The Sunnyside Community Library serves the area bounded by Skillman Ave. to the north, the Queens-Midtown Expressway to the south, 30th Street to the west, and 52nd Street to the east.
The community name of Sunnyside can be traced back to the 1800s, when the Bragaw family of settlers owned the Sunnyside Hill Farm in western Queens. By 1846 a community of houses, farms, and roadhouses had sprung up in the area north of Queens Boulevard. A railroad station built in 1850 was named the Sunnyside Railroad Station. The area still consisted largely of swamps and farmland until the early 1900s.
In 1902, the Pennsylvania Rail Road began buying up property in Sunnyside, leveling the land and filling in the swamps. In 1909 the Queensboro Bridge opened and in 1915 train service between Manhattan and Long Island City began. During the 1920s, Sunnyside experienced a construction boom in residential units following the expansion of the elevated Number 7 Train.
In 1924, construction began on Sunnyside Gardens, one of the nation's first planned communities. The community is located approximately two blocks north of Queens Boulevard between 43rd and 49th Streets. The planners' aim was to advance a Utopian vision by providing affordable, quality housing in beautiful surroundings for working class New Yorkers. In designing the community, architects Clarence Stein and Henry Wright adapted the English garden city model to an American urban environment. In 1974, the City of New York designated Sunnyside Gardens as a Community Preservation District. It continues to be regarded as an outstanding example of urban planning.
From the 1920s to the 1960s, Sunnyside was made up of predominantly Irish, Italian, and Jewish residents. Today it has become one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Queens. According to 2000 Census data, 61% of Sunnyside residents were born outside the United States. The top 10 countries of origin were Ecuador, Columbia, Korea, Mexico, Bangladesh, China, Dominican Republic, Romania, India, and Ireland.
The first public library facility in Sunnyside opened in 1933 at a location on Queens Boulevard. The Queens Library has been serving the Sunnyside community at its current facility since 1976. In 2009, the Sunnyside library reopened for service after the completion extensive renovations.
More information about the Sunnyside community is available from the following sources: Websites
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.