About Middle Village 11379
Middle Village is a mainly residential neighborhood in the central section of the borough of Queens, New York City, bounded to the north by the Long Island Expressway, to the east by Woodhaven Boulevard, to the south by Cooper Avenue, and to the west by Mount Olivet Cemetery. A small trapezoid-shaped area bounded by Mt. Olivet Crescent to the east, Fresh Pond Road to the west, Eliot Avenue to the north, and Metropolitan Avenue to the south, is often counted as part of Middle Village but is sometimes considered part of nearby Ridgewood.
Middle Village is bordered by the neighborhoods of Elmhurst to the north, Maspeth and Ridgewood to the west, Glendale to the south, and Rego Park to the east. In 2003, South Elmhurst, an area between Eliot Avenue and the Long Island Expressway, was reassigned from Elmhurst’s ZIP code of 11373 to Middle Village’s ZIP code of 11379. The neighborhood is part of Queens Community District 5, served by Queens Community Board 5. Housing in the neighborhood is largely single-family homes with many attached homes, and small apartment buildings.
The area was settled around 1816 by people of English descent and was named in the early nineteenth century for its location as the midpoint between the then-towns of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens, on the Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike (now Metropolitan Avenue), which opened in 1816.It was generally sparsely populated because the large Juniper Swamp was in the area. The swamp, an area where the Americans hid from British in the American Revolutionary War, was originally circumscribed by a “Juniper Round Swamp Road”. In 1852, a Manhattan Lutheran church purchased the farmland on the western end of the hamlet.
After the Civil War, the area became predominantly German. The Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike became an un-tolled road by 1873, and St. John Roman Catholic Cemetery was laid out on the eastern side of the town in 1879. Hotels and other services appeared to meet the needs of cemetery visitors. The western part of Middle Village was called “Metropolitan” until prior to World War I.
The Juniper Swamp was filled in 1915. In 1920, the area was renamed “Juniper Valley” as part of a revitalization project. Shortly after, gangster Arnold Rothstein bought 88 acres (36 ha) of the land, erected facades of houses on that land, and tried to sell these houses, but not before he tried to sell the land to the city as an airport.
A housing boom that began in the 1920s eventually consumed the surrounding farmland and became continuous with neighboring towns and neighborhoods. Originally, homes were built by two major builders—the Nansen Building Corporation, and Baier & Bauer. Charles Baier’s first project in the area was the Parkville Homes in 1927, a group of 30 homes at Juniper Valley Road and 77th Place. With Ridgewood developer August Bauer, they built 150 single-family row houses by 1928. In 1931, Bauer, collaborating with builder Paul Stier, built some 7-room houses at 78th Street and Furmanville Avenue.