Historic Jackson Heights Homes & Garden Tour
June 15, 2009 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Jackson Heights History / Queens Buzz. Over the weekend we attended the somewhat famous Jackson Heights Architecture and Garden Tour put on by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group and given by Daniel Karatzas who is a currently a JHBG Board member. The Jackson Heights Beautification Group sponsors the tour and provides visitors with a view of its memorabilia and photos of the history of the development of the Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens NY.
Click this link to read a brief report about the outing and to learn a little about Jackson Heights Historic Homes & Garden Tour.
Jackson Heights Historic House & Garden Tour
This weekend the JHBG held its annual Jackson Heights Historic Architecture and Garden Tour. The tour was hosted by a Jackson Heights native, author and Columbia alumnus, Daniel Karatzas [see book in photo].
Daniel and the JHBG have been giving the tour for many years and its popularity has grown with time. There were between 50 and 75 people in the audience for the two slide presentations on Saturday, and about 20 people who joined in the walking tour on Sunday.
Jackson Heights Real Estate Development – Beautiful Pre War Coops And Condominiums
The slide show and lecture cover the development of the Jackson Heights real estate market through the course of the past century. An organization which was central to the entire story was the Queensboro Corporation.
The Queensboro Corporation was a real estate development company that bought huge tracts of Queens farmland around the turn of the last century  and then began developing the land prior to the first World War. Development went on hiatus during the war and accelerated following it.
Queensboro Corporation Development In Jackson Heights
During the twenties the Queensboro corporation created numerous apartment buildings, many of which were designed to be rental apartments.
Toward the end of the 1920’s decade they began selling the apartments in order to free up cash for further investment. Through the teens and the twenties decades, apartments evolved from five and six story walk ups with modest amenities, to elevator buildings with communal gardens, alongside the renowned Jackson Heights golf course.
European Influence – Community Gardens And Luxury Apartments
We saw slides showing how apartment building architecture evolved from the tenements of the Industrial Revolution into luxury apartments in the twenties and thirties. At the turn of the century in 1900, living conditions of the urban working poor were of cramped tenements which had the barest of facilities.
With the advent of the middle class, apartments began to be built with amenties and luxuries to attract the a growing middle class. Daniel noted the resemblance of German, English and Dutch community apartment buildings to some of the Queensboro Corporation developments in Jackson Heights.
Depression Era & Urban Flight
Blight Followed by Urban Renaissance in Queens
The Great Depression of the thirties, followed by the second World War, essentially halted most development. In the thirties some homes were built along the golf course, but eventually the land was sold for development.
The golf course used to occupy much of the land that lies between 34th Avenue and Northern Blvd in the seventies. Community gardens and land were abandoned in favor of maximizing usable space for apartments and parking. Following the second World War, in the 1950's and 1960's, many people left the city in favor of the suburbs. Hence prices fell and one could buy many apartments in the 1970's at prices far less than what one would have paid in the 1920’s.
Jackson Heights History & Landmarks
In the eighties people began migrating back into the urban areas and a sort of urban renaissance began.
In the nineties Jackson Heights was the second community in Queens to obtain a historic landmark status. The landmark area covers many of the buildings once developed by the Queensboro Corporation. The importance of this status is that it requires owners to adhere to a process which attempts to preserve the integrity and aesthetics of the neighborhood, rather than allowing absentee developers to maximize profits without regard for their impact on the rest of the community.
Jackson Heights Garden Apartments in Historic Jackson Heights
We visited some of the most historic and well known garden apartments in Jackson Heights. These include the Hawthorne Court, The Chateau, The Towers, Hampton Court, Washington Plaza Apartments and Elm Court.
It’s worth noting that Vantage Properties and other large real estate companies bought up many buildings and properties in this area during the boom years of this decade.
Jackson Heights Beautification Group JHBG Garden Tour Photos
At some point we may add a photo gallery of the Jackson Heights Historic Garden Tour.
Many thanks to the Jackson Heights Beautification Group for letting us photograph some of their historic collection, some of which is shown above, and to Daniel Karatzas, neighborhood historian and realtor, for his informative slide presentation, narrative and tour.
Click here to go to the Queens Real Estate section of this site. Click here to view a story about Queens Real Estate in general with links to stories about Astoria real estate, LIC / Long Island City real estate, Sunnyside real estate & Woodside real estate. Click here to view Queens Real Estate Classifieds.
Jackson Heights Realtor - Links
Click here to go to the home page of Beaudoin Realty, one of the leading realtors in Jackson Heights.
Jackson Heights Real Estate - Related Links
Click here to go to the home page of Ponce De Leon Bank for Mortgages In Jackson Heights & Queens.
Click here to go to the home page of an Allstate insurance agency for Home Insurance In Astoria & Queens.
Jackson Heights / Elmhurst Related Info
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