Rego Park NY History

Rego Park was part of the 74,000 acres of land, called Newtown, chartered to the Reverend Francis Doughty by the Dutch West India Company in 1642. A remote, swampy area with fresh water pools, it was originally called Whitepot. By the mid-1800’s, it became a community of mostly Chinese farmers to support Chinatown in Manhattan.

The Drake Theater, built in 1935, served primarily as a secondary run movie house until it closed in the early 1990's.

The Drake Theater, built in 1935, served primarily as a secondary run movie house until it closed in the early 1990’s.

Rego Park was named in 1923 by the company which began development of the homes and apartment buildings in the 1920’s, Real Good Construction Company. Rego is simply a contraction of “Real” and “Good.”

Rego Park’s main roads included Hoffman Blvd (now Queens Blvd), Trotting Course Lane (now Woodhaven Blvd) and Whitepot Road (now Yellowstone Blvd). Rego Park is bordered by the Long Island Expressway, which was constructed in stages over three decades. Originally opening along with the Queens-Midtown Tunnel in 1940, the road was completed to 61st Street in 1954 and construction continued east to Long Island through the 1960’s and completed in 1972.

Although there are no parks in Rego Park, the NYC Parks department operates numerous playgrounds throughout the neighborhood and residents are a short distance from Flushing Meadows Corona Park,, Juniper Valley Park and Forest Park.

Once a VFW Hall, Lost Battallion Hall is now a vibrant recreation center including fitness facilities and a computer resource center.

Once a VFW Hall, Lost Battallion Hall is now a vibrant recreation center including fitness facilities and a computer resource center.

Located on Queens Blvd is Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center, managed by the NYC Parks Department. Originally a VFW hall built in 1939, this recreational center is named for the heroism of the United States Army’s 77th Division, honoring its service in World War I (1914-1918). Stationed in France, this New York division fought in the Battle of the Argonne. In holding out against a German onslaught with only one day’s rations and using only a carrier pigeon to communicate, the company endured the loss of roughly 107 men. Given the number of casualties lost during the battle, the soldiers are remembered as members of “The Lost Battalion.” The facility has fitness facilities as well as indoor basketball courts, an arts and crafts room and a computer resource center.

Rego Park has a population of about 44,000. It has a large Jewish community and attracts many immigrants from Asia, Middle Eastern Countries and Russia.

Rego Park is 5 miles from Manhattan and is a preferred residence for commuters with quick access via subway, many bus routes and LIRR.

Commerce is vibrant on Queens Blvd, Woodhaven Blvd and 63rd Drive. In addition to great local restaurants, such as Barosa and Bridie’s Bar and Grill on Woodhaven Blvd, many large retailers such as Sears, Old Navy and Bed, Bath & Beyond have a presence on the corner of Queens Blvd & 63rd Drive where the famous Alexander’s department store once stood. In 2010, the Rego Center opened at Junction Blvd and Long Island Expressway with stores including Kohl’s, Home Depot and Costco. Just over the border to Elmhurst stands the Queens Center Mall with over one hundred retailers.