Long Island City History & Culture
For 28 years, beginning in 1870, Long Island City was independent, formed from the villages and hamlets referenced above. It even had its own mayor. But after its absorption into New York City (which occurred just before the turn of the 20th century), major infrastructure landmarks — the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and the Queensboro Bridge — evidenced its integration with, and close proximity to, Manhattan. Gone or repurposed are the factories representing nationwide companies like Pepsi, Chiclets Gum, and Fisher Electronics, as high-rise residential buildings, film studios, and varied 21st century ventures have emerged to redefine the new LIC. (The Pepsi-Cola sign was designated a New York City landmark in 2016.) Representing the area’s cultural commitment is the Noguchi Museum, which was designed and created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Though its origins date from the 1980s, the 24,000-square-foot facility, which debuted in its current form in 2004, illustrates the area’s robust 21st-century cultural profile. And some of Long Island City’s distinguished 19th-century architecture remains, such as the coveted townhouses of the Hunters Point Historic District.