Ethnically diverse Port Richmond on Staten Island’s North Shore is one of the oldest neighborhoods on the island.
Formally an independent village that sprung up around the cemetery for the French and Dutch settlers living in New Dorp, Port Richmond now houses a rich community of Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans.
Many of Port Richmond’s residences date back before 1939, so the local housing stock is predominantly made up of older homes rich in detail and a variety of styles, ranging from Victorian to Colonial, although there are a few bungalows and newer constructions scattered in its urban landscape.
Thanks to Port Richmond’s history, the neighborhood is full of curious landmarks. After being destroyed by fire, the 18th century Dutch Reform Church on Port Richmond Avenue was rebuilt in 1824. The church stands as a tribute to Port Richmond’s early days, which was once a thriving waterfront transport hub after populated by European settlers who moved down from nearby New Dorp.
While it’s location on the Kill Van Kull made it a prime location for ferry services, the modern day Port Richmond feels more isolated than some of the other areas of Staten Island. The closed station and the disused rail tracks are all that’s left of its connection with the Staten Island Railway. However, Port Richmond’s waterfront is served well by bus, and the site of the Castleton Bus depot, which is a hub for many local and express buses, is located in the neighborhood.
Port Richmond is abundant in sidewalks and paths connecting three-decker houses, duplexes and old Victorian houses cut into apartments, with the rest of the neighborhood.
A summer tradition since the 1920s sees Port Richmond’s residents line-up outside Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream in the warmer months, or pack into Denino’s Pizzeria all year round, which according to locals has the best pies in the area.
One of Port Richmond’s most attractive qualities for families is the nearby schools. The neighborhood houses one of the best educational establishments on Staten Island, Port Richmond High School, known for its excellence in sports and academic studies.
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