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Station Square

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Long Island Railroad station and landscaped surroundings

Place Details

Borough : Queens
Neighborhood : Forest Hills
Infrastructure, Transportation

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Friends of Station Square


Barbara McGregor

Station Square, built in the early 1900s as part of the Long Island Railroad train station and hotel complex, has been called "one of the finest public spaces in America" by Robert A.M. Stern. The station itself was restored in a historically faithful manner by the LIRR in 1998. The Friends of Station Square raised money to re-landscape the garden plots at the station and in the Square in 2000, guided as much as possible by the somewhat sketchy information left by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr, the Square's landscape architect, at a cost of more than $100,000, all privately raised.

Station Square has historic importance because it is where Theodore Roosevelt made his "One Hundred Percent American" speech in 1916. The square and railroad station are significant in terms of architecture (Grosvenor Atterbury) and landscape architecture (Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.)

Station Square is a broad square dominated on the north by the grand stair of the LIRR station entrance and landscaped embankments. The remaining three sides are dominated by the Station Square apartments, once a single hotel. All buildings and the station itself are connected by enclosed passages at the second-story level; the roofs of all the structures are Ludovici terracotta tile, and two of the buildings have arched arcades covering the sidewalks. The street pavement is cobblestone laid in the pattern of the British Union Jack. The center of the square is embellished with a small oblong landscaped island which has two original kiosks constructed of the same cement aggregate material as the LIRR station. These kiosks were used by the police and as a taxi paging station at the time the square was built.

A group called the Friends of Station Square exists to protect and preserve this wonderful place.

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