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Queens Chronicle

Parkway Village was a home to all the world

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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:00 pm

The Colonial-style community situated on 37 acres northwest of where Main Street leaps over the Grand Central Parkway was conceived and built in 1947 to house employees of the new United Nations. The housing was carefully planned and a factor in basing the UN here in New York City. It was called Parkway Village.

The atmosphere of diversity and acceptance at the complex reflects the values that have been a trademark of the borough since the 1657 declaration of religious freedom known as the Flushing Remonstrance.

Four 4.5-room apartments were altered and made into a school building as an experiment in international education living. Seventy students were enrolled. In the geography class a mock post office was set up, helping the children learn the globe and the costs of sending mail around the world. Each year a new experimental class and program was added to the school. It was hailed as a success by the UN.

By the 1960s, as the UN’s staff grew by leaps and bounds, many chose LeFrak City and other locations for subsidized living. Parkway Village went private co-op in 1983. Stamps are no longer the 3 cents they were in 1947, just going up to 45 cents for a first-class letter in an attempt to help save the U.S. Postal Service.

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