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Westerleigh


Current Events

In April 2008, 75 blocks in Westerleigh were down-zoned to protect the historical neighborhood and prevent the construction of new semi-detached homes. "Westerleigh is a beautiful historic neighborhood and we were at risk of losing that without this rezoning. I'm pleased that the city finally heard the message from the community and my colleagues in government that we needed to protect the character of our neighborhood," said Congressman MacMahon.*


Geography

Located in the northwest quadrant of the borough, Westerleigh is bounded in the east by Jewett Avenue, the west by Crystal Avenue, the south by Watchogue Road and to the north by Ravenhurst Avenue.
Westerleigh occupies high ground on Staten Island, which itself contains the highest point of land from Maine to Florida along the eastern coast of the United States, Todt Hill at 400 feet (120 m) above sea level. While not as high as Todt Hill, from certain vantage points Westerleigh affords views of Newark, New Jersey and further afield on a clear day. The neighborhood has an abundance of coniferous and deciduous trees; including acacia, blue spruce, cedar, chestnut, elm, honey locust, royal oak, pin oak, sweet gum, sycamore, yews and many types of pine, some of which reach 75 feet or more in height.

History

Westerleigh first attracted notice when a temperance group, the National Prohibition Campground Association, bought 25 acres (10 ha) of land there in 1877, and named the property Prohibition Park - noted chiefly today for the fact that the official climate records for Staten Island are compiled at the site. Many of the local streets are named after early leaders of the Prohibition movement (Neal Dow, Clinton B. Fisk), or for states that supported anti-liquor laws (such as Maine and Ohio).

Some of Westerleigh's earliest residents excelled in letters, including Isaac Funk, co-founder of Funk and Wagnalls, and poet Edwin Markham. Heiress Amy Vanderbilt also once lived there, as does minor b-movie actor Brian "the Duke" Crimmins.

One of the oldest Boy Scout groups, Troup #2, was formed in Westerleigh, and still operates out of the Immanuel Union Church on Jewett Avenue. Westerleigh is also home to the oldest tennis club in the US, tennis having been introduced to the US (from England, via Bermuda) at the home here of Mary Ewing Outerbridge. She played the first game in the US at the Staten Island Cricket Club on an hourglass shaped court. The location, on College Avenue, still sports a tennis court. Westerleigh Park acts as the unofficial heart of the North Shore neighborhood.

*http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/04/downzoning_gets_final_ok_in_st.html
Westerleigh, Staten Island. (2009, January 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:28, January 25, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Westerleigh,_Staten_Island&oldid=264188835
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