The Addisleigh Park historic district is a suburban-type enclave in southeast Queens with a rich and distinctive history. The neighborhood of approximately 650 homes lies in a rough triangle between Linden Boulevard on the south, the tracks of the Long Island Rail Road on the east, Sayres Avenue on the north and Marne Place on the west. (See map HERE) Typical of the era, the area possesses fine examples of English Tudor-style and neo-Colonial Revival houses, many of which are quite sizable.
Addisleigh Park was largely developed in the 1930’s as part of the pre-World War II building boom that shaped large swaths of eastern Queens. Architecturally, the buildings are remarkably intact with few examples of inappropriate alterations or teardowns. Original materials such as stucco, wood siding and stone are predominant.
Built when race-restricted covenants dictated the segregation of the city’s neighborhoods, Addisleigh Park eventually transformed from an exclusively white neighborhood into one of New York City’s premier African-American enclaves by the early 1950’s. Lured by the promise of seclusion, quietude, space and beauty, many of the newcomers were world-famous. The area would eventually become home to notables such as Count Basie, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Illinois Jacquet, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Joe Louis, Milt Hinton, Roy Campanella, Percy Sutton, Cootie Williams and many others.
In 2007, the Historic Districts Council, in partnership with the Addisleigh Park Civic Organization, launched a project to document the architectural and social significance of Addisleigh Park. The project includes a survey of the core area of architectural significance, brief summaries on each property, documentation of some of Addisleigh Park’s most prominent residents, interviews with longtime members of the community, and an informational brochure detailing HDC’s findings.
-Adapted from Addisleigh Park Statement of Significance by Jane Cowan
This project is supported in part by Preserve New York, a grant program of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), and from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast Office.