Elmont is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located in northwestern Hempstead in Nassau County, New York, United States, along its border with the borough of Queens in New York City. It is a suburban bedroom community located on Long Island. The population was 33,198 at the 2010 census.
In 1650, Christopher and Thomas Foster purchased a large plot of land. The Foster's land was controlled by Dutch settlers from the Holy Roman Empire, under the Habsburg Dynasty-House of Lorraine (1524). The Foster's were intended to raise cattle, and sheep on their newly settled land, the Hempstead Plains of Long Island. They named this place "Foster's Meadow"—a name which would remain for the next 200 years of the village's history.
By the mid-17th century, ethnic descendants of Sephardi Jews were settling on the Hempstead Plains for Agriculture. Control of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam shifted to England in 1664. This marked the first gradual cultural shift in Foster's Meadow with the establishment of a community of predominantly English Protestant farmers, and their families. In 1683, Long Island was divided into three counties, Kings, Queens, and Suffolk County. Under this new structure, Foster's Meadow was originally part of Queens County. During 1790 George Washington passed through the town while touring to the East on Long Island. The current boundaries of Elmont were decided upon in 1898; at this point, Nassau County was erected, leading to conflict over land, and monies owed as a result of Elmont's boundary shift from Queens.
It was during the mid-19th century, that Foster's Meadow experienced its second cultural shift. There was an influx of Roman Catholic, and Ashkenazi Jewish agricultural farmers from Brooklyn, and Middle Village to the West. These ethnic groups were largely of German, and Italian descent practicing both Roman Catholicism, and Judaism. Indeed, the Catholic population in Foster's Meadow grew to an extent. The Church of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, was built during the Wittelsbach Dynasty in 1852. The Roman Catholic Church was re-dedicated Saint Boniface Roman Catholic Parish, in honor of the Patron Saint of Germany in 1857. The Parish was providing a focal point for the gradual development of a Catholic population base. Rev. Peter Hartraub was essentially the founding pastor, and appointed the first resident pastor of Foster's Meadow in 1858. Rev. Peter Hartraub built a new rectory, and in 1887 a new school with four classrooms on the first floor, and an auditorium on the second. The Dominican Sisters were invited to teach in the Catholic School, and they built a Convent on parish land donated to them.
The community underwent its next political reshuffling in 1882, being subdivided into districts with unique names and boundaries (including Alden Manor and Locustwood); it was at this time that Foster's Meadow was renamed Elmont. In 1902, a syndicate headed by August Belmont II and former Secretary of the Navy William C. Whitney sought land on Long Island to build the most elaborate racetrack in America, one modeled after the great race courses of Europe. They found what they were looking for on the border of Queens County and Nassau County. Belmont Racetrack, was arguably the most significant milestone in the development of modern-day Elmont. Originally known as Foster's Meadow, the 650 acres of land included a turreted Tudor-Gothic mansion owned by William de Forest Manice, which was to serve as the track's Turf and Field Club until 1956.
With the opening of Belmont Park in 1905, Elmont reached a turning point in its history. The farms were sold, and subdivided for houses. Most of the new homes were owned by people, who worked at Belmont Racetrack. Many businesses were formed on Hempstead Turnpike, to support the blooming suburban location. By 1915, the Racetrack was opened to the public, attracting both visitors and migrant workers to the area. Housing developments, and businesses grew in the area surrounding the racetrack to meet the needs of these workers; this process of development to meet the workers' needs continued in successive waves, ultimately representing a shift in Elmont from rural farmland to suburbia.
Belmont Racetrack, hosted the first air race ever in the United States of America. The Wright brothers Wilbur and Orville in 1910, staged an international aerial competition at Belmont Park that drew 150,000 spectators. This air race was featured from Elmont, Nassau County, to the Statue of Liberty, and back to Belmont Park.
The United States Postal Service in 1918, delivered their first inter-city Air Mail Service between New York City, and Washington, D.C.. Belmont Park in Elmont, Nassau County, was designated as the delivery terminal for New York.
Belmont Park was the site of "War Relief Day" in 1940 to benefit the American Red Cross and in 1943 hosted "Back the Attack" Day, wherein fans had to buy a war bond to gain admission to the track. Total receipts that day were between $25 million and $30 million. Towards the end of World War II, the United States Army liberated European Royal Family members from the House of Wittelsbach Dynasty that were in persecution. Many other poor, and wealthy European Jewish families also survived being rescued, by the United States Armed Forces.
Since after the war, Elmont, Long Island was now creating a new widespread development of attractive suburban tract homes. Many of these homes, were constructed with a brick-veneer ground story, over basement in variations of the Cape Cod style, down towards Dutch Broadway in Elmont. While up on Hempstead Turnpike to the East, older smaller shingled homes cluster near Belmont Park.
New York State's Development Corporation (Empire State Development) issued a Request for Proposals for the Belmont Park Property to redevelop land on the property that will enhance the Park and surrounding communities as well on July 31, 2017. Proposals were submitted on September 28. The RFP for Belmont Park read as follows.
"Belmont Park is a major thoroughbred horseracing facility first opened in 1905 and redeveloped from 1964-1968. The subject of this RFP is comprised of two parcels totaling approximately 36 acres, both currently vacant and underutilized parking lots. Site A contains a total of approximately 8 acres, bordered on the south by Hempstead Turnpike and adjacent to the Cross Island Parkway. Site B contains a total of approximately 28 acres and is located south of the Hempstead Turnpike. Respondents may also propose an alternative, which includes the sites and land adjacent to Site A, north of Hempstead Turnpike. Additional land adjacent to Site A included in respondents’ proposals shall total no more than 7 acres for a total of 15 acres including Site A. Respondents who wish to submit an alternative development proposal must also submit a proposal for the Sites".
Howard Zemsky, ESD President, CEO and Commissioner said “Belmont Park represents an exciting and much-anticipated development opportunity on Long Island,” “We encourage respondents to submit creative proposals that stimulate vibrant community and economic growth in the region.”
The goal of this RFP is to strengthen Belmont as a premier destination for entertainment, sports, recreation, retail and hospitality on Long Island.
The two bidders for the site are New York City FC and New York Islanders. On December 19, 2017, various news reports surfaced, indicating that the state of New York had selected the Islanders' bid. On December 20, 2017 a news conference was held confirming those reports and a,deal has been secured. Speakers included NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Long Island and Nassau County specifically are consistently ranked nationally for providing outstanding education.
Elmont Memorial High School, former lacrosse powerhouse, recently was recognized as having the largest percentage of African-American high school students receive a "3" or higher on Advanced Placement tests nationally. In 2004, it had a graduation rate of 100 percent which was a first for the Sewanhaka Central High School District.
Elmont Memorial is also known for having its award-winning Model United Nations club. Elmont's Model UN team is known for beating thousands of high schools in the conferences that they attend. Their slogan, Elmont is UNique, has been proven many times since 1978.
Sewanhaka High School is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best high schools in the state of New York and the nation. Some students can also attend the other high schools in the district for special programs.
The Elmont Union Free School District provides outstanding primary school education for Elmont residents. In 2005, the Elmont Union Free School District was recognized by the New York State Comptroller as one of 5 out of 52 districts cited as "well managed."
Elmont is located on the border of Nassau County and the New York City borough of Queens.
Closest airports include:
The MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) provides race-day-only passenger service to Belmont Park from Jamaica and Penn Station. Elmont is near the Floral Park, New Hyde Park and Valley Stream stations of the LIRR which provide regular commuter service to NYC.
The Nassau Inter-County Express system serves Elmont with routes n1 (Elmont Road/Central Ave.), and n6 on Hempstead Turnpike (near Belmont Park Racetrack) for connections to the LIRR & NYC subways and buses.
Elmont is located at the junction of the Cross Island Parkway, Belt Parkway, and Southern State Parkway, providing quick access to the Long Island Parkway system. Elmont is about 7 miles (11 km) from the Long Island Expressway and 10 miles (16 km) from the Throgs Neck Bridge for travel upstate.
Elmont is located approximately half-way between the North Shore and South Shore of Long Island.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), all land.
Elmont is on the Queens (NYC)/Nassau County border, earning it the name "The Gateway to Long Island."
Elmont is the second most diverse suburb in New York State. At the 2010 census the population was 33,198. The makeup of the population was 28.5% White, 45.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 10.9% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 10.4% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.8% of the population.
At the 2000 census, there were 32,657 people, 12,902 households and 10,842 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 9,589.9 per square mile (3,697.6/km2). There were 10,151 housing units at an average density of 2,980.9/sq mi (1,149.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 45.6% White, 34.7% African American, 0.1% Native American, 9.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.69% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.3% of the population.
There were 10,902 households of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 17.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.29 and the average family size was 3.68.
26.4% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.
The community has continued to see a rise in median and mean household income since the issuance of the 2010 census indicating a surge of affluence. In 2010, the median household income was $80,356 and the mean household income came in at $90,111. According to the 2016 Census estimate, those number are now $91,902 and $106,410.