Rosebank, Staten Island (History)

neighborhoods_staten_island_roseband_300x300Rosebank is a neighborhood in the northeastern part of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City. It is bordered by Clifton to the north, Arrochar to the south, and the Upper New York Bay to the east.

Originally called Peterstown, the name “Rosebank” appears to have been first used to denote the neighborhood around 1880. Soon after this Italian immigrants began settling there, and their descendants have continued as its predominant ethnic group, exemplified by the location of the Garibaldi Memorial in the community. In recent years the town has experienced an influx of other ethnic groups, including Eastern Europeans, various Hispanic nationalities as well as Asians, particularly from the Philippines.

The age, density and architectural style of Rosebank’s housing stock resembles that found in most of the island’s North Shore neighborhoods; however, demographically Rosebank has more in common with such East Shore communities as New Dorp. As a result, there is considerable disagreement as into which region of the island Rosebank should be classified.

 

HISTORY

The neighborhood once played host to a federal quarantine station for incoming immigrants (closed 1971), and was the home of noted photographer Alice Austen, one of Staten Island’s most recognizable personalities of the past. The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum is named for a longtime resident, Antonio Meucci, who has some claim to having been an inventor of a working telephone. However, impoverished, he was unable to obtain a patent or to market it. When Giuseppe Garibaldi visited the United States while in exile from Italy, he stayed for a time at the home of Meucci. This home is now a museum named for the two men.