St. George, Staten Island
St. George is a neighborhood on the northeastern tip of Staten Island in New York City, where the Kill Van Kull enters Upper New York Bay. It is the most densely developed neighborhood on Staten Island, and the location of the administrative center for the borough and for the coterminous Richmond County. The Staten Island terminal of the Staten Island Ferry is located here, as well as the northern terminus of the Staten Island Railway. St. George is bordered on the south by the neighborhood of Tompkinsville and on the west by the neighborhood of New Brighton.
1930 Fort Hill home modeled after a Spanish castle
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Staten Island 1|
|• Total||1.07 km2 (0.412 sq mi)|
|• Density||8,100/km2 (21,000/sq mi)|
|• Median income||$46,646|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
Fort Hill, one of the hills overlooking the harbor, was the location on Duxbury's Point or Ducksberry Point, fortified by the British during the American Revolutionary War. The area was primarily rural through the early 19th century.
The name was derived not from the dragon-slaying saint, but from George Law, a developer who acquired rights to the waterfront at bargain prices. According to island historians Charles Leng and William T. Davis, it was only after another prominent businessman, Erastus Wiman, promised to "canonize" him in the town's name that Law agreed to relinquish the land rights for a ferry terminal. In the late 1880s, Wiman operated the Staten Island Amusement Company in the neighborhood, offering public athletic events, an illuminated fountain, and pageants. The St. George Cricket Grounds was part of that complex, but only lasted a few years.
In the 1830s, the area facing the Kill Van Kull became a fashionable resort area, with the construction of several elegant hotels along St. Mark's Place across from the present site of Curtis High School (the oldest high school on Staten Island). The grandest and last of these hotels was the Hotel Castleton, built in 1889 and destroyed by fire in 1907. In 1918, the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences moved to its present location in the neighborhood. The United States Coast Guard operated a facility in the neighborhood until moving to Governors Island in 1967. The Office Building and U.S. Light-House Depot Complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In the early 20th century the neighborhood grew rapidly: municipal ferry service to Manhattan began in 1905. The neighborhood had several elegant buildings by the architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings. These included a branch of the New York Public Library (1906), the present Staten Island Borough Hall (1906), and the Richmond County Courthouse (1919).
In 1924, the "Saint George" telephone exchange was established in the new North Staten Island building of New York Telephone, one of the island's five such exchanges. It became "SAint George 7" when New York City's service underwent a major upgrade six years later. This three-digit prefix, now identified by numbers — "727" — is the last of the five pre-upgrade exchanges still in service. In addition to St. George itself, this numeric designation is encountered in many other North Shore communities, as far away as Mariners Harbor to the west and South Beach and Grasmere to the south.
The community underwent a revival in the late 1990s and property values have continued to rise since 2000. In 1994, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated a St. George Historic District. The historic district consists of 78 houses and one church—St. Peters Roman Catholic, the oldest parish on Staten Island—and is a mix of Victorian styles, such as Queen Anne, Shingle style, Colonial Revival, and Tudor. Currently, the area of Fort Hill comprises the remains of the streets and homes where the descendants of the Tompkins, Westervelt and Low families lived. Here originally stood the mansion of Vice President and former New York State Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, the Anson Phelps-Stokes mansion and the Daniel Low mansion. Another prominent landowner was August Belmont, whose name is enshrined in Belmont Place. Many of the houses remaining today represent the homes and summer homes of the Low-Tompkins extended family and friends.
The residential Fort Hill area is home to many professionals who commute daily to Manhattan on the ferry, and includes many well-tended examples of Victorian, Tudor, and art deco architecture, in addition to one house modeled after a Spanish castle. Another popular upscale residential development, Bay Street Landing, abuts the bay between the ferry terminal and the head of Victory Boulevard. Many condominium buildings are currently being built along the shore, and near the ferry terminal, as they offer unsurpassed views of lower Manhattan and easy access via the free Staten Island Ferry.
The National Lighthouse Museum and the adjacent St. George post office are immediately south of the St. George Terminal. The renovated St. George Terminal has panoramic views of the harbor and incoming ferries. The Richmond County Bank Ballpark, the home of the Staten Island Yankees, a minor league farm club of the New York Yankees, opened in 2001.
The Hyatt Street side of a municipal parking lot faces the St. George Theatre. This part of the lot is noted for the greenmarket held on it during spring, summer and fall. The lot encompasses a paved-over graveyard of the former quarantine hospital; the remains were reburied nearby.
Empire Outlets, an outlet mall in St. George, opened in May 2019. The mall is located next to the site of the unbuilt New York Wheel, a 625-foot (190.5 m) tall giant Ferris wheel that was canceled in 2018. The two projects initially went through the approval process simultaneously and shared consultants on issues such as traffic and the waterfront, but were separate projects with separate funding. Another large development, Lighthouse Point is located next to St. George Terminal and is expected to open in late 2019.
For census purposes, the New York City government classifies St. George as part of a larger neighborhood tabulation area called West New Brighton-New Brighton-St. George. Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of West New Brighton-New Brighton-St. George was 33,551, a change of 1,397 (4.2%) from the 32,154 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,403.06 acres (567.80 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 23.9 inhabitants per acre (15,300/sq mi; 5,900/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 26.4% (8,859) White, 31.7% (10,630) African American, 0.3% (100) Native American, 5% (1,691) Asian, 0% (10) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (123) from other races, and 2.5% (835) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.7% (11,303) of the population.
The entirety of Community District 1, which comprises St. George and other neighborhoods on the North Shore, had 181,484 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 79.0 years.:2, 20 This is lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 24% are between the ages of between 0–17, 27% between 25–44, and 26% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 13% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 1 was $48,018, though the median income in St. George individually was $46,646. In 2018, an estimated 21% of St. George and the North Shore residents lived in poverty, compared to 17% in all of Staten Island and 20% in all of New York City. One in fourteen residents (7%) were unemployed, compared to 6% in Staten Island and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 51% in St. George and the North Shore, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 49% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], St. George and the North Shore are considered high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Museums and memorialsEdit
In 1997, lighthouse organizations across the United States banded together to create a National Lighthouse Museum, to tell the story of the United States Lighthouse Service. The museum features interactive exhibits and displays on the history, technology, and architecture of lighthouses, lightships and other aids to navigation, from primitive fire beacons to the Global Positioning System. The site selected is the old USLHS/US Coast Guard “super depot” at St. George, which was the major center for lighthouse supply, maintenance and experimentation for nearly 150 years. The site consists of 10 acres (40,000 m2) of waterfront property with five historic USLHS buildings, a public plaza and an 850-foot (260 m) pier.
St. George TheatreEdit
Construction began on the 2,800-seat St. George Theatre in August 1928; the doors of this picture palace and office complex opened on December 4, 1929. The cost was $2 million, $500,000 of which was for the theater. The project was the brainchild of Solomon Brill, who owned several other theaters on the Island and 15 in the greater New York area. He envisioned the St. George as a show house to rival Manhattan's cinema palaces, and promised to bring top-of-the-line vaudeville to the borough for 75 cents a ticket. Brill sold the theater within three years to William Fox, whose name lives on in the Fox Television Network and 20th Century Fox film studio.
The main architect was Eugene De Rosa; he was assisted by Staten Island resident James Whitford, who was known as the “dean of Staten Island architects.” Whitford also designed the Ritz, Liberty and Victory theaters, none of which exist today. The ornate interior of the St. George Theatre was designed by Nestor Castro, the art director for the Libman-Spanjer Corporation, which designed the interiors of many theaters in the Times Square area. The interior is a variety of Spanish and Italian Baroque styles. The movie and vaudeville house outshone most of its competitors, including Manhattan's Capitol Theater on Broadway. The St. George Theatre has unobstructed seating, a $25,000 Wurlitzer organ, an advanced cooling and heating system, one of the largest cantilevered balconies ever built, velvet seats, gilded balconies, and grand staircases.
Renovated in 2004, St. George Theatre is a landmarked building. A variety of activities, including educational programs, architectural tours, television and film shoots, concerts, comedy, Broadway touring companies, and children's shows take place there.
Police and crimeEdit
St. George and the North Shore are patrolled by the 120th Precinct of the NYPD, located at 78 Richmond Terrace. The 120th Precinct ranked 12th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 94 per 100,000 people, St. George and the North Shore's rate of violent crimes per capita is more than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 719 per 100,000 people is higher than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 120th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 85.4% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 10 murders, 34 rapes, 147 robberies, 274 felony assaults, 152 burglaries, 304 grand larcenies, and 61 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm and teenage births are more common in St. George and the North Shore than in other places citywide. In St. George and the North Shore, there were 96 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 22.6 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 St. George and the North Shore have a relatively average population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 12%, the same as the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in St. George and the North Shore is 0.0071 milligrams per cubic metre (7.1×10−9 oz/cu ft), less than the city average.:9 Sixteen percent of St. George and the North Shore residents are smokers, which is higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In St. George and the North Shore, 24% of residents are obese, 9% are diabetic, and 26% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 21% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-seven percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is the same as the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 77% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," equal to the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in St. George and the North Shore, there are 28 bodegas.:10
Post office and ZIP codeEdit
St. George and the North Shore generally have a lower rate of college-educated residents than the rest of the city. While 37% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 15% have less than a high school education and 48% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 39% of Staten Island residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of St. George and the North Shore students excelling in math rose from 49% in 2000 to 65% in 2011, though reading achievement declined from 55% to 51% during the same time period.
St. George and the North Shore's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is slightly higher than the rest of New York City. In St. George and the North Shore, 25% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 73% of high school students in St. George and the North Shore graduate on time, about the same as the citywide average of 75%.:6
- PS 16 John J Driscoll (grades PK-5)
- PS 31 William T Davis (grades PK-5)
- PS 74 Future Leaders Elementary School (grades K-5)
- Curtis High School (grades 9-12)
- Ralph R McKee Career and Technical Education High School (grades 9-12)
The New York Public Library (NYPL)'s St. George Library Center is located at 5 Central Avenue, across from Staten Island's Borough Hall and County Courthouse. The St. George Library Center, Staten Island's main library, was built in 1907 based on a design by Carrère and Hastings. The branch contains three stories, including a basement. The first floor contains the main reading room, while the second floor contains a children's collection, and the lower level contains a collection for young adults.
The St. George Terminal is the hub of most Staten Island bus routes. All local bus routes feed into St. George except for the S53, S54, S55, S56, S57, S59, S79 SBS and S89. St. George is also the terminal for the Staten Island Railway and the Staten Island Ferry.
In popular cultureEdit
When the movie industry was centered on Long Island, scenes in many films were shot on Staten Island, and several actors had residences in St. George, or built houses for their relatives.
Among St. George's recent appearances is the murder scene in Brian De Palma's 1973 film Sisters with Margot Kidder playing twins, which took place in the apartment building on Hamilton Avenue between Stuyvesant Place and Academy Place. The opening scenes of the 1981 horror film Wolfen starring Albert Finney were shot in St. George, and the area has served as a stand-in for many nameless small towns, as in the low-budget 1984 film Death Mask starring Farley Granger as a medical examiner obsessed with identifying a young boy found dead. The finale of the 2003 Jack Black film School of Rock was filmed at the St. George Theater.
- Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward, both actors, lived in the Art Deco building The Ambassador on Daniel Low Terrace between Crescent Avenue and Fort Hill Circle in their early days in film.
- Actor Martin Sheen lived in the Ambassador building, and his son Emilio Estevez was born there.
- Max Rose, Democratic Congressman for New York's 11th congressional district, lives in St. George as of 2018[update].
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "St. George neighborhood in New York". Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "Best of the Web | The New York Public Library". Nypl.org. May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- "RELICS OF THE REVOLUTION - Historical Society Unearths Rich Store at Fort Hill Site on Staten Island Buttons Reveal Large Garrison. No Trace of Barracks" (PDF). The New York Times. November 2, 1919. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- NYPL Old Names on Staten Island
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- "Looking For a House And a Turret". The New York Times. September 18, 2005. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- "House call: Animal kingdom". Time Out New York. March 29 – April 4, 2007. Archived from the original on December 11, 2007.
- "Welcome To The National Lighthouse Museum". Lighthousemuseum.org. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- "Staten Island Ferry". NYC Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "Honoring the Bones". The New York Times. September 23, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- "Immigrants' remains to be reburied at new Staten Island courthouse". Staten Island Advance. March 14, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- Goldman, Henry (September 27, 2012). "World's Biggest Ferris Wheel Will Anchor Staten Island Complex". Bloomberg. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- "Staten Island outlet mall planned near New York Wheel to include Nike, Adidas, Coach". SILive.com. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
- "Even Without Wheel, Empire Outlets Ready to Roll". www.ny1.com. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Porpora, Tracey (May 10, 2019). "Exclusive: Sneak peek of Empire Outlets: Here's the list of stores opening in May". silive.com. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- "New York Wheel CEO says Staten Island neighborhood will be riding high". SILive.com. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
- "A 630-Foot Ferris Wheel Meant to Boost Staten Island's Image Is No More". The New York Times. October 23, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
- Rosenberg, Zoe (November 5, 2018). "Will Staten Island's North Shore revitalization succeed without the wheel?". Curbed NY. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Bascome, Erik (August 1, 2018). "First tower at Lighthouse Point marching toward 2019 completion". silive.com. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
- "St. George and Stapleton (Including Grymes Hill, Mariner's Harbor, Port Richmond, Stapleton, St. George, West Brighton and Westerleigh)" (PDF). nyc.gov. NYC Health. 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "2016-2018 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan: Take Care New York 2020" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "New Yorkers are living longer, happier and healthier lives". New York Post. June 4, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "NYC-Staten Island Community District 1--Port Richmond, Stapleton & Mariner's Harbor PUMA, NY". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- "Bohemia by the Bay". The New York Times. October 7, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- "Hipsters on Staten Island". The New York Times. October 7, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "Artists Hope To Revitalize St. George, Stapleton Areas". NY1. April 28, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "St. George Theatre in Staten Island". St. George Theatre. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "NYPD – 120th Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- "St. George – DNAinfo.com Crime and Safety Report". www.dnainfo.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "120th Precinct CompStat Report" (PDF). www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- "Engine Company 155/Ladder Company 78". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "FDNY Firehouse Listing – Location of Firehouses and companies". NYC Open Data; Socrata. New York City Fire Department. September 10, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Best 30 Hospitals in Staten Island, NY with Reviews". Yellow Pages. December 1, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- "New Brighton, New York City-Staten Island, New York Zip Code Boundary Map (NY)". United States Zip Code Boundary Map (USA). Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "Location Details: Saint George". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "St. George / Stapleton – SI 01" (PDF). Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "St. George New York School Ratings and Reviews". Zillow. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- "P.S. 016 John J. Driscoll". New York City Department of Education. December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "P.S. 031 William T. Davis". New York City Department of Education. December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "P.S. 74 Future Leaders Elementary School". New York City Department of Education. December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "Curtis High School". New York City Department of Education. December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical Education High School". New York City Department of Education. December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "About the St. George Library Center". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Staten Island Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. August 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
- DNAinfoNewYork. "Proposed Routes for NYC's Expanded Ferry Service". Scribd. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- "NYC Ferry is adding 2 new routes". am New York. January 10, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- Plitt, Amy (January 10, 2019). "NYC Ferry will launch service to Staten Island, Coney Island". Curbed NY. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- "2020-2021 Expansion". New York City Ferry Service. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
- Marie, Anne (September 27, 2008). "Actor Paul Newman's dramatic roots were sprouted on Staten Island". silive.com. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
- "Famous Staten Islanders from all walks of life". silive.com. April 22, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
- Michel, Clifford (November 7, 2018). "Congressman-elect Max Rose: Tonight we party, tomorrow we get to work". silive.com. Retrieved August 12, 2019.