Forest Hills, Queens
|Neighborhood of Queens|
|City||New York City|
|• Total||2.6 sq mi (7 km2)|
|• Land||2.4 sq mi (6 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|• Density||34,886/sq mi (13,470/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||718, 347, 917|
Forest Hills is a neighborhood located in the New York City borough of Queens. Originally, the area was referred to as "Whitepot". Forest Hills is bounded by 62nd Drive, Thornton Place, and Selfridge Street to the west, Metropolitan Avenue to the south, Union Turnpike to the east, and the Grand Central Parkway to the north. Forest Hills Gardens, a place within Forest Hills with many Tudor-style houses, is bounded by Burns Street to the north, Union Turnpike to the east, Greenway South and Harrow Street to the west, and Tennis Place and Continental Ave to the west.
|This section requires expansion. (September 2014)|
The development of adjacent Forest Park, a park on the southern end of Forest Hills, began in 1895. Starting in 1896, the landscaping firm of Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot was contracted to provide a plan for the park.:428
In 1906, Brooklyn attorney Cord Meyer bought abutting land made up of six farms (those of Ascan Bakus, Casper Joost-Springsteen, Horatio N. Squire, Abram V. S. Lott, Sarah V. Bolmer, and James Van Siclen) and then renamed the aggregated 600 acres Forest Hills. There is a street named after Ascan Bakus, Ascan Avenue, in Forest Hills today. In 1909, Margaret Sage, who founded the Russell Sage Foundation, bought 142 acres (0.57 km2) of land from the Cord Meyer Development Company. Grosvenor Atterbury, a renowned architect, was given the commission to design Forest Hills Gardens. The neighborhood was planned on the model of the garden communities of England. As a result, there are many Tudor-style homes in Forest Hills, some more sprawling ones located in Forest Hills Gardens while most are located in the Cord-Meyer section (loosely bounded by 68th Avenue on the north; 72nd Road on the south; 108th Street on the west; and Grand Central Parkway on the east). The construction of this area used a prefabricated building technique; each house was built from approximately 170 standardized precast concrete panels, fabricated off-site and positioned by crane. In 1913, the West Side Tennis Club moved from Manhattan to Forest Hills Gardens. The U.S. Open and its predecessor national championships were held there until 1978, making Forest Hills synonymous with tennis for generations.
The southern part of Forest Hills contains a particularly diverse mixture of upscale housing, ranging from single-family houses, attached townhouses, and both low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings. South of the Long Island Rail Road, the Forest Hills Gardens area is a private community that features some of the most expensive residential properties in Queens County. It was subject to restrictive covenants until the 1970s, which contained no explicit economic, social or racial restrictions even if "working-class people" were said to be excluded by Eric P. Nash in a 2002 New York Times article, in his review of A Modern Arcadia. Forest Hills Gardens was named "Best Community" in 2007 by Cottage Living Magazine. The adjacent Van Court community also contains a number of detached single-family homes. There are also attached townhouses near the Westside Tennis Center and detached frame houses near Metropolitan Avenue. Finally, there are a number of apartment buildings scattered throughout the community. The most notable high-rise apartment buildings are The Continental on 108th St, Kennedy House, the Pinnacle, and the Windsor.
On the northwestern edge of Forest Hills, on 62nd Drive and 108th Street, immediately adjacent to the Long Island Expressway is a NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) low-income housing project that provoked controversy among the residents in the more prestigious areas of Forest Hills when it was constructed in the early 1970s.
The north side of Forest Hills is home to the Cord Meyer community, which contains detached single-family homes. Teardowns and their replacement with larger single family residences has had a significant impact on the architectural integrity of the area. However, the Bukharian Jewish community, whose members have settled in the area in large numbers since the late 1990s, advocating the changes say the bigger homes are needed for their large extended families.
Points of interest
Forest Hills was once the home of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. The event was held at the West Side Tennis Club before it moved to the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park, about 4 miles (6.4 km) away. When the Open was played at the tennis stadium, the tournament was commonly referred to merely as Forest Hills, just as All-England Lawn Tennis Association Championships are referred to, simply, as Wimbledon. In the 2001 motion picture, The Royal Tenenbaums, Luke Wilson's character plays a tennis match at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills. A pivotal scene in Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 film Strangers on a Train, in which the main character (played by Farley Granger) is a professional tennis player, features a lengthy championship game at the Club, with distinctive shots of the surrounding community. The Tennis Stadium, which hosted numerous music concerts including The Beatles after the U.S. Open departed for Flushing Meadows, resumed hosting music concerts during the summer of 2013 when the British rock band Mumford & Sons played there to an overflowing crowd. Stadium officials have said they will now host as many as six music or cultural events at the Stadium each season.
Forest Hills is served by the New York City Department of Education.
Pupils attend several public different elementary Schools, including:
- P.S. 101 School In The Gardens
- P.S. 144 Col. Jeromus Remsen School
- P.S. 175 Lynn Gross Discovery School
- P.S. 196 Grand Central Parkway
- P.S. 220 Edward Mandel
Junior high students in Forest Hills attend either J.H.S. 157 Stephen A. Halsey (commonly referred to as Halsey) in Rego Park or J.H.S. 190 Russell Sage (known as Sage) in Forest Hills as well as the newest school from grade 6 to 12, M.S. 167 (otherwise known as Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS)), "a school for a sustainable city". This school does partnership with New York City Outward Bound. New York City high school students at the turn of the 21st century began applying to the high schools of their choice, as there is no longer a zoning policy for Forest Hills High School or Queens Metropolitan High School. Students from all over New York City may apply to high schools in other parts of the city. In addition to Forest Hills High School, a large percentage of students from both J.H.S. 157 and J.H.S. 190 gain admission to other high schools in New York City. Many J.H.S. 157 students also attend the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School.
Traditionally many more students from J.H.S. 190 choose to study at Stuyvesant High School and Townsend Harris High School, in addition to the Bronx High School of Science. Numerous students from Forest Hills also choose to attend middle and high school at the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, a public school in Astoria, which teaches grades 7 through 12 and follows the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Many of the students from outside the district accepted to attend Forest Hills High School are those who applied to either the school's Law & Humanities program, or the Carl Sagan program in accelerated math and science. FHHS began admitting students by audition to their Academy of Instructional Music and Performing Arts in 2005. Famous graduates of Forest Hills High School include Jacob Lew, current US Secretary of the Treasury; Dennis Tito, the first outer space tourist; as well as many show-business stars, including musicians Burt Bacharach, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Ramones.
Bramson ORT College is an undergraduate college operated by the American branch of the Jewish charity World ORT. Its main campus is in Forest Hills, with a satellite campus in Brooklyn. Touro College/NYSCAS has a branch location in Forest Hills.
Historically, Forest Hills has had many German and American Jewish residents. This is not as true today, as most of the Jewish residents are Bukharians from Uzbekistan. Additionally, the neighborhood is now 24% Asian, 12% Latino, and 4% black.
The main thoroughfare is Queens Boulevard, which is very wide. Metropolitan Avenue is known for its antique shops. The commercial heart of Forest Hills is a mile-long stretch of Austin Street between Yellowstone Boulevard and Ascan Avenue: the latter thoroughfare was named in 1909 by developer Frederick Backus for his own father, Ascan Backus, II. Forest Hills has the multiple-service Forest Hills–71st Avenue subway station (E F M R trains) at the intersection of Continental Avenue and Queens Boulevard. The local 75th Avenue stop (E F trains) is also in the area, and some entrance/exits of the express Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike station (E F trains) service the southeastern portion of Forest Hills.
Parks and recreation
Forest Hills is bordered by two of the more sizable parks in Queens managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: the 1,255 acres (5.08 km2) Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, which is the site of two World's Fairs (in 1939 and 1964) and the iconic Unisphere; as well as the 544 acres (2.20 km2) Forest Park. Within Forest Hills, some of the more popular parks and playgrounds include the Yellowstone Municipal Park – Katzman Playground (located on Yellowstone Boulevard, between 68th Avenue and 68th Road); the Annadale Playground (located on Yellowstone Boulevard, between 64th Road and 65th Avenue); the Willow Lake Playground (located off the Grand Central Parkway, between 71st and 72nd Avenues); the Ehrenreich-Austin Playground (located on Austin Street, between 76th Avenue and 76th Drive); and the Russell Sage Playground (located on 68th Avenue, between Booth and Austin Streets).
In popular culture
- Jacob Arabo, founder of a jewelry company
- Awkwafina (born 1989), rapper
- Hank Azaria (born 1964), actor and voice artist
- Walter Becker (born 1950), half of the musical duo Steely Dan
- Jimmy Breslin (born 1930), journalist
- Joseph Bowler (born 1928), artist and illustrator
- Michael A. Burstein (born 1970), science fiction writer
- Dale Carnegie (1888–1955), self-improvement lecturer and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People lived at 27 Wendover Rd in Forest Hills.
- David Caruso, (born 1956), actor in CSI: Miami, and NYPD Blue
- Candy Darling (1944–1974), Warhol Superstar who appeared in a number of his films
- John R. Dilworth (born 1963), animator and creator of Cartoon Network's Courage the Cowardly Dog.
- Sergei Dovlatov (1941–1990), Russian short story writer and novelist
- Billy Eichner (born 1978), comedian, actor, and host of Billy on the Street 
- Geraldine Ferraro (1935–2011), member of U.S. House of Representatives, television personality
- Art Garfunkel (born 1941), singer-songwriter
- Ernie Grunfeld (born 1955), former player and general manager of the New York Knicks
- Alan Hevesi (born 1940), disgraced former Comptroller of New York
- Steve Hofstetter (born 1979), comedian/radio personality
- John V. Hogan (1890–1960), radio pioneer
- John Francis Hylan (1848–1936), Mayor of New York City (1918–1925)
- Ethel D. Jacobs (1910–2001), thoroughbred horse owner and breeder, wife of Hirsch Jacobs
- Hirsch Jacobs (1904–1970), thoroughbred jockey, husband of Ethel D. Jacobs
- Donna Karan (born 1948), fashion designer
- Helen Keller (1880–1968), lecturer, author, fundraiser, activist
- Alan King (1927–2004), actor/comedian 
- Andrea King (1919–2003), actress
- David Krumholtz (born 1978), actor
- Gary Kurfirst (1947–2009), concert promoter and record producer
- Michael Landon (1936–1991), actor known for his roles on Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie
- Harvey J. Levin (1924–1992), internationally recognized pioneer of communications economics, holder of Long Island's first professorial chair
- Jack Lew (born 1955), U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
- Trygve Lie (1896–1968), Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Jack McAuliffe (1866–1937), world lightweight boxing champion
- Chieli Minucci (born 1958), musician
- Min Xiao-Fen (born 1961), pipa player and vocalist 
- Michele "Big Mike" Miranda (1896–1973), consigliere of the Genovese crime family and one of the most powerful New York gangsters in the 1950s and 1960s
- Lore Noto (1923–2002), Off-Broadway producer
- Carroll O'Connor (1924–2001), actor, best known for his role as Archie Bunker on All in the Family
- Rick Overton (born 1954), actor and comedian
- Susan Polgar (born 1969), chess grandmaster
- The Ramones, seminal punk rock band:
- Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), psychiatrist known for his theories of Orgone energy
- Daniel Ribacoff (born 1959), private investigator and polygraph expert for The Steve Wilkos Show
- Branch Rickey (1881–1965), Major League Baseball executive
- Thelma Ritter (1902–1969), actress
- Ray Romano (born 1957), actor-comedian, best known for Everybody Loves Raymond
- Chris Rush, stand-up comedian
- Renato Russo (1960–1996), Brazilian bandleader
- Joan Shawlee (née Fulton; 1926–1987), actress
- Todd Strauss-Schulson (born 1980), film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, and cinematographer
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (born 1966), member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida's 20th congressional district.
- Paul Simon (born 1941), singer-songwriter
- Fred Stone (1873–1959), actor
- Tatiana Troyanos (1938–1993), mezzo-soprano known for her work at the Metropolitan Opera
- Bob Tufts (born 1955), former Major League Baseball pitcher
- Jeff Wayne (born 1943), musician known for his musical version of The War of the Worlds
- Katharine Weber (born 1955), novelist, author of five novels, including Triangle and True Confections.
- Leslie West (born 1945), of the hard rock band Mountain
- Anthony Weiner (born 1964), politician
- Adolph Alexander Weinman (1870–1952), sculptor
- Henry Willson (1911–1978), Hollywood agent
- Jack Wyatt (1917–2008), host of ABC's Confession; Episcopalian priest
- Gideon Yago (born 1978), journalist, former correspondent at MTV and CBS News
- Manuel Ycaza (born 1938), jockey inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
- Pia Zadora (born 1953), actress
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Trainer Hirsh Jacobs, who exactly one year ago saddled his 3,000th winner for a world record, was absolved of blame today in the stimulation of a filly owned by his wife, Mrs. Ethel D. Jacobs of Forest Hills, N. Y.
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In the twenties, Miss Keller, Miss Sullivan and her husband and Miss Thomson (who had joined the household in 1914) moved from Wrentham, Mass., to Forest Hills, Queens, in New York. Miss Keller used this home as a base for her extensive fund-raising tours for the American Foundation for the Blind, of which she was counselor until her death.
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