Staten Island Neighborhood Profile: Heartland Village
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During the late 1960's, many houses were constructed in the northern section of the neighborhoodknown as New Springville. By the 1980's, a residential development was constructed here, known as Heartland Village. Since that time, the name Heartland Village has been used to denote the residential housing, as well as the surrounding community. Like most of the neighborhoods in Staten Island, however, the bordering streets of the community are unknown, as some people as some people believe the north-eastern border to be Richmond Hill Road, while others believe Richmond Hill Road to be its south-western border, excluding the Staten Island Mall, while the former would include it.
Since the development was established within New Springville, as you can imagine, it shares much of its past with said neighborhood. During the early twentieth-century, the community was mostly rural. All of that changed in 1964. Once again, the community can be compared to others on Staten Island, as many of the neighborhoods were significantly affected, as well as effected at this time, with the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
As discussed above, the community was established in the late 1960's, following the opening of the bridge. Many other residential communities on Staten Island were also established at this time. In 1971, the Woodbridge Mall opened in New Jersey, attracting many residents of Staten Island to New Jersey. By 1973, the Staten Island Mall, which is understood as being situated within the neighborhood of New Springville, opened to the public. Due to this, more residential development occurred during the 1980's, in the newly established community of Heartland Village.
Using the boundaries which exclude the Staten Island Mall from the communities of Heartland Village, there are still many places to eat and shop within the neighborhood. During the late 1900's, a field still occupied the area to the east of Richmond Avenue and to the south of Travis Avenue. By December of 2000, however, a Barnes & Noble was opened here, at 2245 Richmond Avenue. To the right of the bookstore, you will find the Heartland Plaza Shopping Center, which stretches all the way down to Nome Avenue, along Richmond Avenue.
The Heartland Village Shopping Center, whose rooftops have been renovated, dismissing the awnings, is occupied by twenty-two lots for stores. This includes the Rite Aid drugstore, all the way to the left; an Auto Zone just before the last store, which is currently occupied by Sprint PCS; and many other smaller stores to eat and shop, such as the smoke kiosk and the locksmith kiosk in the parking lot. You will also find some shops going up Nome Avenue; however, these are not a part of the Shopping Center.
Although the community is mostly housing, with many stores within, you may be shocked at what you find in the south-eastern corner of the community. In 1809, a Japhet Alston and his wife, Sarah Decker, purchased the eleven acres of land of which we speak, which they later sold to Lorenzo Decker. Lorenzo's son inherited the home after both his parents had passed away and sold it to Sylvanus Decker, his cousin, in 1876. In 1909, when Sylvanus himself died, the house was passed down to his children, Alberta, Richard and Robert Decker. Being the last descendant of the family, Alberta willed the farm to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1955 to be operated as a farm museum.
Over the years, the Staten Island Historical Society had maintained the farm, after having restored it as an 1830's farm. Until 1999, the site was farmed by Tim Agnostis. For several years after that, many others used the land to grow crops which would be sold to St. George Greenmarket. In January of 2010, however, David Cavagnaro became the general manager of the farm. Since then, Cavagnaro has operated the farm, where he has established a Farmer's Market where people can go to get fresh crops. Throughout the year, special events take place at the farm. For example, in October, the farm is open during the weekends from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. for pumpkin picking. While the farm is owned by Historic Richmondtown, it is not located within the village; otherwise we would not be speaking of it here. The farm's address is 435 Richmond Hill Road.
Due to Heartland Village's proximity to the middle of Staten Island, as well as to the Staten Island Mall, there are a number of buses that will either get you to your destination, or take you to a nearby transfer point without having to go the extra mile. Along Richmond Avenue, you have the s44, s59, and s79. The s44 will take you to the St.George Ferry Terminal or the Staten Island Mall, while the s59 will take you to Port Richmond or Tottenville and the s79 will take you to the Staten Island Mall or into Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. There's also the s61, which takes Forest Hill Road to the St. George Ferry Terminal or to the Staten Island Mall. As for your express buses, you have the x17, on Richmond Avenue, and the x31, on Forest Hill Road. The x17 has three different buses that travel to different parts of destinations depending on the time and day. It will take you into either Lower Manhattan or Midtown Manhattan, by means of the Goethals Bridge. The s31 will take the Goethals Bridge into Midtown Manhattan.
There are a number of conveniently placed schools in the vicinity of the Heartland Village. The public schools are P.S. 69, at 144 Keating Place; the Space Shuttle Columbia School, at 77 Marsh Avenue; P.S. 54, at 1060 Willowbrook Road; I.S. 72, at 33 Ferndale Avenue; the McCown Expeditionary Learning School, at 100 Essex Drive; the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies, also at 100 Essex Drive; the Staten Island Residential Center, at 1133 Forest Hill Road; and Susan E. Wagner High School, at 1200 Manor Road. The nearest Catholic schools are the St. Patrick's School, at 3560 Richmond Road, and Moore Catholic High School, at 100 Merrill Avenue. The Rabbi Jacob Joseph School, at 400 Caswell Avenue, is another private school which is close to New Springville. While these may all be close to home, you must contact your local public school to find out which school your child is zoned for.
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