History Of Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights is a neighborhood located in New York City, in the northern part of Queens. Known for its apartment buildings with large gardens and many groupings of private homes, Jackson Heights is most likely the first garden city community built in the United States; it was part of the international garden city movement. The international garden city movement began in England in the late 1800s, started by Ebenezer Howard. He believed that this idea would solve the overcrowding and deterioration of cities at this time. This idea spread to the U.S and came to Jackson Heights in early 1900s and in 1916 the plan to build the neighborhood began and became the first garden city in the Unite States because of this the original neighborhood is considered a New York State Historic Register District and about half is considered a New York City Historic District

Before the 1900’s Jackson Heights was all farms and fields. It was known as Trains Medow, part of Newton. All of Jackson heights’ growth and uniqueness is due to one man, Edward Archibald Douglas. He bought the land in the 1910’s and was almost single handedly created by him. He had the vision of creating Jackson Heights into what it became. Without him, Jackson heights would be a completely different neighborhood. His vision for creating a neighborhood that would be different led him to look into garden cities. It was first planned for the area to be for middle class to upper class professionals that wanted to leave Manhattan because of the overcrowding of the city and wanted to experience a more suburban life. He provided people with what people wanted to live close to Manhattan, and a nice place to live.

In the 1920’s Jackson Heights flourished because the new co-ops attracted middle class professionals, it provided something new to them and they were able to escape Manhattan, which was very overcrowded and overpriced. The construction of the Queens borough bridge and the arrival of the elevated 7 train subway line allowed people to come over to queens more easily and encouraged the movement of people. The neighborhood quickly filled up, as more and more buildings were being built. When the country went into war and the great depression hit the neighborhood was slowed down in its development, as it had to deal with wartime rules and economic crisis. After all of that ended a new era began for Jackson heights as it expanded and improved itself.

After Edward Archibald Douglas death, his son took over and continued his father’s work. Until the 1950’s Jackson heights still gave of a small town feeling, which attracted many people who were over crowded in Manhattan. Due to the latest wave of immigration in the late 1900s Jackson Heights took on a new look because many new people came. Big Hispanic and Indian populations came and took over part of Jackson heights.  Jackson Heights has keep on attracting many different types of people and is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. You can find people talking 5 different languages as you walk through a block of Jackson Heights. If you walk through the whole neighborhood, you will experience a part of Indian, part of South America and you will still have the beautiful coop buildings that have been there since the beginning of the neighborhood, which still attract people to come till this day. Up to today the neighborhood still stays true to itself because it still provides its residents with a different feeling from jam-packed Manhattan, but at the same time being a subway ride away.