Maspeth: Places

From The Peopling of New York City
Jump to: navigation, search

Home to Maspeth

Maspeth: History


Places To Go And Things To See

Maspeth is a unique neighborhood. It has the feel of a small town within one of the largest and busiest cities in the world. As mentioned in a 2008 New York Times article: "It is not uncommon to hear a Maspeth resident say that there’s little to do for those who don’t live there, and plenty for those who do. They are not being rude, but acknowledging that many activities spring from Maspeth’s churches, schools and community groups"[1] See the map bellow for the location of the places of interest.

Places Map

View Maspeth Places in a larger map

Maspeth Branch of the Queens Public Library[2]

The Maspeth Branch of the Queens Library is located at 69-70 Grand Avenue. It is a small community library with a computer section. There are daily activities held at the library, as well as a friendship group. Library collections and information are available in English, Chinese, French, Greek, Italian, Polish and Spanish, reflecting the multi-ethnic neighborhood in which it is located. Library service began in Maspeth on July 27, 1911.

Maspeth Town Hall[3]

Maspeth Town Hall was built in 1898 when it functioned as the Brinkerhoff School. Located on 72nd Street, the building was abandoned and fell to deterioration. Maspeth residents working with Marge Markey, formed a coalition of residents, businesses and government officials that sought to restore and save the historic structure. It is now being used as a community center. Maspeth Town Hall offers preschool and daycare and recreational and cultural activities, such as exercise, yoga and tai chi classes, a drama club, art and craft classes, after school programs, summer camps, and senior activities. A strong unifying force in the community, Maspeth Town Hall is opened to all Maspeth residents.

Metropolitan Oval[4]

Metropolitan Oval is located on 60th Street. It is a soccer field that has been in use since 1925: the oldest in all of New York City. Many famous soccer greats have used Metropolitan Oval as their home field, including Tony Meola, Werner Roth, Tab Ramos and Edson Nascimento (the son of famous Pele).

It had fallen into disrepair, but a half-million dollar renovation grant from the US Soccer Foundation and Nike has had it resurfaced with FieldTurf and restored it to the state-of-the-art field it used to be[5].


In 1852, the ever increasing real estate costs and growing city led New York City officials to pass a law prohibiting new burials and cemeteries being created withing Manhattan. Religious officials then looked to the boroughs to establish new cemeteries. Because of its convenient location, Maspeth became home to several cemeteries. These cemeteries are a large part of how Maspeth became as it is today. The cemeteries led to an increase in transportation to and from Maspeth, spurring the growth of businesses in Maspeth catering to those visiting the cemeteries. The local cemeteries of Maspeth were soon engulfed in the new larger cemeteries built for city residents.

While cemeteries aren't the first thing people think when they think of "places of interest", Maspeth's cemeteries have a rich history and points of interest.

Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery was the first Cemetery to be established in Maspeth in accordance with the 1852 law. Today, it separates Maspeth from neighboring Blissville and Laurel Hill. It was established by the Catholic Church and the Parish of St. Patricks, three years before the completion of St. Patrick's Cathedral. The Land on which it is located originally belonged to the Alsop family, who's burial ground, like most others in the area, was engulfed by and incorporated into the cemetery. Alsop family headstones in Calvary Cemetery date back to 1743[6].

Many famous and infamous people are buried in Calvary Cemetery, including mobsters, actors and entertainers, military personnel and government officials and politicians. A list can be found here.

Mt. Olivet Cemetery[7]

Mt. Olivet opened as a garden cemetery in 1850 alongside the Maspeth Episcopal Church. The highest point in the cemetery, 165 feet above sea level, is believed to have been a look out point for the Mespatches. Today, Mt. Olivet operates as a non-denominational cemetery, open to all faith.

As a garden cemetery, Mt. Olivet has various horticultural specimens, and tours are offered of the winding paths and natural beauty. It was a popular weekend destination in the 19th century for Manhattan residents seeking to escape the crowded dirty city[8]. Mt. Olivet is the resting place for Civil War soldiers and some victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

Mt. Zion Cemetery[9]
George Eppy
George Eppy [10]
Mollie Metlitz
Mollie Metlitz [11]
Rubin Pomerantz
Rubin Pomerantz [12]
Betts Family Cemetery
Betts Family Cemetery [13]

It was near Mt. Zion Cemetery that the Mespeatches had their village. Mt. Zion Cemetery spreads out under the looming shadow of a garbage disposal plant. Mt. Zion is a Jewish Cemetery established by Chevra Bani Sholom in 1893 and taken over by the Elmwier Cemetery Association. It is famous for the enameled photographs preserved on many of the tombstones within the cemetery. Mt. Zion Cemetery is the final resting place for many of the victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Tragedy. Buried at Mt. Zions are Lorenz Hart (songwriter, along with Richard Rogers, Hart formed one of the most famous song-writing duos of the musical comedy genre), and Nathaniel West (writer, best known works include The Day of the Locust, Miss Lonleyhearts, The Dream Life of Balso Snell and Cool Million)[14].

In addition to the enameled photographs, Mt. Zion also holds the Betts Family Cemetery, located near where their house stood near 54th Avenue. Captain Richard (1613-1713) and his wife lived in the house, and are buried in the Betts Cemetery along with their descendants.

New Calvary Cemetery

New Calvary Cemetery is also run by St. Patrick's parish. The land for new Calvary Cemetery was purchased from the Burroughs family in 1870. The land contained a large swap known as Wolf Swamp[15]. The swamp was drained to create the cemetery, which opened in...

Restaurants and Shops

Maspeth holds tons of wonderful small ethnic restaurants, taverns and pubs, shops, diners. Here is just a brief sampling of the wonders of Maspeth.

Rosa's Pizza has the best Sicilian Pie in all of New York City.

O'Neill's Restaurant is a unique Irish pub that offers brick oven pizza, great food, and OTB.
O'Neill's Restaurant (photo by by Conor Greene[1])‎
O'Neill's Restaurant (photo by by Conor Greene[1])‎

ABC Restaurant is touted as the best Polish restaurant in Maspeth.

Russo Bakery is a great Italian bakery in Maspeth.

Besides the different small shops and businesses that are characteristic of Maspeth, there is a small Maspeth Center Mall located at 74-17 Grand Ave.

The nearest movie theaters in Maspeth are New Center Cinema at 42-17 Queens Blvd in Sunnyside and the Atlas Mall Theater on Cooper Ave in Glendale.

Historic Tour

There are many different remnants of the past in Maspeth. These particular remnants of times long gone add a distinct flair and flavor to Maspeth and its local culture. Forgotten New York, a group devoting itself to creating a sort of "tour guide book" for overlooked cites of historical value, and forgotten aspects of placed throughout the city, has created a special section for Maspeth and its surrounding areas.[16] In the past, Forgotten New York has offered a tour of Maspeth. The Maspeth page provides information about buildings and houses that remain standing from the 1800s, and more historic information about the area. It has also created specific sub-categories about Mt. Zion cemetery.


Personal tools