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Richmond Hill


Historic Richmond Hill, New York

Richmond Hill, New York, is full of history and the people of the city do their best to showcase it, in their many landmarks. From the old RKO Keith’s Theater and the Church of the Resurrection to the many parks that are named in honor of historic people and events, Richmond Hill is great for any historian and for anybody that just loves to learn new and cool things.

Richmond Hill, New York, is a culturally diverse city in Queens. Its diversity is exactly what makes the city so unique and makes it a great place for tourists to visit. Not only will you experience many different cultures in one place, but a collection of business that you won’t find anywhere else. Richmond Hill dates back as far as the late 1600s, making this a great stop for any person interested in American history. In fact, it is believed that a Revolutionary War battle was fought on one of the town’s most historic landmarks. However, if Richmond Hill is best known for anything, it has to be its parks. The city is littered with recreational parks, each just as beautiful and natural as the last. This makes Richmond Hill a perfect stop for tourists that are looking for a day away from the crowds of the big city.

1. See history at RKO Keith's Theater

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Built in 1929, by architect R. Thomas Short, RKO Keith’s Theater was a beautiful theater that hosted many live action productions throughout its years. It was state-of-the-art at the time of its construction and featured an orchestra level that was 100 feet (30.5 meters) deep and 99 feet (30.2 meters) wide. The theater closed in 1968 and has been used as a bingo hall and flea market since. It was listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places in 2003 but the owner refused the invitation to the Nation Register of Historic Places, for unknown reasons. This breathtaking theater is a great stop for anybody interested in historic architecture, New York State history, or of the classic theater.

RKO Keith's Theater

Address: 117-09 Hillside Avenue, Richmond Hill, New York 11418

2. See the beautiful Church of the Resurrection


Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Peter Greenberg used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This historic Episcopal church and rectory was built in 1874 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, since 2003. The church went through extensive remodeling in 1904, which made it even more impressive than it already was. It is most notable for its association with Jacob Riis, a social reformer and photojournalist, who lived in Richmond Hill for most of his life and pioneered the photojournalist profession. The Church of the Resurrection has even been visited by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in June 1900, when he attended a wedding for Riis’ daughter, at the church. Though Roosevelt was the just the governor of New York at the time, it is still very exciting and makes this church a great stop for those interested in United States presidential history.

Church of the Resurrection

Address: 85-09 118th St, Kew Gardens, NY 11415

Website: The Church of the Resurrection

3. Learn about the history of Richmond Hill at the Jacob Riis Triangle

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The Jacob Riis Triangle is a tiny park named in honor of Jacob August Riis, a crusading journalist, author, and photographer, who lived in the neighborhood for several decades. While the park is small, it is still a very influential point in the city as it is named after, perhaps, the most important person in the town’s history. Many feel that Riis’ contributions were responsible for one of the earliest residential communities on Long Island, as it was he who designed much of the neighborhood. This park was purchased in 1945 for a mere 300 USD and has since become a staple of Richmond Hill.

Jacob Riis Triangle

Address: 116-1-116-99 Babbage St, Richmond Hill, NY 11418

Website: Jacob Riis Triangle

4. Get some fresh air at Forest Park

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This huge, 538-acre (217.7-hectare) park has a little bit of everything. Not only does it contain a bike path, tennis courts, playgrounds and large field for picnicking, it also has a carousel that is open during the warm months, for children to enjoy, a large stage with seating for bands to play, the largest oak forest in Queens and a 110-acre (44.5-hectare) golf course. The ponds in the park provide a great setting for birdwatchers in the summer and the bare trees provide a great panoramic view of southwest and southeast Queens, in the winter. Throughout the park, you’ll also find many memorial monuments, in honor of some of the greatest people in the town’s history. Forest Park also hosts annual events such as the Halloween Walk, Victorian Christmas, and Nature Trails Day. There is no doubt that any nature lover will fall in love with this space and it will become a place they return to, often.

Forest Park

Address: Forest Park, Richmond Hill, NY 11418

Website: Forest Park

5. War buffs spend a day at Lt. Frank McConnell Park


Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tdorante10 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Another great park in Richmond Hill, New York, is named in honor of the memory of Lieutenant Frank McConnell, the first Richmond Hill resident killed in World War I. The land officially became a park in 1944 and was named in McConnell’s honor, in 1964. The park is home to the Morris Park World War I Memorial, a large granite monument adorned with a bronze plaque. The area is primarily used as a sitting area, shaded with an abundance of trees and makes for a fitting memorial to those who served the country, in WWI. This is a great stop for those interested in WWI or New York State history.

Lt. Frank McConnell Park

Address: Atlantic Avenue, Lefferts Boulevard, and 94th Street, Richmond Hill, New York 11419

Website: Lt. Frank McConnell Park

Suggested Walking Tours of Old Richmond Hill


1. Begin at Park Lane South and Metropolitan Avenue in Kew Gardens. Proceed south along the edge of the park which is Forest Park, an area that becomes ablaze with color in the Fall. At 112th Street, turn left and proceed to 85th Avenue. Turn left and walk a few blocks to the Long Island Railroad trestle. Rest at the small park just beyond the trestle, and return.

2. Begin at Jamaica Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard. Walk north on Lefferts Boulevard, passing the Republican Club and the Richmond Hill Library. Cross Hillside Avenue and continue on Lefferts to 85th Avenue, passing the back of the Church of the Resurrection (first church built in Richmond Hill). Turn left on 85th Avenue, walking as far as Myrtle Avenue. Turn right on Myrtle to 84th Avenue. Walk back to Lefferts Boulevard via 84th Avenue.

3. Begin at the Buddy Monument at Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South, walk west (crossing Myrtle Avenue) on Park Lane South to 105th Street. Turn left onto 105th Street and proceed to 86th Avenue. Turn left on 86th Avenue and go to 110th Street. Turn left and return to Myrtle Avenue. Turn left and return to monument.

Directions to Richmond Hill, NY by public transportation
IND subway: take E or F train to Union Turnpike. Take Q10 bus to Jamaica Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard or Q37 to Park Lane South.

take the A train to 111th Street and the Q37 bus to Myrtle Avenue / Park Lane South. Or take the A train to Lefferts Boulevard and the Q10 bus to Jamaica Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard.

BMT subway: take the Jamaica Elevated Line (“J”) to 121 Street. Walk two blocks to Lefferts Boulevard.

SURFACE transit: take either the B53, B56 or B55 to Lefferts Blvd.

By CAR, Jackie Robinson Parkway to Metropolitan Avenue eastbound Exit and continue to Park Lane South. Turn right and continue to 112 Street. Or take LIE exit at Woodhaven south to Myrtle Ave.

TOP OF MAP:  Kew Gardens, Metropolitan Avenue is at top, Jackie Robinson Prkwy, and Forest Park is at top left, below park is Park Lane South, Curzon Road, 84th, 85th and Myrtle Aves.
MIDDLE OF MAP: 86th Ave., Jamaica Ave. and Babbage Street intersect at Lefferts Blvd.
BOTTOM OF MAP: South Richmond Hill, Atlantic Avenue, From left to right of map is 102nd Street to 124th Street.

From the Book entitled ‘Victorian Richmond Hill

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