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Back to the Future in Jamaica

jamaica air train hub queens

Urban geographer Jack Eichenbaum’s walking tour this weekend, “The Future of Jamaica,” will explore what was once the commercial center of Queens. Jamaica rose and fell and is rising again thanks in large measure to the railroad. From the 1870s to the 1960s, Jamaica was the main station for eight Long Island railroad lines. In the mid-20th century, the shift to the private automobile and demographic changes led to Jamaica’s decline.

Many public investments were undertaken to revitalize the community, but it is the Air Train, which Eichenbaum calls “the first decent piece of railroad transportation in Queens in 70 years” that is pulling people back to Jamaica. Back to the future?

The Future of Jamaica, Sunday, September 28, 1:30 p.m. Meet outside LIRR station, S.W. corner of Sutphin and Archer Ave. Take E, J train or LIRR to Sutphin/Jamaica.