May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and we're pleased to honor some prominent figures of Asian and Pacific Island descent that have made great contributions and added to the rich cultural tapestry of the United States.
We will feature notable people from a variety of professions and careers on our ...
The new issue of Queens Library Magazine is out now!
Queens Library Magazine combines great library-themed feature stories and two months' worth of information about our free programs, services, and special events, and it's available at your neighborhood library or ...
Video visitation is a free program offered at libraries across the city that connects a live video feed between participating library locations and NYC Department of Corrections facilities, allowing incarcerated New Yorkers to talk, read, and share stories together with their loved ...
Peninsula Hospital Center 5115 Beach Channel Dr Far Rockaway NY , 11691 phone: (718) 734-2000
The Wave Located off Crossbay Blvd. 1½ miles Joseph Addabbo Sr. Bridge (Formerly North Channel Bridge) Look for the brown Parks Dept. sign P.O. Box 930097 Rockaway Beach NY , 11693 phone: (718) 634-4000
Parks and Playgrounds
Gateway National Park
Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge Floyd Bennett Field Brooklyn NY , 11234 phone: (718) 318-4340
Gene Gray Park East 9th Road and Crossbay Blvd NY ,
Seventeenth Road Playground Seventeenth Road and Crossbay Blvd NY ,
100th Precinct 92-24 Rockaway Beach Blvd Far Rockaway NY , 11693 phone: (718) 318-4200
Post office 90-14 Rockaway Beach Blvd Rockaway NY , 11693
Broad Channel is a small close knit community, two miles long and three blocks wide. In the 1640’s the area was sold to the Dutch. The land was granted to Hempstead settlers and became part of the Town of Jamaica.
In 1881, it became a stop on the Long Island Railroad. The railroad allowed Broad Channel to become a summer hot spot for city travelers. Over 3 million people traveled by train each year to the Rockaway beaches and the Broad Channel hotels. Hotels grew and seasonal bungalows popped up. Residents paid $25 in rent each year to the city’s Dock Department.
Around 1900, Jamaica Bay became part of New York City. By 1907, there were an estimated 300 homes and businesses in Broad Channel. Fishing was a big industry there until 1921 when the bay became too polluted to continue to fish. The completion of Cross Bay Boulevard in 1925 allowed Broad Channel to change from a seasonal area to a year round residence.
In 1938, Robert Moses tried to have the residents evicted and the whole area made into wildlife refuge and recreational park. The plan was too expensive, and in 1950, after the train trestle burned down, the Metropolitan Transit Authority took over train service. Several small islands were connected by filling in part of the bay for the construction of the new A train. The area that was filled in became the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. The 9,155 acre refuge was opened in 1953. Today more then 325 species of birds have been found there.
This was not the first or the last time the residents were facing eviction, including by a JFK runway expansion plan and a plan to make Broad Channel part of Gateway National Park. During this whole time residents were fighting to purchase their land from the city. Finally in 1995 the battle was won and residents were able to buy the land their homes were built on.
Broad Channel is the home to one of New York City’s ten remaining volunteer fire departments. The Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department has been serving the community for over 100 years.
The community was served for many years by a weekly Bookmobile, which was withdrawn during the city’s fiscal crisis in the mid-1970’s. After some years of community pressure for the reinstatement of library service, Queens Library decided to provide library service by means of a pre-fabricated Porta-Branch, the first to be erected in Queens. Serving a population of 2,500 people, the Broad Channel Library opened on July 17, 1990.
Broad Channel Historical Collection
Home Town Long Island by Newsday with Forward by Billy Joel
The Other Islands of New York City: a History and Guide by Sharon Seitz and Stuart Miller
Return all Queens Library books, videos, music at Queens Library at Broad Channel. Use the self-service book return, available every day and every night. Receipts given for your security.