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Located on Staten Island’s eastern shore, Oakwood is a middle-class neighborhood framed by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Tysens Lane to the north, the Great Kills Park to the south and Kensico Street at Clark Avenue to the west.Read more about Oakwood
Oakwood’s popularity as a residential area has its winding tree-lined streets, family-friendly houses and garden apartments to thank. Its proximity to the marina, beaches and jogging trails of Great Kills Park, along with the green zone clustered about the nearby Amundsen Circle, give the neighborhood a countryside ambiance, while it maintains all the advantages that come from living in an urban area.
Hylan Boulevard, the borough’s commercial area, divides Oakwood into two distinct districts. The streets away from the Atlantic coastline, known as ‘Oakwood Heights’, houses older and more established residences, including some large, beautiful colonial revival and Victorian buildings, which line the leafy streets and bendy roads around Oak Avenue. The seaside area to the east of the boulevard is aptly called ‘Oakwood Beach’, a former resort is now home to residential bungalows and townhouses, some of which bore the brunt of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Scattered among the parks and green spaces, there is a cluster of historic cemeteries scattered about the southwest side of the borough. The Frederick Douglass Memorial Park, an African-American burial ground, is one of Oakwood’s curiosities, since the majority of Oakwood’s population hails from Italian or Ukrainian extraction.
Once dominated by farmland, Oakwood underwent rapid suburbanization after the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the 1960s, like other areas of Staten Island, however traces of the lush agricultural landscape have been left behind in the backdrop. It’s not only the green spots that make Oakwood popular for families with children, but the schools in the area offer another attractive benefit. P.S. 50 backs onto the Clawson Playground, and the best-known Catholic high school on Staten Island, Monsignor Farrell High School is one of Oakwood’s key landmarks. Even though most Oakwood residents own a car, many also use public transport to get to work. Oakwood is connected to the Staten Island Railway, with a station at Oakwood Heights, but it also has express buses that run from Hylan Boulevard into Manhattan and a number of local bus services.