Long Beach, New York

Last updated
Long Beach, New York
City of Long Beach
Aerial photograph of Long Beach, NY and environs from the WSW.jpg
Aerial photograph of Long Beach, NY and environs from west-by-southwest.
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Long Beach, New York seal large.png
The City by the Sea
Civitas ad mare
(City by the sea)
Nassau County New York incorporated and unincorporated areas Long Beach highlighted.svg
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York
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Location in the United States
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Long Beach, New York (New York)
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Long Beach, New York (the United States)
Coordinates: 40°35′17″N73°41′17″W / 40.58806°N 73.68806°W / 40.58806; -73.68806 Coordinates: 40°35′17″N73°41′17″W / 40.58806°N 73.68806°W / 40.58806; -73.68806
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of New York.svg  New York
County Nassau
Incorporated Village1913
City of Long Beach1922
Founded byWilliam J. Reynolds
  Type Council-Manager
   Acting City Manager Robert Agostisi
   City Council
  Total3.89 sq mi (10.09 km2)
  Land2.21 sq mi (5.74 km2)
  Water1.68 sq mi (4.35 km2)
0 ft (0 m)
(2018) [2]
  Density15,222.12/sq mi (5,878.19/km2)
  34th densest in US
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 516
FIPS code 36-43335
GNIS feature ID0955835
Website www.longbeachny.org

Long Beach is a city in Nassau County, New York. Just south of Long Island, it is on Long Beach Barrier Island, which is the westernmost of the outer barrier islands off Long Island's South Shore. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 33,275. It was incorporated in 1922, [3] and is nicknamed The City By the Sea (as seen in Latin on its official seal). The city of Long Beach is surrounded by Reynolds Channel to the north, east and west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. [4]



Through the 19th century

Long Beach's first inhabitants were the Algonquian-speaking Rockaway Indians, who sold the area to English colonists in 1643. From that time, while the barrier island was used by baymen and farmers for fishing and harvesting salt hay, no one lived there year-round for more than two centuries.

In 1837, the barque Mexico, carrying Irish immigrants to New York, ran ashore on New Year's Day.[ citation needed ]

In 1849, Congress established a lifesaving station.[ citation needed ]

Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn, was the first to attempt to develop the island as a resort. He formed a partnership with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to finance the New York and Long Beach Railroad Co., which laid track from Lynbrook to Long Beach in 1880. That same year, Corbin opened Long Beach Hotel, a row of 27 cottages along a 1,100-foot (340 m) strip of beach, which he claimed was the world's largest hotel. [5] In its first season, the railroad brought 300,000 visitors to Long Island. By the next spring, tracks had been laid the length of the island, but they were removed in 1894 after repeated washouts from winter storms.

Long Beach Hotel Long Beach Hotel (Long Island), Long Beach, N. Y (NYPL b12647398-66805).tiff
Long Beach Hotel
Long Beach boardwalk, c. 1911 Longbeach 1911.jpg
Long Beach boardwalk, c. 1911
Crowded beach, c. 1923 Longbeach 1923.jpg
Crowded beach, c. 1923


In 1906, William Reynolds, a 39-year-old real estate developer and former State Senator, entered the picture. Reynolds had already developed four Brooklyn neighborhoods (Bedford–Stuyvesant, Borough Park, Bensonhurst, and South Brownsville), as well as Coney Island's Dreamland, the world's largest amusement park. Reynolds also owned a theater and produced plays.

He gathered investors, and acquired the oceanfront from private owners and the rest of the island from the Town of Hempstead in 1907; he planned to build a boardwalk, homes, and hotels. Reynolds had a herd of elephants marched in from Dreamland, ostensibly to help build the Long Beach Boardwalk; he had created an effective publicity stunt. Dredges created a channel 1,000 feet (300 m) wide on the north side of the island to provide access by large steamboats and sea planes to transport more visitors; the new waterway was named Reynolds Channel. To ensure that Long Beach lived up to his billing it "The Riviera of the East", he required each building to be constructed in an "eclectic Mediterranean style", with white stucco walls and red-clay tile roofs. He built a theater called Castles by the Sea, with the largest dance floor in the world, for dancers Vernon and Irene Castle.

After Reynolds' corporation went bankrupt in 1918, the restrictions were lifted. The new town attracted wealthy businessmen and entertainers from New York and Hollywood.

On July 29, 1907, a fire broke out at the Long Beach Hotel and burned it to the ground. Of the 800 guests, eight were injured by jumping from windows, and one woman died. The fire was blamed on defective electric wiring. A church, several cottages and the bathing pavilion were also destroyed. Trunks belonging to the guests, which had been piled on the sand to form "dressing rooms", were looted by thieves. A dozen waiters and others were apprehended by the police, who recovered $20,000 worth of jewelry and other stolen property. [6]

The community became an incorporated village in 1913 and a city in 1922. [7]

In 1923, the prohibition agents known simply as Izzy and Moe raided the Nassau Hotel and arrested three men for bootlegging. In 1930, five Long Beach Police officers were charged with offering a bribe to a United States Coast Guard officer to allow liquor to be landed. The police had another problem a year later in the summer of 1931, when a beachcomber found the body of a young woman named Starr Faithfull, who had drowned. She had left behind a suicide note, but others believed she had been murdered, and the circumstances of her death were never resolved. Corruption became rampant in Long Beach by then; in 1922, the state Legislature designated Long Beach a city and William H. Reynolds was elected the first mayor. Soon afterward, Reynolds was indicted on charges of misappropriating funds. When he was found guilty, the clock in the tower at city hall was stopped in protest. When a judge released Reynolds from jail later that year on appeal, almost the entire population turned out to greet him, and the clock was turned back on.

On November 15, 1939, Mayor Louis F. Edwards was fatally shot by a police officer in front of his home. [8] Officer Alvin Dooley, a member of the police motorcycle squad and the mayor's own security detail, killed Edwards after losing his bid for PBA president to a candidate the mayor supported. Jackson Boulevard was later renamed Edwards Boulevard in honor of the late mayor. After the murder, the city residents passed legislation to adopt a city manager system, which still exists to this day. The city manager is hired by and reports to the City Council.

In the 1940s, José Ferrer, Zero Mostel, Mae West, and other famous actors performed at local theaters.[ citation needed ] John Barrymore, Humphrey Bogart, Clara Bow, James Cagney, Cab Calloway, Jack Dempsey, Lillian Roth, Rudolph Valentino, and Florenz Ziegfeld lived in Long Beach for decades. [9]

By the 1940s and 1950s, with the advent of cheap air travel attracting tourists to more distant places, and air-conditioning to provide year-round comfort, Long Beach had become primarily a bedroom community for commuters to New York City. It still attracted many summer visitors into the 1970s. The rundown boardwalk hotels were used for temporary housing for welfare recipients and the elderly, until a scandal around 1970 led to many of the homes losing their licenses. At that time, government agencies were also "warehousing" in such hotels many patients released from larger mental hospitals. They were supposed to be cared for in small-scale community centers. The 2.2-mile (3.5 km) boardwalk had a small amusement park at the foot of Edwards Boulevard until the 1980s. In the late 1960s, the boardwalk and amusement park area were a magnet for youth from around Long Island, until a police crackdown on drug trafficking ended that. A few businesses remained on the boardwalk, attracting bicyclists, joggers, walkers and people-watchers.

The newly rebuilt boardwalk in November 2013. Post Sandy Boardwalk In Long Beach NY.jpg
The newly rebuilt boardwalk in November 2013.

Beginning in the 1980s and accelerating in the 1990s, Long Beach began an urban renewal, with new housing, new businesses and other improvements. Today, the city is again a popular bedroom community, for people working in New York who want the quiet beach atmosphere. With summer come local youths and college students and young adults who rent bungalows on the West End; they frequent the local bars and clubs along West Beech Street. Just behind the boardwalk near the center of the city, however, vacant lots now occupy several blocks that once housed hotels, bathhouses and the amusement park. Because attempts to attract development (including, at one time, Atlantic City-style casinos) to this potential "superblock" have not yet borne fruit, the lots comprise the city's largest portion of unused land.


The rebuilt boardwalk in Long Beach, NY. Long Beach, NY boardwalk at sunset.jpg
The rebuilt boardwalk in Long Beach, NY.

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck Long Beach. As a result of flooding, hundreds of vehicles were destroyed and houses suffered various levels of damage. The estimated cost of all the damage was over $250 million. The city was without power and running water for two weeks after the storm. The boardwalk was also destroyed during the storm. The City began rebuilding the boardwalk with grants from FEMA and the State of New York. The first two-block section of the new Long Beach boardwalk reopened on July 26, 2013, [10] and the entire boardwalk opened on October 25, 2013. [11]


A SoBi Bicycle-sharing system operates in Long Beach. [12]

Buses and trolleys

Long Beach Bus operates a 24-hour municipal bus service with five routes, [13] including three routes serving the city, one overnight circulator route, and one route extending service to Lido Beach and Point Lookout. Long Beach Bus also operates two seasonal trolley routes, East Loop and West Loop.

Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) has two bus routes that originate in Long Beach. The n15 and n33 travel to Roosevelt Field and Far Rockaway, via Rockville Centre and Atlantic Beach, respectively. [14] [15] The n33 does not provide service wholly within Long Beach.


The Long Island Rail Road operates a terminal station at Park Place and Park Avenue with service on the railroad's Long Beach Branch. All other public transportation services in Long Beach converge at this terminal. Most trains run to Penn Station (Manhattan) or Atlantic Terminal (Brooklyn). [16]


U.S. Census Map Long-beach-ny-map.gif
U.S. Census Map

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2).

Long Beach Barrier Island

The city is on a barrier island off the South Shore of Long Island. It shares the island with East Atlantic Beach, Atlantic Beach to the west and Lido Beach and Point Lookout to the east.

Within its section of the barrier island, the city takes up the entire north–south span, fronting on both Reynolds Channel to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. A drawbridge, the Long Beach Bridge, connects it to Island Park, a small island community between Long Beach and the mainland of Long Island. To the west, another drawbridge, the Atlantic Beach Bridge, connects the island to Lawrence on the mainland of Long Island. The Loop Parkway, to the east along the Lido Beach and Point Lookout borders, connects the island to nearby Jones Beach and, going in the opposite direction, to the rest of the expansive Long Island state parkway system by the Meadowbrook State Parkway.

The first inhabitants on the Long beach barrier island were the Rockaway Indians; the Island was sold to the New Netherland colonists in 1643. Local Long Island baymen and farmers used the island for fishing and harvesting salt hay; no people lived on the Island year round for more than two centuries. The United States Congress established a lifesaving station in 1849, a dozen years after 62 people died when the barque Mexico carrying Irish immigrants to New York ran ashore on New Year's Day.

Development began on the island as a resort and was organized by Austin Corbin, a builder from Brooklyn, New York. Austin Corbin formed a partnership with the Long Island Rail Road to finance the New York and Long Beach Railroad Company which laid tracks from Lynbrook, New York to Long Beach in 1880. The company also opened the 1,100-foot-long (340 m) Long Beach Hotel, at the time the largest in the world. The railroad brought 300,000 visitors the first season. By the next spring, tracks had been laid almost the full length of the Long Beach island, but after repeated winter storm washouts they were removed in 1894. [17]


Long Beach has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification, with humid hot summers and cool winters. It is one of the northernmost locations in this climate zone, allowing for the growth of warmer climate plants like Mimosa, Crape Myrtle, Southern Magnolia, and Sweetgum often seen further south. Precipitation is evenly distributed year round, mostly in the form of rain although snowfall occurs each winter. Long Beach is vulnerable to tropical cyclones. Its climate is tempered by the influence of the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate data for Long Beach, New York
Record high °F (°C)71
Average high °F (°C)39
Average low °F (°C)26
Record low °F (°C)−2
Source: [18]


Unlike most suburbs, Long Beach is a high-density community. Fewer than 40% of the homes are detached houses, [19] and the city ranks as the 35th-densest community in the United States. The city is less than a mile wide from ocean to bay and about three-and-a-half miles long. The city is divided into the West End, home to many small bungalows but some large houses, and the East End. West of New York Avenue, the barrier island is less than a half-mile wide and West Beech Street is the main east/west commercial street.

East of New York Avenue, the island is wider between the bay and ocean and is home to larger more expansive family houses. There is the city's boardwalk, which begins at New York Avenue and ends at Neptune Boulevard. Along the boardwalk are many apartment buildings and condos. The main commercial strip is Park Avenue, which narrows into a small residential strip west of New York Avenue.


Ocean View Avenue, West End Ocean View Av Long Beach jeh.JPG
Ocean View Avenue, West End
Kennedy Plaza in the Central District. Memorial City Hall Long Beach jeh.JPG
Kennedy Plaza in the Central District.

Parks and recreation

National Register of Historic Places

Multiple sites in Long Beach are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including: [20] [21] [22]

Landmarks and historic districts

Museums and community centers


Historical population
1920 282
1930 5,8171,962.8%
1940 9,03655.3%
1950 15,58672.5%
1960 26,47369.9%
1970 33,12725.1%
1980 34,0732.9%
1990 33,510−1.7%
2000 35,4625.8%
2010 33,275−6.2%
Est. 201833,534 [2] 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [23]
Sunset at Long Beach Long Beach, New York.jpg
Sunset at Long Beach

As of the census of 2000, [24] there were 35,462 people, 14,923 households, and 8,103 families residing in the city. The population density was 16,594.9 people per square mile (6,398.1/km2). There were 16,128 housing units at an average density of 7,547.3 per square mile (2,909.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.20% White, 6.18% African American, 0.21% Native American, 2.32% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 4.75% from other races, and 2.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.80% of the population.

There were 14,923 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city, the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $56,289, and the median income for a family was $68,222. Males had a median income of $50,995 versus $40,739 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,069. About 6.3% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.


City Manager

City Council

Five Members serve the City Council, currently:

Long Beach City Judge

Emergency services

The city's two emergency services are the Long Beach Police and Fire Departments.


Public schools

The Long Beach City School District serves the city of Long Beach and parts of the Town of Hempstead with one primary high school, one middle school, one prekindergarten, and four elementary schools. They also operate an "alternative" high school at the NIKE missile site on a campus shared with the district's transportation services.

Catholic Regional School Long Beach Cath Sch jeh.JPG
Catholic Regional School

These schools are:

Private schools

Post-secondary education

Public libraries

The Long Beach Public Library serves greater Long Beach with a main library downtown and two branch libraries at Point Lookout and the West End.

Arts and culture

Annual events

In films and television


In literature

(Alphabetical, by author's last name)

  • Boardwalk Stories (2009) is Roslyn Bernstein's collection of 14 linked stories set in Long Beach. Each story is paired with a black-and-white vintage photo of the boardwalk taken by photographer Dr. Kenneth Tydings, a long-time resident. Bernstein grew up in the West End of Long Beach. [27] [28]
  • In his memoir, 700 Sundays (2005), the comedian Billy Crystal describes growing up in Long Beach. [29]
  • In his memoir The NewsBreaker, the producer/journalist Larry Garrison describes growing up here.
  • John Dos Passos' book, The Big Money, mentions weekends spent in Long Beach in the 1920s.[ citation needed ]
  • Images of America: Long Beach, NY (2010), by Roberta Fiore, Carole Shahda Geraci, and Dave Roochvarg for the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society, is a collection of photos and stories of Long Beach, NY. [30]
  • Paul Jackson's book, Our Town, Our Time: Long Beach, L.I., in the 1930s and WWII, is a nostalgic look at Long Beach and a social history of the time. [31]
  • Paul Jackson's book, Scoundrels by the Sea: The Sullied Past of Long Beach Politicians, Swindlers, Bootleggers – and Worse, is filled with stories of the crooked characters from Long Beach woven together with the city's notorious history.[ citation needed ]
  • James Patterson's book, I Funny, is about a boy named Jamie Grimm, who lives in Long Beach and deals with bullies. [32]

In music

  • Long Beach is a beneficiary of 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief. During the event, Billy Crystal talks about growing up in Long Beach. Billy Joel, who also lived on Long Island, performed.
  • Legendary rock icon Joan Jett filmed her music video "Change The World" on the boardwalk.
  • Rapper Lil Peep grew up on Long Beach.
  • Bass Guitarist Schuyler Deale https://www.allmusic.com/artist/schuyler-deale-mn0000272392/credits grew up and graduated from Long Beach High School. Honed his chops with a local instituituon, Primo, writing and playing bass. Toured with The Good Rats, Julian Lennon, Billy Joel and Michael Bolton.
  • Famous musical producer Rick Rubin lived and grew up in Long Beach
  • Football star Scottie Graham grew up and played football for Long Beach High School. Later he played for the NY Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals.


Nicknames and slogans

Notable people

Aerial view

The right section is Long Beach:

panorama Atlantic Beach and Long Beach Aeriel View.JPG

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  2. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved July 23, 2019.
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  21. "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 5/18/15 through 5/22/15. National Park Service. 2015-05-29.
  22. "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 1/26/15 through 1/30/15. National Park Service. 2015-02-06.
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  26. http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/CollegeDetail.jsp?collegeId=1074&profileId=0
  27. "Roslyn Bernstein", Baruch College, CUNY
  28. Bernstein, Roslyn (2009). Boardwalk Stories. New York: Blue Eft Press. ISBN   978-0-9840546-0-2.
  29. Billy, Crystal (2005). 700 Sundays. New York: Warner Books. ISBN   0-446-57867-3.
  30. Roberta Fiore, Carole Shahda Geraci & Dave Roochvarg for the Long Beach Historical and Preservation Society (2010). Long Beach (Images of America Series). New York: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN   0-7385-7258-6.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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