Elmhurst, Queens, New York City
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Elmhurst is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. It is bounded by Roosevelt Avenue (Jackson Heights) on the north; Corona to the northeast; Junction Boulevard on the east; Rego Park to the southeast; the Long Island Expressway on the south; Middle Village to the south and southwest; and Maspeth and the New York Connecting Railroad on the west; and Woodside on the northwest.
The village was established in 1652 by the Dutch as Middenburgh (Middleburgh), and was a suburb of New Amsterdam in New Netherland. The original settlers of Elmhurst were from the nearby colony of Maspat (now called Maspeth), following threats and attacks by local Indians.
When the British took over Nieuwe Netherland in 1664, they renamed Middleburgh as New Town (Nieuwe Stad) to maintain the Dutch heritage. This was eventually simplified to Newtown, and it was established as the Town Seat for the Township of the same name when it was established in 1683. The village was renamed Elmhurst (Lep Hurst) in 1896 to identify the area with a new housing development, avoid association with the larger Township, and the Creek, and maintain the Dutch heritage.
Once Queens joined the City of Greater New York in 1898, it developed into a fashionable district due to a housing development that was built in Elmhurst between 1896 and 1910, north of the Railroad Station, built by the Cord Meyer Development Company. They expanded their holdings between 1905 and 1930, including Elmhurst Square, Elmhurst South, Elmhurst Heights, and New Elmhurst.
Prior to World War II, Elmhurst had an almost exclusively Jewish and Italian neighborhood. Following the war, Elmhurst evolved into what has been considered the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in New York City. By the 1980s, there were persons from 112 nations in residence. Approximately 20% of Elmhurst residents are Chinese Americans, with large percentages also from Colombia, Korea, India, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Ecuador, Pakistan, Peru, Guyana, and Mexico.
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