Jamaica Estates, Queens

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Jamaica Estates World War II Memorial
Jamaica Estates Historical Plaque

Jamaica Estates is an upper middle class and wealthy neighborhood located in the New York City borough of Queens. Within Queens Community District 8, Jamaica Estates is served by Queens Community Board 8.[1] It is bounded by Union Turnpike to the north, Hillside Avenue to the south, Utopia Parkway and Homelawn Street to the west, and 188th Street to the east.


Jamaica Estates was created in 1907 by the Jamaica Estates Corporation, which developed the hilly terminal moraine's 503 acres (2.04 km2), while preserving many of the trees that had occupied the site.[2] The company was founded by Ernestus Gulick and Felix Isman, both of Philadelphia.[3]

Jamaica Estates now has significant Modern Orthodox Jewish American[4] and South Asian American populations.[5] The latter has been particularly affected by the wave of mortgage foreclosures that began in 2008.[6] The only apartments and multi-family housing lie near the southern border within a few blocks from and along Hillside Avenue. The shopping corridors are along Hillside Avenue and Union Turnpike.

In 2007, following the damage of the roof of the Historic Gatehouse in Hurricane Isabel, the restoration and beautification of the Gatehouse and Malls was completed.[7]

The Jamaica Estates Association, founded in 1929, continues as an active, vital civic organization representing the community. An Historical Plaque was unveiled April 23, 2010, on the Midland Mall by The Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School and by the sponsor of the plaque, Senator Frank Padavan.[8]


Fresh Anointing International Church

The New York City Department of Education operates public schools:

Private schools include:


The New York City Subway's IND Queens Boulevard Line serves the station at the line's Jamaica – 179th Street terminal station (E F trains), as well as the penultimate 169th Street local station (F trains). The neighborhood is also served by the Q1, Q2, Q3, Q17, Q30, Q31, Q36, Q46 local bus lines. Numerous express buses (QM1, QM5, QM6, QM7, QM8, X68) to Manhattan also stop on Union Turnpike.

In contrast to much of Queens, most streets in Jamaica Estates do not conform to the rectangular street grid and follow topographic lines, the most notable example being Midland Parkway. Many of the named streets have etymologies originating from Languages of the United Kingdom, such as Aberdeen, Avon, Hovenden, Barrington, Chelsea, and Chevy Chase Street. However, unlike Forest Hills Gardens, which is a similarly wealthy Queens neighborhood with an atypical Queens street layout, the street numbering system does conform to the rest of Queens, employing the "dash" found in the Philadelphia grid street numbering system familiar throughout all other parts of the borough.

Notable residents

In popular culture

In the film Coming to America, the fictitious address of 24-32 Derby Avenue was the home of Cleo McDowell. Even if this street were to exist, the address would have to be numbered at least 169 or higher; this would correspond to 169th Street, the westernmost numbered street bordering the neighborhood.


  1. Queens Community Boards, New York City. Accessed September 3, 2007.
  2. Shaman, Diana (September 21, 1997). "If You're Thinking of Living In/Jamaica Estates, Queens; An Enclave That Treasures Its Trees". The New York Times. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  3. "TO DEVELOP 8,000 LOTS.; Plans of Messrs. Gulick and Isman Involving Large ract at Jamaica". The New York Times. August 11, 1907. Retrieved August 18, 2015. 
  4. Berger, Joseph (September 27, 2002). "Judaism Takes Different Turns; In Places, Blocks of Orthodoxy". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  5. Claudia Gryvatz Copquin. Jamaica. The Neighborhood of Queens. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  6. "Fifty percent of homes in pre-foreclosure are owned by South Asian immigrants in sections of New York City" (PDF). Chhaya CDC. January 12, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  7. "JEA Newsletter Volume 72 No. 5". Jamaica Estates Association. August 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  8. "Jamaica Estates Historical Plaque Dedication" (PDF). June 12, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  9. Welcome to UNIS Queens, United Nations International School. Accessed December 4, 2007.
  10. Elsa B. Endrst (December 1991). "The United Nations International School: a model of diversity". UN Chronicle. Retrieved August 17, 2009. 
  11. 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.
  12. Buckley, Tom. "Pride and Pleasure Evident Beneath Usual Restraint; Japanese Here Prepare for Imperial Visit." The New York Times. September 23, 1975. Page 39. Retrieved on January 9, 2012. "Students from the Japanese School of New York in Jamaica Estates[...]"
  13. Carl Ballenas, Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School (2010). Jamaica Estates. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-7255-0.  |page = 118
  14. Lennie Tristano at AllMusic. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  15. Ojito, Mirta. "CAMPAIGNING FOR CITY HALL: THE BATTLEGROUND; Gauging the Vote of the Satisfied", The New York Times, September 8, 2001. Accessed November 11, 2007.

External links

Coordinates: 40°43′4.15″N 73°46′27.44″W / 40.7178194°N 73.7742889°W / 40.7178194; -73.7742889