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Queens Chronicle

The building of PS 164, the Queens Valley School

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Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012 11:00 am | Updated: 11:28 am, Thu May 3, 2012.

Kew Gardens Hills was primarily developed by the Wolosoff Brothers, starting in 1937. After the breakup of the Arrowbrook and Queens Valley golf courses, a floodgate of development occurred all at once.

The problem was the community had everything but a school. With much pressure placed on politicians for one, a school was approved by the planning board in 1946. A site had to be found and developed as much of the best land was already bought for home development. A sand pit that had been overlooked by the developers was found at 77th Avenue and 137th Street and purchased by the city.

On Sept. 19, 1947 State Sen. Seymour Halpern, Deputy Mayor John J. Bennett, Queens Borough President James A. Burke and Dr. William Jansen, superintendent of New York City schools, each picked up a tool and turned over a mound of dirt.

Workers had to toil in the sand to lay a secure foundation to support the building for many months ahead.

Finally in 1949 PS 164 was opened to a budding Baby Boom generation. Among the big names who attended it were popular musicians Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and Fran Drescher of “The Nanny.”

Today PS 164 is known as The Queens Valley School. The area today is the heart of vibrant Jewish life, and the school is still a very desirable one to attend.

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