You are reading

Two Predominantly Black Areas in Southeast Queens Designated as Historic Districts

Cambria Heights-227th Historic District (Photo courtesy of the LPC)

June 29, 2022 By Christian Murray

Two residential areas in southeast Queens were designated historic districts yesterday by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The commission created two separate historic districts—the Cambria Heights-222nd Street district and the Cambria Heights-227th district. Both areas, which consist of Tudor-style houses, have traditionally been occupied by the African American and Afro-Caribbean communities.

The districts contain row houses built in 1931 that are remarkably intact along two blocks, according to the commission. The Cambria Heights – 222nd Street Historic District contains 46 row houses between 115th Road and 116th Avenue and the Cambria Heights – 227th Street Historic District, which is five blocks away, contains 50 houses between 116th Avenue and Linden Boulevard.

“The designation of these two historic districts, the first in Cambria Heights, was a priority for me and fits within LPC’s equity framework, as we seek to increase designations in communities not well represented by landmarks, and to better tell the story of all New Yorkers,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll.

Cambria Heights is located in southeast Queens (GMaps)

The 222nd and 227th Street Historic Districts, according to the commission, consist of two cohesive and intact groups of Storybook-style row houses incorporating Tudor-style elements.

The Storybook style is primarily associated with California, where it flourished as a small-house style in the 1920s—influenced by fantasy architecture and movie backdrops. Storybook features of the 227th Street houses include half timbering, diamond-pane windows and stucco with brick and stone accents, as well as whimsical red, blue, and green slate shingles.

The 222nd Street houses feature Tudor-arched window openings, brightly colored terra-cotta roofs and windows, brick facades with random stone accents, and whimsically decorated chimneys with patterned brick and stucco panels. The design of the row houses gives the street a “stage-set” quality consistent with the Storybook style, of a Hollywood backdrop or fairytale illustration come to life.

Initially, residents of both 222nd and 227th Streets consisted of mainly white middle-class families. Black families began moving to Cambria Heights by the 1950s and the makeup of the community began to change.

By the 1980s, immigrant families from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Barbados moved to the area. Today, Cambria Heights remains one of several prosperous predominantly Black residential communities in Southeastern Queens.

“These homes are significant not only because of their appearance but also because of what they represent to the communities…that the American Dream was within reach,” said Mayor Eric Adams.

Adams noted that Black Americans had long been denied the opportunity of homeownership and that these historic districts clearly state why access to homeownership must be made available.

Both districts are exceptionally well-preserved, according to the commission, retaining their characteristic stylistic features and continuous, landscaped front lawns, with a highly distinctive sense of place.

“This was a project that was started by my predecessor, Council Member I. Daneek Miller and I am excited to see it come to fruition and have another neighborhood in my community designated as a historic district,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams.

“The 27th Council District is full of rich history and this neighborhood in Cambria Heights captures a unique architectural design not commonly found.”

Cambria Heights-222nd Street Historic District (Photo courtesy of the LPC)

 

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Armed robber hits 7-Eleven stores in three Queens neighborhoods in just over an hour Wednesday morning: NYPD

Police from two Queens NYPD precincts are looking for an armed robber who targeted 7-Eleven stores in three different neighborhoods in just over an hour during the early morning of Wednesday, Apr. 17.

Police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park reported that the first heist went down just before 2:25 a.m. at the 7-Eleven located at 112-11 Liberty Ave. in South Richmond Hill. The perpetrator allegedly pulled out a handgun and demanded money from the 23-year-old man behind the counter, who complied, handing over $400 in cash from the register, police said.

Jamaica Estates man beaten, robbed by bat-wielding thugs near Cunningham Park: NYPD

A 22-year-old Jamaica Estates man was beaten and robbed in broad daylight three blocks west of Cunningham Park on Saturday, and police from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows are looking for the suspects who attacked him with a baseball bat.

The incident occurred just after 7 p.m., as the victim was walking home in the vicinity of 189th Street and Aberdeen Avenue when he was set upon by the two assailants who struck him in the face and head with the baseball bat, police said. They forcibly removed his cell phone and fled in a black Pontiac Grand Am, heading northbound on 109th Street toward Union Turnpike.

F train rider punched at Jamaica Hills subway station by attacker who remains at large: NYPD

An F train rider was assaulted inside the 169th Street subway station on Hillside Avenue near Homelawn Street in Jamaica Hills last week, and a dreadlocked suspect remains at large, according to the NYPD.

Police from the NYPD 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows and Transit District 20 are looking for the dreadlocked stranger who approached the 37-year-old man while he was waiting on the northbound platform just before 3:30 a.m. on Friday, Apr. 12, and began to argue with him.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: grand larcenies down across borough, rapes halved in the north, robberies decrease in the south

Apr. 17, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of grand larcenies across Queens was down during the 28-day period from March 18 to April 14, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Monday. At the same time, rapes and robberies decreased significantly in northern and southern Queens, respectively.