Nestled among 200-year-old towering maple, oak, elm and chestnut trees, along hilly, winding streets is the beautifully manicured enclave of Jamaica Estates!
The area was founded in the early 1900’s by two real estate developers who dreamed of establishing an affluent community with an English style in the countryside not far from the city. They purchased 500 acres of forestland just outside of Manhattan and created an exclusive residential suburb while at the same time preserving the natural charm and beauty of the area. Known as the Jamaica Estates Company, their concept was for residents to enjoy the benefits of living in a park like setting with all the conveniences and easy access to the city.
Building requirements were strict, only one family, two stories with attic, detached homes could be built on a minimum of two lots. The general style of architecture was English Tudor and the streets took on the names of an English village, among them Avon, Kent, Tudor, Chelsea, and Aberdeen. An Elizabethan style stone lodge with giant pillars and gates greeted visitors as they entered the community at Midland Parkway. Today the gatehouse remains and houses the Jamaica Estates War Memorial. They even built a golf course alongside the community, which later became the campus of St. John’s University.
The area has historically been home to politicians, dignitaries, and diplomats among other affluent people. Real estate developer and TV personality, Donald Trump grew up in a stately mansion on Midland Parkway.
Schools and Religious Institutions
Besides being a beautiful place to live, Jamaica Estates is a wonderful place to raise a family. It’s a small community where neighbors know one another. Situated in the highly regarded public school district 26 there are several choices for both public and private education.
Among the schools in the neighborhood are public elementary school PS 178, Immaculate Conception Catholic elementary school, The Mary Louis Academy high school for girls, UNIS the United Nations School, and the Yeshiva University high school for girls. Jamaica Estates is also conveniently located to other neighboring high schools both public and private and easily accessed with public transportation.
Jamaica Estates is a popular destination also because of the diversity of religious institutions in the neighborhood, including Synagogues, Catholic and Orthodox churches and Mosques.
Things To Do in Jamaica Estates
Bordering Jamaica Estates is Cunningham Park with its beautiful nature trails, tennis courts, ball fields and playgrounds. The park plays host to numerous free concerts and movies during the summer. Every spring Big Apple Circus makes Cunningham Park their home for two weeks. This is one of the best public events in Queens and highly recommended for families. St. Johns University has sporting events, summer concerts and a soccer camp for children.
Union Turnpike and neighboring Fresh Meadows are community areas known for shopping, dining out and movie going. The Jamaica Estates Association hosts several community events including art shows and international night.
Jamaica Estates is conveniently located between Manhattan and Long Island with easy access to highways and public transportation. The Grand Central Parkway, Clearview Expressway and Long Island Expressway are nearby. The neighborhood is also very close to LaGuardia and JFK airports. The terminal of the F subway line into Manhattan is on Hillside Ave and 179th Street. And the express bus line into Manhattan runs along Union Turnpike.
The Jamaica Estates Association keeps a tight watch on the safety of the community and runs a security patrol funded by members of the association. All homeowners are encouraged to pay the annual dues to ensure the continuance of the patrol.