Jackson Heights, Queens is home to residents from more than 70 countries speaking more than 40 languages. A truly international community, it is a community in every sense of the word. It’s not unusual to see a Peruvian shop owner dining side-by-side with a Long Island-born accountant in a Taiwanese restaurant, or a Bangladeshi shopper perusing crates of fruit imported from South America. This diversity is part of what attracts residents to Jackson Heights—and more importantly, it’s a part of what keeps them there.
A Hub for Culture and Transportation
The Queens community is bounded by Astoria Boulevard to the north, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the west, Roosevelt Avenue to the south, and Junction Boulevard to the east. East Elmhurst, the area immediately to the north, from Northern Boulevard to the Grand Central Parkway, though not part of the original development, is sometimes regarded as a northward extension of the neighborhood. The Jackson Heights name comes from Jackson Avenue, the former name for Northern Boulevard. The Jackson Avenue name is retained by this major road in a short stretch between Queensboro Plaza and the Queens Midtown Tunnel approaches in the Long Island City neighborhood.
The neighborhood is also the location of the Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street transportation hub, where the subway lines and five bus routes terminate. It includes one of the first green buildings in the MTA system, the Victor Moore Bus Terminal, which is partially powered by solar panels built into the roof. These are located along the length of the sheds above the Flushing line platforms. Moore was a prominent stage and screen actor from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Garden Apartments to Call Home
It all began with garden apartments. Built in the early 1900s by the Edward A. MacDougall’s Queensboro Corporation, the garden apartments that make up Jackson Heights were intended to be a self-contained upper- and middle-class urban alternative to suburbia. Most of the original neighborhood is a National Register Historic District and a New York State Historic Register District. About half has been designated as a New York City Historic District by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The historic section of Jackson Heights is the more affluent part of the neighborhood. Most housing units in Jackson Heights are apartments in multi-unit buildings, many of which are five or six stories. Many of these buildings are co-ops, some are rentals, and a few are condominiums. There are also a number of one- to three-family houses, most of which are attached row houses.