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Jackson Heights Historic District

About this listing

Neighborhood planned as a "Garden City"

Place Details

Borough : Queens
Neighborhood : Jackson Heights
Residential, What New Yorkers Find Beautiful, Gathering Place

Place Matters Profile

By Ricki Sablove

A middle-class enclave modeled on philanthropic housing, a garden city laid out on an urban grid, Jackson Heights is one of the most distinctive and, today, diverse communities in the United States. Loosely based on Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City concept, it originally developed through the confluence of various social, economic, and technological factors during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Founded in 1909 by Edward Archibald MacDougall, the Queensboro Corporation would become the most significant catalyst in the design and growth of the new community called Jackson Heights. Queensboro purchased 350 acres of farmland and spent several years working on the planning of streets and infrastructure. MacDougall also used his political influence to extend the subway to Queens; the dual system, with its underground and elevated lines, opened today’s 7 line in Queens in 1917.

The consolidation of the five boroughs of New York City in...

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Richard Plunz,A History of Housing in New York City(1990); Jeffrey Kroessler, Building Queens: The Urbanization of New York's Largest Borough(1991); Daniel Karatzas, Jackson Heights, A Garden in the City(1990); New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Jackson Heights Historic District Designation(1993).

On The Web

Community Greens: Shared Parks in Urban Blocks website
Jackson Heights Beautificiation Group


Jeffrey A. Saunders

The first planned garden city in America and only the second in the world, featuring innovative apartment buildings that surround block-long interior gardens. The term "garden apartment" was coined here.

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