Neighborhood Profile

Neighborhood Profile | Houses of Worship | Sources


Historical Information

Flushing Remonstrance

The neighborhood of Flushing is located in the north central part of Queens. Flushing’s history dates back to over 360 years. In 1645, Flushing was chartered as the town of Vlissingen, which was part of the New Netherland colony. The first settlers were English, and in a few years the town’s Quaker population was on the rise. The Quakers were seeking religious freedom and helped Flushing become one of the first towns to allow such liberty. The Quakers not only helped gain religious freedom but also took part in abolition and the fight for civil rights. One specific Quaker named John Bowne, who settled in what is now Downtown Flushing, set up a meetinghouse for local Quakers. Clearly, the Quakers had a strong influence in the neighborhood of Flushing.

Since the seventeenth century Flushing can be characterized as the neighborhood for religious freedom, abolition, and civil rights.  In 1664, the English colony took control of New Amsterdam and renamed it New York.  The Town of Flushing was one of the original towns of Queens County, however, the town was disbanded in 1898 when Queens became a borough of New York City.  The completion of the Queensboro Bridge that connected to Manhattan provided easier access for people to come and go.  In addition, the opening of the Long Island Railroad in 1910 and the number 7-subway train service along with the convergence of twenty bus lines contributed to a commercial and commuter hub

Flushing today is full of hospitals, parks, various institutions, commercial centers, hospitals, and national landmarks. Since the transformation of Flushing into a commercial hub, people from many different regions have started to come and settle in Flushing. In fact, the Chinatown in Flushing is the second largest Chinatown in all of United States. From cultural vicinities to religion houses of worship Flushing is definitely one of the most diverse neighborhoods New York City has to offer.



Flushing              Queens             NYC


Places of Interest

Flushing Town Hall

Location: 137-35 Northern Blvd, Flushing, New York 11354
Phone: 718-463-7700

Flushing Town Hall is designed in a Romanesque Style. It is the one of the major centers of the neighborhood, where in history, there have been many important events happening in and around the building. Politics, Arts, History, Culture of more than 140 years have been passed by through this building. Today it stands majestically on Northern Boulevard (a major travel route since Native American Tribes were living in the area). It is a place for hosting many events, such as performances (dances, plays, etc.) , exhibitions, discussions. These events revolve around the culture that Flushing presents to its residents, neighbors, the city, and the world alike.


Voelker Orth Museum

Location: 149-19 38th Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354
Phone: 718-359-6227

The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary, and Victorian Garden, sits on a land purchased by a German immigrant. It currently showcases the history of the community, with a Victorian Garden, a place to store horse carriage, and a beautifully painted pink and white wooden house. The museum has certain favorite Victorian Era plants that attract all kinds of birds. As you enter the fences surrounding the house, you will feel a presence of history with serenity. It is very calm and peaceful in the garden there, with many types of flowers blooming bringing color, and a small pond having large orangeish-golden fishes.



Our Experiences

We visited the Flushing neighborhood and had fun. Well at least I had fun. Since Flushing is huge, and even though I live there, I have not visited every single corner, we went to historic places. There are “Freedom Mile” hotspots around this neighborhood that I did not know of before this project. It was really interesting to know that Flushing had a major role in defining American History. As a group we visited St. George’s Episcopalian Church, Bowne House, Flushing Town Hall, Friends Meeting House, Voelker Orth Museum and a few other places. Well, the maps really helped us and most of these places were close by each other since they were built before or around the period of the Revolutionary War. I have visited Flushing Town Hall for a few performances in Junior High School but never learned about its history until today. The Episcopalian Church stands only one block away from the Main Street subway station, but it is such an overlooked site – there was mass going inside so we could not visit it today. The Voelket Orth Museum is a Bird Sanctuary (Not really – will tell later), a Victorian Garden and a Museum of a German immigrant. I think the highlight of our walk was this last place, because that is the only place where a person actually spoke to us about it personally. Since, I live in the neighborhood, I am going to try to visit these sites again for further information.

About people now; I have lived in this neighborhood for all the time, I have been outside of India. This was the first place I have ever immigrated to. At the beginning, it felt awkward to talk to people from a different race, ethnicity, culture, religion, background, etc, however after a while of being in school, and having classmates of so many different kinds, I have been lucky enough to have grown into it. I have friends living in Flushing from many backgrounds – Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Armenian, German, Ecuadorian, Hispanic, etc. They all live in “Flushing” – it is a VERY vast area. Walking along Main Street, I was talking to Karim about how the people over here are. We saw Hispanics, African American, Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Koreans, among others shopping here. Even though many of these might live a few subway stops away on the 7 train, they come to this area mainly to shop and spend their Sunday afternoons. So what makes Flushing the grabber of these customers? I believe it is a major hub for shopping of any kind, as well as having something to munch on. Plus, it is closer than going all the way into the city; it is much cheaper than places in the city, and there is always something or the other to do.

Chirag Shah


On a pretty warm Sunday afternoon Chirag, Karim, and I visited Flushing in Queens. I have not been there in a long time so I was excited. When I got out of the Main St. Flushing 7 train station I was welcomed by a sight that looked like to be a city block near Times Square, Manhattan. There were many people similar to that of Manhattan’s busy streets. We explored the area of Downtown Flushing home to the second largest Chinatown. However, the Chinatown here is mixed with both Chinese and American values. Yes, there are Chinese stores and restaurants, however there are stores such as Macy’s, Old Navy, Modell’s and fast food places such as McDonald’s and Burger King right around the corner. In addition to Chinatown we visited the Flushing Town Hall, Old Quaker Meeting House, John Bowne House, and a Victorian Garden.

One thing that stuck out to me was the diversity in Flushing. Everywhere there were welcome signs in different languages. It is nice to see that people accept different people from different places. We saw Episcopal Church, a Methodist Church, a sikh temple, a place of worship for Jews, and one or two more Churches of the Christian Branch. We also came upon a park where people were relaxing, eating, playing basketball and volleyball while their children played with outer children. This park is evidence of one place in Flushing where you can find many different people. Flushing is not full of just Asians but Hispanics even live here too! Simply put: Flushing exemplifies cultural diversity at its best.

Jamilur Reja


Today I visited Downtown Flushing along with Chirag and Jamilur. Having not been to the neighborhood for several years, I was eager to get reacquainted with location and explore it further. As Chirag mentioned earlier, we saw several interesting locations throughout the area, including the Episcopalian Church, the Bowne House, The Voelker Orth Museum, and the Flushing Town House. Some of these historic locations really allowed us to get a sense of Flushing history as well as its impact on the country. For example, we learned that the site of the Flushing State Armory is actually considered to be the birthplace of religious freedom in America. It is where Flushing freeholders wrote the Flushing Remonstrance (which we were lucky enough to obtain a copy of), a letter written to Peter Stuyvesant that served as the inspiration for the First Amendment to the Constitution.

As Jamilur mentioned, Flushing’s diversity really stands out. The Old Quaker Meeting House (the oldest house of worship in New York) had a sign welcoming everyone in Spanish, English, and Chinese. I found this fascinating, because I had never heard of Chinese or Spanish Quakers before. Several blocks down we came across a park , where a large group of Hispanic men were playing volleyball next to another group of men arguing in Chinese. I thought that this kind of coexistence was amazing; Flushing is one of the few places in the world where you could observe something like this on a daily basis.

The most enjoyable part of the trip came from visiting the Voelket Orth Museum. Besides having to dodge humongous bumblebees, we enjoyed exploring its beautiful garden filled with blooming flowers, birds, and even a coy pond at the very back. It was probably one of the most peaceful places I’ve visited in a while, and one I surely won’t forget.

Overall, the trip was very fun. Flushing is a great neighborhood, and I can’t wait to visit it again!

Karim Abdelrazek


Neighborhood Profile | Houses of Worship | Sources