Jackson Heights, where the land was somewhat higher than in the surrounding towns, was named after the Jackson family, a prominent family who lived in the area of Northern Boulevard. When the Queensborough Bridge opened in 1908, connecting Manhattan to Queens, Edward MacDougall's Queensborough Corporation began purchasing local farms. In 1909 it purchased a 325-acre parcel of land and continued purchasing land through 1918 with the vision of creating a viable commuter suburb. In 1915 Interborough Rapid Transit (the IRT) built a subway line connecting Queens to Manhattan, and many apartment buildings were built in Jackson Heights. These garden style apartments were designed after garden apartments that were popular in London at the time. Rustic-looking houses were built around spacious courtyards, and these buildings remain some of the most beautiful housing in the city. The City Landmark Preservation Commission designated Jackson Heights a historic district in 1994.
In the 1965 the Hart-Celler Act increased immigration and waves of Asians and Latin Americans entered the United States via New York City. Many of these new Americans settled in Jackson Heights and built communities here. Jackson Heights is now one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the New York City.
A traveling station library opened on April 17, 1917 to serve what had been mostly farmland, but was becoming more urbanized. During the 1920s and 1930s temporary branches were established in a number of storefronts along 37th avenue. The Jackson Heights Community Federation led an effort to have a library built after World War II, but building restrictions and a lack of funds hindered these efforts, and the Jackson Heights branch would not be finished until 1954. The Jackson Heights Branch of the Queens Borough Public Library opened at its present location on October 26, 1954. Extensive renovations occurred in 1970 and again in 1985. An elevator was built and the adult bathrooms were made handicapped accessible in 1999. The branch is now 17,100 square feet in area.
A multi-year initiative has been launched for the design and construction of a 50,000 square foot new library facility on the current site. This will eventually allow the Jackson Heights Library to greatly expand and enhance the services it provides to its diverse and vibrant community.
The Jackson Heights northern border is the Grand Central Parkway, and the western border of the neighborhood is the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Roosevelt Avenue is along the southern edge of Jackson Heights and the eastern border is Junction Boulevard.
Video Relay Service for the Deaf – Free!
Queens Library at Jackson Heights provides a video interpreting sign language relay service that allows interpreters who sign ASL to speak in English and Spanish. All in real time through LifeLinks.
It is an easy, convenient way to call friends or family, make a doctor's appointment, call a utility, or even talk to a librarian! Our friendly video interpreters will respond within seconds to assist you in placing your call. The service is available in English and Spanish.
Making a call using sign language has never been easier or faster!
Visit the Jackson Heights Library Today
For additional information: 718-990-0746 (voice) 718-990-0809 (TTY)