Springfield Gardens is roughly .7 square miles in size, and has only 13,000 residents, making it one of the least densely populated neighborhoods in all of Queens.
Wedged between Belt Pkwy to the north, John F Kennedy Airport to the south, and Idlewild Park to the west, it’s a triangular middle class neighborhood in southeastern Queens. It borders St. Albans to the north, and Rosedale to the east.
Despite its small size and remoteness, Springfield Gardens is not one of the newer, 20th century additions to Queens County. In fact, it was around since 1660, when Europeans first settled the area due to its proximity to Jamaica Bay. Nothing changed in the farming community until the mid 19th-century, when development slowly began. In the 1920s the building of the Long Island Rail Road by the Laurelton Land Company encouraged growth. In 1964, the vibe of the area changed irreversibly (for better or for worse) with the construction of the New York International Airport, now JFK International Airport, over a large plot of Idlewild parkland adjacent to the southern side of the neighborhood.
Today, Springfield Gardens is a Registered Historic District and low-rise suburban residential neighborhood that has undergone considerable renovation and redevelopment. Many of the older single-family homes have been torn down to make way for larger homes. Residents are mostly African American (80%), although Hispanic residents, specifically Jamaican, Haitian, and Guyanese, are also a growing presence (10%). Popular restaurants include Mario’s Pizza, Catfish Cafe, Chrisway (Spanish), and Jamaican Flavors (Caribbean).
Springfield Park is within the neighborhood’s boundaries, and a number of parks are a short drive away. These include the large Idlewild Park and Baisley Pond Park. Three churches line Farmers Blvd, including Springfield Gardens Seventh Day Adventist and Christ the King Roman Catholic. Two public primary schools and one public secondary school serve the community.
Transportation to Springfield Gardens is unavailable by subway. Available buses include the Q77, Q84, and Q111-113. the QM21 runs to Midtown Manhattan. Drivers can easily access Belt Pkwy on the north side of the neighborhood.
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