College Point, Queens (History)

(Neighborhoods In Queens)

neighborhoods_queens_college_point_300x300College Point is a working-middle-class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is located north of Flushing on Flushing Bay and the East River and is part of the Queens Community Board 7. Willets Point Boulevard and the Whitestone Expressway are often the neighborhood’s approximate boundaries with Flushing and Whitestone. The 109th Precinct of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) serves College Point.College Point is a diverse community, mostly residential with some industrial areas.

 

HISTORY

College Point was named for St. Paul’s College, a seminary founded in 1835 by the Rev. William Augustus Muhlenberg.The college closed around 1850. Former names include Lawrence’s Neck, Tew’s Neck, Flammersberg, and Strattonsport.

The original European settler of this area was Captain William Lawrence.He was also the largest land holder of the original incorporators of the Town of Flushing, now in Queens. He arrived in America on the ship Planter in the 1630s. He married the oldest daughter of Richard “Bull Rider” Smith who founded Smithtown L.I. With his first wife he had a son, William Jr., who married the Smiths’ youngest daughter.

In 1854 the German-American industrialist, Conrad Poppenhusen arrived, already a prosperous manufacturer in Brooklyn of hard rubber goods, expanded his operation to this small farming community. College Point became a factory town primarily for his workers, most of them German immigrants like himself, and the tycoon became a philanthropist contributing to churches, libraries, and the Poppenhusen Institute, an educational beacon of College Point. He is responsible for the first free kindergarten in America. He connected College Point to Flushing by the Flushing and North Side Railroad, later called Whitestone Branch. A monument on College Point Boulevard, one of the main streets in College Point, stands testament to Poppenhusen.

College Point became a center for breweries and day trip resorts, and in the 1920s shifted towards airplane parts manufacturing.

In 1997, the Queens Historical Societybestowed a “Queensmark” award on College Point, in hopes of encouraging historical preservation of local landmark architecture.