Elmhurst Park

Guest writer Rich Wong highlights one of the newest parks in Queens!


Do you remember the Elmhurst gas tanks?

From the Long Island Expressway in Elmhurst, you could see the two giant tanks looming next to the highway.  They were sort of landmarks for many residents and travelers.  “When you see the two gas tanks, go another mile and you are there.”  The tanks were down into the ground when they were full and up when they were empty.

The tanks became obsolete and unused for many years.  They finally razed the 270-foot-diameter tanks in 1996, and the land was rumored for development as a future Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Walmart.  Thankfully, it is now a park!  KeySpan, the owner of the property, sold the land to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for $1.

After an extensive soil replacement project and approval by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the park development proceeded.  During phase-1 of the project, the park was prepared with trees and grass and was kept closed for a year.  In phase-2, the park was re-landscaped with the final design, which included a playground, water park, and walk paths.

This sculptured park incorporates the use of artificial hills to obscure the view and noise of the Long Island Expressway and give the illusion of a bigger park. When you enter from the Grand Avenue entrance, you barely see or hear the trucks rumbling by.

Elmhurst Park

Elmhurst Park

The architects did a wonderful job with three unique play areas for the neighborhood children.  The walk paths are curvy and meander through the whole park.  You will not find a straight (boring) path.

Elmhurst Park

Elmhurst Park

Elmhurst Park

I am just a tiny bit disappointed that we did not get a Walmart in Elmhurst, but the sculptured park serves me and my neighborhood just fine!

Elmhurst Park is bounded by Grand Avenue and 57th Avenue, 74th Street and 80th Street.  There is a single west entrance and two east entrances with ample parking.


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One Response to “Elmhurst Park”

  1. E. Morales Says:

    Elmhurst Park is a wonderful new addition to Queens and the it’s surroundings. My family and I live 2 blocks down from this park, and let me say, it has not only brought a newfound promise to Elmhurst. There was even a movie night last summer, which brought the residents together in a way I have never seen in my time living in Queens, which I have been for the past 4 years.

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