The present Briarwood community stretches from Union Turnpike on its northern side to Hillside Avenue and Queens Blvd., to Parsons Blvd. on its the eastern side. The Briarwood area of Queens was undeveloped until after the turn of the century. In 1907 real estate developer Herbert A. O’Brien formed the Briarwood Land Company to develop the area between Parsons Blvd. and Queens Blvd. The name “Briarwood” was suggested by Mrs. O’Brien because the area was heavily wooded and full of briars. The company went bankrupt and the area remained undeveloped. In 1936 Briarwood Estates Development Corporation began selling homes in the area. In an ad in the 1939 World’s Fair News it proclaimed “You owe it to yourself to visit Briarwood Estates, a refined residential community”; however the area didn’t fully develop until after WWII when returning GI’s settled in the area. Of note, Archbishop Molloy High School is located across the street from the library at 83-53 Manton Street. It was opened in 1957. The population of Briarwood has grown from only a few residents at the turn of the century, to 10,000 in 1940, to its current population of almost 30,000 residents who reside in over 2,000 private homes and over 100 apartment buildings. The Briarwood Branch of the Queens Library was opened in 1975.
About Briarwood by Seymour Schwartz, President of the Briarwood Community Association (pamphlet)
Briarwood by Gerhard Heese, 1st Vice President of the Briarwood Community Association (pamphlet)