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Friends of Library - Long Island City Chapter. Contact Community Library Manager at (718) 752-3700 or Office of Government and Community Affairs (GCA) at (718) 990-0817 if you are interested in joining.
Located in northwestern Queens, Long Island City (LIC) is the largest neighborhood in the borough. It was the earliest part of Queens to be recognized by the Dutch and was the scene of many British troop movements. Created in 1870 from the communities of Astoria, Hunters Point, Blissville, Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Bowery Bay, Steinway and Sunnyside, locals now use the term LIC only for the area south of Astoria.
In the mid 1800s, Hunters Point, the southern tip of LIC on the East River water front, became linked with the North Fork Line of the LIRR. Ferry service also began between Wall Street and 34th Street. By 1870 when Long Island City was chartered, it had become the center of industry for Queens County. By the end of that century a major building boom had established a number of important factories as well as urban residential areas.
With the opening of the Queensborough Bridge in 1908 and the original Pennsylvania Station on the Queens waterfront in 1910, many factories located here and innumerable industries took advantage of the ample space and low land cost. By 1940 with the completion of The Triborough Bridge and the Queens Midtown Tunnel, Long Island City sitting next to the Sunnyside Rail Yards had become a world class industrial center though more or less a passing through point for commuters between Manhattan, Eastern Queens, and Long Island.
By the mid 1970s, however, due to the migration of businesses out of New York, LIC had become a small sleepy town with many empty factories and warehouse spaces. A new group began to emerge composed of younger artists and musicians who were being priced out of the tight market in Manhattan and who were drawn to the spacious lofts, unhindered light, and the almost rural quality of the neighborhood. Equally attractive was the existence of the studios of two world renowned artists, the late Isamu Noguchi, whose studio is now a museum, and Mark DiSuvero who established the Socrates Sculpture Park, the city's largest outdoor exhibition space. The Urban and Contemporary Arts Institute, better known as P.S. 1, at one time Public School #1, became central to the Long Island City Arts movement.
The 1980s saw greater industrial expansion in Long Island City and a rebirth of the film industry, which had its early roots here. Most notable was the establishment of Silvercup Studios, which converted an old bread factory into what would become the largest independent, full-service film and television production facility in the northeastern United States. The International Design Center of New York was opened on the site where the Sunshine bakery and Adams Chewing Gum plants stood. La Guardia Community College took over the disused factories of the White Motor Company and the Equitable Bag Company. The 48 story Citicorp building was erected in 1989 and is the tallest building in New York City outside Manhattan.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one of two American men and one of three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during their lifetime. Queens Library HealthLink seeks to increase access to cancer screening and cancer treatment among medically underserved communities in Queens. Queens Library HealthLink is a partnership between Queens Library, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Queens Cancer Center of Queens Hospital and the American Cancer Society.