As part of the CMRC's Sustainable Coasts Program, we periodically explore the coastal communities that play a large role in the Harbor Estuary's socio-economic and ecological well-being. Today we look at the community of St. George on Staten Island and its rich maritime history and current revitalization. The area has long been a very active part of New York City's maritime culture and is most popular for the Staten Island Ferry, which moves passengers between St. George and downtown Manhattan. The region was heavily affected by the development of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in 1964 that shifted Staten Island's economy to the center of the island. However in recent years St. George has undergone a major revitalization with residents finding a very livable community (with a new baseball park) and easy access to downtown Manhattan. The article below from Newsday explores the community of St. George and its recent revitalization in more depth. JB
By Alan Krawitz
April 20, 2006
Located at the northeastern tip of Staten Island where the Kill Van Kull enters Upper New York Bay, St. George, also known as "Downtown Staten Island," has seen its share of ups and downs since the early 20th century.
Once dominated by 19th-century Victorian homes and mansions, the area now offers trendy housing options such as the upscale Bay Street Landing condo complex, newly constructed high-rises and Manhattan-style townhouses. Actor Paul Newman is said to have lived in the area during the mid-1960s.
Richmond Terrace in St. George is not only the administrative center of the borough but also a transportation and entertainment hub with its ferry/bus/railway terminal, the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the New York Yankees minor league ball club and the St. George Theatre.
The area, once considered part of the New Brighton neighborhood, reportedly was renamed after George Law, a local investor who was involved in the consolidation of ferry and rail service.
The neighborhood grew rapidly in the early 20th century as municipal ferry service to Manhattan commenced in 1905.
Downtown Staten Island experienced a downturn in 1964 following the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that shifted development and commerce to the interior of the island.
Today, the consensus is that the area is in the midst of a resurgence fueled by a combination of rising property values due to new construction, redevelopment of the waterfront and an easy commute to Manhattan.
St. George Civic Association
Google Map of St. George
Wikipedia - St. George