South Beach, Staten Island : NYC Tourist Guide

South Beach, Staten Island, in NYC, New York, USA


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South Beach, Staten Island, New York City

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South Beach
South Beach is the name of a neighborhood located on the East Shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, USA. It is situated immediately to the south of the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Directly west of the beach is Hoffman Island, and Swinburne Island.

In the early 20th Century, many summer homes dotted the neighborhood, including an organized development consisting of such structures known as Bungalowtown. South Beach was the terminus of a branch of the Staten Island Railway to which service was halted in 1953; by the 1980s the tracks of this line had been uprooted, and tract homes now stand on the original right-of-way in many places. Railroad Ave. is the only evidence left behind. Many small amusement parks and arcades once flourished there, but virtually all had disappeared by the 1970s; the last one closed in 2006. The City of New York built a public housing project in the neighborhood in 1949; it is one of only three such projects found on the island south of the Staten Island Expressway.

The neighborhood's principal thoroughfare was originally named Seaside Boulevard, and, as its name suggested, it runs parallel to the shoreline, with a boardwalk flanking it on the shoreward side. This roadway, which was the only portion of the "Shore Front Drive" proposed by Robert Moses to be actually built, was later renamed Father Capodanno Boulevard, after a Roman Catholic chaplain who was killed in action during the Vietnam War, and runs from near the Verrazano Bridge to Midland Beach.

In the early 20th Century many Italian-Americans, including immigrants, settled in the neighborhood, and their descendants still form the majority of the community's population.

Two hospitals - one an acute-care facility (the North Campus of Staten Island University Hospital), the other a state-run hospital for the mentally ill (the South Beach Psychiatric Center) - stand at the southern edge of the neighborhood (sometimes reckoned as the separate locality of Ocean Breeze), which often suffers from severe flooding after heavy rains due to its location along a coastal flood plain. The location of the two hospitals was marshland as recently as the 1960's.

South Beach is also home to FDNY Engine Company 161/Ladder Company 81.





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