Long Beach, New York

Long Beach, New York

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Long Beach, New York
settlement_type = City
nickname = The City by the Sea

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of the City of Long Beach in Nassau County, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Town of Hempstead.
Note: This map does not indicate the actual separation of Long Beach from Long Island by water. Not all bodies of water (especially the Great South Bay) are properly represented in this map.

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 = Location of Nassau County in the state of New York.
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = New York
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Nassau
government_type =
leader_title = City Manager
leader_name = Charles T. Theofan
leader_title1 = City Council President
leader_name1 = Thomas R. Sofield, Jr.
established_date =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 10.1
area_land_km2 = 5.5
area_water_km2 = 4.6
population_note =
area_total_sq_mi = 3.9
area_land_sq_mi = 2.1
area_water_sq_mi = 1.8
elevation_m = 0
elevation_ft = 0
latd = 40 |latm = 35 |lats = 17 |latNS = N
longd = 73 |longm = 40 |longs = 5 |longEW = W
population_as_of = 2000
population_total = 35462
population_density_km2 = 6398.1
timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latitude = 40°35' N
longitude = 73°40' W
website = [http://www.longbeachny.org/ City of Long Beach]
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 11561
area_code = 516
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 36-43335
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0955835
footnotes =

Long Beach is a city in Nassau County, New York on a barrier island off the South Shore of Long Island and one of only two cities in the county. As of the United States 2000 Census, the city population was 35,462. It was incorporated in 1922, and is nicknamed "The City By the Sea" (as seen, in Latin, on its official seal).

The City of Long Beach is surrounded by the Town of Hempstead.

Charles T. Theofan is the current City Manager, a position which is appointed by the City Council.

Antonio Cuevas Jr., a hero firefighter who was at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 currently resides in Long Beach with his wife, Danielle.


The community became an incorporated village in 1918 and a city in 1922.

Early history

Long Beach's first inhabitants were the Rockaway Indians, who sold the area to colonists in 1643. While the barrier island was used by baymen and farmers for fishing and harvesting salt hay, no one lived there year-round for more than two centuries, until Congress established a lifesaving station in 1849. A dozen years before, 62 people died when the barque "Mexico" carrying Irish immigrants to New York ran ashore on New Year's Day.

The first attempt to develop the island as a resort was organized by Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn. He formed a partnership with the Long Island Rail Road to finance the New York and Long Beach Railroad Co which laid track from Lynbrook to Long Beach in 1880. That same year, Corbin opened Long Beach Hotel, a row of 27 cottages along a convert|1100|ft|m|sing=on strip of beach that was declared the world's largest hotel. [ [http://www.homestead.com/captfxco/LongBeachHotel.html Long Beach Hotel ] ] In its first season, the railroad brought 300,000 visitors to Long Island. By the next spring, tracks had been laid the length of the island, but they were removed in 1894 after repeated winter washouts.

On July 29, 1907, a fire broke out at the Long Beach Hotel and burned it to the ground. Of the 800 guests, eight were injured by jumping from windows, and one woman died. The fire was blamed on defective electric wiring. A church, several cottages and the bathing pavilion were also destroyed in the fire. Trunks belonging to the guests, which had been piled on the sand to form "dressing rooms" were looted by thieves. A dozen waiters and others were apprehended by the police, who recovered $20,000 worth of jewelry and other stolen property. [ "1907: Fire Destroys Hotel," In Our Pages, International Herald Tribune, July 29, 2007]

The Riviera of the East

, homes and hotels.

Reynolds had a herd of elephants march in from Dreamland, ostensibly to help build the boardwalk, but in reality it was just a publicity stunt. Dredges created a channel convert|1000|ft|m wide on the north side of the island so Reynolds could bring in large steamboats and even seaplanes to carry more visitors. The new waterway was named Reynolds Channel.

To ensure that Long Beach lived up to Reynolds' billing as 'The Riviera of the East', he required every building to be constructed in an "eclectic Mediterranean style" with white stucco walls and red tile roofs. And they could be occupied only by white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. After Reynolds' corporation went bankrupt in 1918, these restrictions were lifted. The new town attracted wealthy businessmen and entertainers. Before Reynolds' bankruptcy, he built a theater called Castles by the Sea with the largest dance floor in the world for dancers Vernon and Irene Castle. In the 1940s, Jose Ferrer, Zero Mostel, Mae West, and other famous actors performed at local theaters. Jack Dempsey, Cab Calloway, Humphrey Bogart, Lillian Roth, Rudolph Valentino, Florenz Ziegfeld, James Cagney, Clara Bow, and John Barrymore lived in Long Beach decades before anyone heard of the community's most famous modern-day native, Billy Crystal (Crystal's brother Joel has served as president of the Long Beach City Council). More recently, rock-and-roll singer Joan Jett, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Washington Nationals pitcher John Lannan, and "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher have lived in the city.

Corruption and scandal

In 1923, the world-famous Prohibition agents known simply as Izzy and Moe raided the Nassau Hotel and arrested three men for bootlegging. In 1930, five Long Beach Police officers were charged with offering a bribe to a United States Coast Guard officer to allow liquor to be landed. The police had another problem a year later: a mystery that captivated the nation in the summer of 1931. A beachcomber found the body of a beautiful young woman named Starr Faithfull. She had left behind a suicide note, but others believed she had been murdered.

Official corruption had become almost a regular feature of life in Long Beach. In 1922, the state Legislature designated Long Beach a city and Reynolds was elected the first mayor. He was promptly indicted on charges of misappropriating funds. When he was found guilty, the clock in the tower at city hall was stopped in protest. When a judge released Reynolds from jail later that year on appeal, almost the entire population turned out to greet him, and the clock was turned back on.

In 1939, Mayor Louis F. Edwards was fatally shot by a police officer on the front steps of his home. Officer Alvin Dooley, a member of the police motorcycle squad and the mayor's own security detail, killed the mayor after losing his bid for PBA president to a candidate the mayor supported. Jackson Boulevard was later renamed Edwards Boulevard in honor of the late mayor.

After the murder, the city turned to a mayorless city manager system, which still exists to this day.

Urban decay and renewal

By the 1940s and 1950s, with the advent of cheap air travel and air-conditioning, Long Beach had become a primarily bedroom community for New York City, although there was a significant summer population increase into the 1970s. The rundown boardwalk hotels became homes for welfare recipients and the elderly until a scandal around 1970 led to many of the homes losing licenses. At that time, government agencies were "warehousing" in those hotels many patients released from mental hospitals.

The convert|2.2|mi|km|sing=on boardwalk had a small amusement park at the foot of Edwards Boulevard until the mid 1970s. In the late 1960s, the boardwalk and amusement park area were a magnet for youth from around Long Island, until a police crackdown on drug trafficking ended that. Today, while there are few businesses left, the boardwalk is full of bicyclists, joggers, walkers and people-watchers.

Beginning in the 1980s and accelerating in the 1990s, Long Beach has begun an urban renewal, with new housing, new businesses and other improvements. Today, the city is again a popular bedroom community for people working in New York, attracted by the quiet beach atmosphere. Summertime also brings in local youths and many college students and young adults who rent bungalows on the West End and frequent local bars and clubs along West Beech Street.

Just behind the boardwalk near the center of the city, "vacant" lots now occupy several blocks that once housed hotels, bathhouses and the amusement park. Because attempts to attract development (including, at one time, Atlantic City-style casinos) to this potential Superblock have not yet borne fruit, the lots now house the city's largest piece of meadowland and wildflower/wildlife habitat.


The Long Island Rail Road has a terminal station in Long Beach, at Park Place and Park Avenue. Long Island Bus has two bus routes, the N15 and N33, operating to Hempstead and Far Rockaway via Rockville Centre and Atlantic Beach.The City of Long Beach has a handful of bus routes. The West End and East Loop buses serve either end of the city, and the Shopper's Special bus runs to the Waldbaums adjacent to the LIRR station. The City also runs the N69 bus to Point Lookout under contract to Nassau County. The base fare for City of Long Beach buses is US$1.50 (lower for students, seniors, and disabled travelers), while the N15, N33, and N69 cost $2.00. A railroad ticket costs $9.75 going one way into Manhattan during peak hours; other times, $7.00. Some trains also run to Brooklyn, with the same fares. Service to Jamaica, Queens, is $6.75 or $4.75 one way depending on the time. Service is about 55 minutes to Downtown Brooklyn or Midtown Manhattan, 35 minutes to Queens.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²).The city is located on a barrier island off the South Shore of Long Island. It shares the island with Atlantic Beach to the west and Lido Beach and Point Lookout to the east. Within its section of the barrier island, the city takes up the entire north-south span, fronting on both Reynolds Channel to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. A drawbridge, the Long Beach Bridge, connects it to Island Park on the mainland of Long Island. To the west, the Atlantic Beach Bridge, connects the island to Lawrence on the mainland of Long Island. The Loop Parkway, located to the east along the Lido Beach and Point Lookout borders connects the island to Jones Beach.


The city is less than a mile wide from ocean to bay and about three and a half miles long. The city is divided into the West End, home to many small bungalows, and the East End. Although the dividing line is located at Edwards Boulevard, the location of the city's train station, most residents see New York Avenue farther to the west as the true dividing line. West of New York Avenue, the barrier island is less than a half mile wide and West Beech Street is the main east/west commercial street. This area, known as the West End, is home to small bungalows and houses located very close to each other along small narrow streets that run from the beach to the bay, named after US States until it meets East Atlantic Beach at Nevada Avenue. East of New York Avenue, the island is wider between the bay and ocean and is home to larger more expansive family houses, as well as the city's boardwalk, which begins at New York Avenue and ends at Neptune Boulevard. Along the boardwalk are many apartment buildings and condos. The main commercial strip is Park Avenue, which narrows into a small residential strip west of New York Avenue. The West End between National Boulevard and New York Avenue has become known as Westholme, There is also a neighborhood known as "The Walks," consisting of extremely narrow sidewalks between houses. Each "Walk" is named after a month. This area is located near the West End. The area between National Boulevard and Long Beach Boulevard (the main route in and out of the city, since it serves the Long Beach bridge) has become known as the Central district, while the area east of Long Beach Boulevard is known as the East End. In the East End there is a neighborhood on the north side of Park Avenue referred to as "The Canals" that consists of several streets running north to south with parallel canals originating in Reynold's Channel. The canals begin on Forrester Street and end on Curley Street. Another area across from the Canals on the south side of Park avenue is an area called the President streets, nicknamed most obviously by each street being named after a former President, with the exception of Atlantic and Pacific, the latter of which connect directly from Park Avenue to Broadway, a parallel road to the south.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 35,462 people, 14,923 households, and 8,103 families residing in the city. The population density was 16,594.9 people per square mile (6,398.1/km²). There were 16,128 housing units at an average density of 7,547.3/sq mi (2,909.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.1% White, 6.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.32% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 4.75% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.80% of the population.

There were 14,923 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $56,289, and the median income for a family was $68,222. The per capita income for the city was $31,069. About 6.3% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools

The Long Beach City School District serves the city of Long Beach and parts of the Town of Hempstead with one primary high school, one middle school, and four elementary schools. They also operate an "alternative" high school at the NIKE missile site on a campus shared with the district's transportation services.

Private schools

*"Mesivta Of Long Beach"
*"Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB) [http://www.halb.org] "
*"Long Beach Catholic Regional School"

Cultural and literary references

*"The Godfather" takes place partly in Long Beach, where the Corleone compound is located, and nearby Atlantic Beach, where Sonny Corleone lives. Sonny was murdered at the toll booths of the Long Beach Causeway (also known as the Loop Parkway), which connects Long Beach with the Meadowbrook State Parkway near Jones Beach. (Mafia members were widely known to live in Long Beach and neighboring Atlantic Beach throughout the mid-20th century.)
*John Dos Passos' "The Big Money" mentions weekends spent in Long Beach in the 1920s.
*The 2002 movie "City by the Sea" starring Robert De Niro, James Franco, and Frances McDormand was inspired by a true story about a murderer from Long Beach. (Although the murder actually took place in Far Rockaway NY, a few miles west of LB) Ironically, the murderer's grandfather had committed a kidnapping in 1959 that led to an accidental death while his dad was a highly decorated police detective. The film was based on a fictional interpretation of Long Beach and was filmed in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Aeriel View

The right section is Long Beach:


*"1907: Fire Destroys Hotel," In Our Pages, International Herald Tribune, July 29, 2007

External links

* [http://www.longbeachny.org/ City of Long Beach, NY]
*Old photos of Long Beach, NY http://www.homestead.com/captfxco/taubman1.html
* [http://www.longbeachhistory.org/ Long Beach NY Historical Society]
* [http://www.newsday.com/community/guide/lihistory/ny-historytown-hist003n,0,6917448.story?coll=ny-lihistory-navigation Long Beach - Riding the waves of a colorful history]
* [http://www.ilovelbny.com/ Chuck Jacobi's Collection of Long Beach, NY Photographs]
* [http://seabythecity.com/ Sea by the City - Unofficial Long Beach Blog]
* [http://www.insidelongbeach.com/ Long Beach, NY Discussion Forums]
* [http://www.westendneighbors-longbeach.org/ West End Neighbors Civic Association]
* [http://www.lbpd.com/index2.html/ City of Long Beach, NY Police Department]
* [http://www.lbapd.com/ The Long Beach Auxiliary Police]
* [http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/longbeac.htm/ LIRR Long Island Railroad Official Timetables - Long Beach]
* [http://www.longbeachnychamber.com/ The Long Beach Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.hungrymenus.com/long-beach/ Long Beach Restaurant and Dining Information] NassauCountyNY"

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