates, Queens into Fresh Meadows,[29] in the former P.S. 179.[30] In 1991 the school moved to Yonkers in Westchester County, New York.[28]

The Japanese Weekend School of New York, a Japanese weekend school, holds classes at The Rufus King School (P.S.26Q).[31] As of 2006 the school had about 800 students, including Japanese citizens and Japanese Americans, at locations in Westchester County and Long Island.[32]

The main campus of St. John's University lies on the Hillcrest border at Union Turnpike.

Queens Library operates the Fresh Meadows Library.[33]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Queens Community Boards, New York City". Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  3. ^ Walsh, Kevin (March 2006). "FRESH MEADOWS, Queens". Forgotten NY. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "History of Fresh Meadows". Fresh Meadows website. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Beyer, Gregory (June 19, 2009). "An Outpost of the City, Within the City". New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2009. 
  6. ^ Shaman, Diana (December 21, 2003). "A Neighborhood Aspires to Its Name". The New York Times. p. 11.7. 
  7. ^ a b "Odd Tales of Many Cities: Ghost Songs Cease; Spook Goes to Jail". The Washington Post. January 7, 1908. p. 3. 
  8. ^ a b c "About FMCC: A Tale of Two Clubs". Fresh Meadow Country Club. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  9. ^ Rice, Grantland (September 12, 1930). "The Sportlight". The Baltimore Sun. p. 19. 
  10. ^ "Sarazen Wins National Open". The Baltimore Sun. June 26, 1932. p. S1. 
  11. ^ "Ruth Serious About Match". Associated Press (The Baltimore Sun). November 12, 1937. p. 18. 
  12. ^ "Frenzied Crowd Stops Montague Exhibition". Associated Press (The Washington Post). November 15, 1937. p. 18. 
  13. ^ Talbot, Gayle (February 5, 1946). "Famous New York Golf Course Victim of Housing Shortage". The Washington Post. p. 10. 
  14. ^ Fioravante, Janice (December 28, 1997). "If You're Thinking of Living In Fresh Meadows, Queens: Open Spaces and Top-Ranked Schools". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ Brown, Earl (August 9, 1947). "Timely Topics: About Jim Crow Housing Projects". New York Amsterdam News. p. 8. 
  16. ^ Goldberger, Paul (1981-04-17). "To Utopia by Bus and Subway". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  17. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (September 26, 1993). "A Harvest in Queens That's Out of the Past". The New York Times. p. A9. 
  18. ^ Dal Molin, David (2009-05-28). "Fresh Meadows vigilant on future of Klein Farm". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  19. ^ Levin, Sam (September 20, 2011). "Old Fresh Meadows Lives On In 'Photo Album' Book". Daily News. 
  20. ^ Cunningham Park, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
  21. ^ Beyer, Gregory (June 19, 2009). "Living in Fresh Meadows Queens: An Outpost of the City, Within the City". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Brown, Kristen V. (2008-04-23). "New York real estate: Fresh Meadows". AM New York. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  25. ^ If You're Thinking of Living In/Utopia, Queens; A Neighborhood Aspires to Its Name, New York Times. Accessed April 21, 2012.
  26. ^ "Fresh Meadows Finance." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on January 9, 2012. "19304 HORACE HARDING EXPY STE 1 FRESH MEADOWS, NY 11365-9994"
  27. ^ "Utopia." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on January 9, 2012. "18204 UNION TPKE FRESH MEADOWS, NY 11366-9993"
  28. ^ a b "本校の歩み." The Japanese School of New York. Retrieved on January 10, 2012. "1975.9.2. Jamaica Queensにて「ニューヨーク日本人学校」開校。" and "1980.12.22 Queens Flushing校に移転。" and "1991.8.18. Westchester Yonkers校へ移転。"
  29. ^ Kulers, Brian G. "QUEENS NEIGHBORHOODS QUEENS CLOSEUP East Meets West in School For Japanese in America." Newsday. November 12, 1986. News, Start Page 31. Retrieved on January 9, 2012.
  30. ^ Pomfret, John. "Old city school becomes second home for Japanese kids." Associated Press at the The Daily Telegraph. Thursday September 10, 1987. 30. Retrieved from Google News (30 of 68) on January 9, 2012.
  31. ^ "LI校" (Archive). Japanese Weekend School of New York. Retrieved on July 8, 2013.
  32. ^ Matsuda, Akiko. "Learning their mother tongue." The Journal News. August 16, 2006. p. A1. Retrieved on July 8, 2013. "Atsushi Kaizuka, assistant principal of the Japanese Weekend School of New York, which serves about 800 Japanese or Japanese American students at its Westchester and Long Island schools, said Matthews' attempt seemed to be an uphill battle. "
  33. ^ "Fresh Meadows." Queens Library. Retrieved on January 9, 2012. "193-20 Horace Harding Expressway Fresh Meadows, NY 11365"

External links

Coordinates: 40°44′0.43″N 73°46′48.29″W / 40.7334528°N 73.7800806°W / 40.7334528; -73.7800806{{#coordinates:40|44|0.43|N|73|46|48.29|W|region:US |primary |name= }}