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Port Richmond is a neighborhood situated on the North Shore of Staten Islandmarker, one of the five boroughs of New York Citymarker, USAmarker. It is along the waterfront of the Kill Van Kullmarker, with the southern terminus of the Bayonne Bridgemarker serving as the boundary between it and Mariners Harbormarker, the neighborhood which borders it on the west. Formerly an independent village, it is one of the oldest neighborhoods on the island. In the 19th century it was an important transportation and industrial center of the island, but this role has vanished nearly completely, leaving a largely blue collar residential area bypassed by the shift of development of the island to its interior after the 1960s. The formerly bustling commercial center along Richmond Avenue (now Port Richmond Avenue) had been largely abandoned at the time, But in recent years many small businesses have opened in the area with the commercial activity shifting inland to Forest Avenue (or leaving the neighborhood altogether and relocating to the Staten Island Mallmarker when the latter opened in the summer of 1973).

Welcome To Port Richmond


In 1700 the area was known as the "burial place" from a cemetery of the Dutch Reformed Church near the present location of Richmond Avenue along the waterfront. It later became a transfer point between ferries from New York City to New Brunswick, New Jerseymarker. A ferry landing (called variously as including "Ryer's Landing", "Mercereau's Landing", and "Decker's Landing") was later constructed for a route linking Staten Island across the Kill Van Kull to Bergen Point (present-day Bayonne, New Jerseymarker). The Bayonne Bridge was constructed in 1931 yet ferry service continued until 1962.

Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, railway tycoon and patriarch of the Vanderbilt family, was born in the area in 1797. In 1836, former Vice President Aaron Burr died in Port Richmond at the St. James Hotel, a prominent hotel which once stood on Richmond Terrace until it was demolished.

In the early 19th century, the area was an overnight coach stop between New York City and Philadelphiamarker. In 1836, a public park was built. In the middle 19th century, the area began to attract immigrants from Ireland and Germany. Among the industries established in the area was the only whale oil processing plant on Staten Island. It was later replaced by a linseed oil processing plant that operated until the 20th century. Other industries included lumber and coal yards, as a dye processing plant.

In 1866 the neighborhood was incorporated as Port Richmond. In the 1880s, the Staten Island Railway constructed a North Shore branch with a stop in the village on Richmond Avenue, which had become a main shopping area of the island. In the 1890s, an African-American church was established. At the beginning of the 20th century, it attracted large numbers of Italian, Polish, Norwegian, and Swedish immigrants. A public library was built with funds from Andrew Carnegie in 1902. Temple Emanu-Elmarker erected its domed, Classical building in 1907.

When telephone service was upgraded in New York Citymarker in December 1930, a telephone exchange bearing the designation "Port Richmond 7" was created, its territory including the neighborhood itself along with many other communities on the western and central North Shore plus the island's then-sparsely-populated, rural interior. This exchange was disconnected in 1948 when a "Port Washington 7" exchange was established to serve the town by that name in Nassau Countymarker, on Long Islandmarker; the Port Richmond exchange's customers were then moved to exchanges that heretofore had been found to the east, such as "Saint George 7."

The neighborhood suffered a severe economic decline in the latter half of the 20th century, largely as a result of the shift of development and commercial activity to the center of the island, following the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridgemarker. The North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway that ran through the neighborhood connecting it to St. Georgemarker was closed in 1953, leaving behind a dilapidated track and station along Richmond (now Port Richmond) Avenue (plans for reopening this line were studied at various times during the 1990s and early 2000s, but it is seen as unlikely that this will actually occur prior to the mid-2010s).

Port Richmond Square, the corner of Richmond Terrace and Richmond Avenue


53.01% White (around 20-30% white alone) (mostly concentrated in the community's interior), 21.21% African-American, 33.75% Hispanic or Latino, 3.60% Asian and 0.28% Native American. An additional 22.41% claim "other." The housing consists primarily of older houses and many very small apartments with several families per house. and unlike many other North Shore neighborhoods, there are no public housing developments in Port Richmond.


Port Richmond has long been plagued by high levels of poverty and crime. Specifically violent crime. 2009 findings show that Port Richmond (zip code 10302) received a 7 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of violent crime level - the highest for any zip code on Staten Island (one other Staten Island zip code also received a 7). The United States violent crime average for a zip code is a 3.

Port Richmond also received a 6 on an identical scale measuring property crime. The United States property crime average for a zip code is also a 3.


Public libraries

New York Public Librarymarker operates the Port Richmond Branch at 75 Bennett Street at Heberton Avenue. Throughout the 19th Century the Port Richmond area had sporadic library service. Interest in a library began in 1833. Various private library groups opened. Andrew Carnegie financed the Port Richmond Branch, which became Port Richmond's permanent library.Most students in Port Richmond are zoned for Port Richmond High School.


Port Richmond is the site of the Castleton Bus Depot, at Castleton and Jewett Avenues. As a result, it is served by many local and express buses. The abandoned North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway runs through Port Richmond.

See also


  3. " Port Richmond Branch." New York Public Library. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.
  4. Wilson, Andrew. " The Port Richmond Branch of The New York Public Library The First 50 Years: 1905-1955." Staten Island Historian. Volume 19, New Series 2. Spring 2002. Retrieved on December 22, 2008.

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