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Historic Murray Hill - Flushing NY

Historic Murray Hill - Flushing NY
Jun 4, 2019
Above - Murray Hill Railroad Station - circa 1908

The Murray Hill area of Flushing began as an outskirt community of the old village of Flushing.  The name of the area originates from an old Flushing family that owned land to the east of Murray Hill.   Before Murray Hill was developed for residential housing in 1889, the  area  was the location of several large nurseries owned by the King, Murray and Parsons families.  The Murray Hill neighborhood became an early railroad suburb that developed and grew largely in tandem with with the LIRR expansion, and the decision to build a station east of Main Street and to the west of Broadway.

The Murray Hill area today is recognized as less expansive in geographic scope then in the 19th and early 20th century, and whereas at one time the Bowne Park area was deemed as within the Murray Hill area, today Murray Hill is the area south of Northern Boulevard that is bounded by 150th Street to the west and 160th Street to the east.

Above - Murray Hill Station -View W from Boerum Ave. Crosing-12-18-1911 

Postcard - Murray Hill Station - Pre-1914 Alterations to the Station

The original Murray Hill railroad station was built in 1889 at grade level but was torn down in 1912 when the decision  was made to depress the tracks below grade for what would inevitably become the Port Washington line.   The new station house was replaced in July 1914 with one built on a bridge built over the tracks.

Murray Hill Station -  Above Grade View - 1914

Murray Hill Station - Below Grade Track View - 1914

 As the surrounding area became developed with the railroads construction, large mansions were built along Sanford Avenue with the more modest homes along the side streets.  The neighborhood was populated predominantly by an influx of Irish and Italian immigrants.

1920 Postcard - promoting a newly built residential home in the Murray Hill, Flushiing  area from the JT Watson Development Corporation

The Murray Hill area, unlike the neighboring Broadway community,  commissioned a full service fire company.   The company was an all volunteer local outfit that would ultimately be incorporated into the NYC fire department in 1908.

Murray Hill Company 4 - Volunteer firehouse and company with its horse drawn truck - pre 1908

Murray Hill Company Station House 173 - post 1908

 1 1/4" diameter Whitehead & Hoag celluloid pinback commemorating the July 4, 1908 benefit for Flushing Hospital sponsored by the Murray Hill Hose Co. It pictures a Fire Chief waving a trumpet in the foreground with two pieces of horse-drawn fire apparatus in the background 

Today the Murray Hill area of Flushing has been revitalized by an influx of immigrants, predominantly from Korea.  The surrounding area  is less bucolic with many of the surrounding trees and mansions having been displaced during expansive urban development.  The Murray Hill LIRR Station itself recently began construction of  two ADA-accessible elevators at each end of the station that is slated to be completed in late 2019 at a cost of an estimated $8.6 million.


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