Arlington Staten Island New York

Arlington, Staten Island: Rich History & Cultural Diversity

Arlington, located on the North Shore of Staten Island, New York City, takes you on an intriguing journey through a rich history and cultural diversity. Its origins trace back to the late 18th century, and over the years, it has experienced numerous transformations, faced challenges, and embraced revitalization. Join us as we delve into the factual aspects that make Arlington a captivating part of Staten Island’s landscape. I personally like this neighborhood, and I believe it has the potential to become highly sought after in the future due to its relative affordability.

Map of Arlington, Staten Island

The Early Days

Arlington’s history begins as part of the town of Northfield, which was officially incorporated in 1788. In these early years, Arlington was characterized by a tranquil, rural landscape with agriculture as its primary occupation.

The Industrial Transformation

The 19th century marked a significant shift for Arlington. Industrial development began to take shape along the waterfront of Kill Van Kull. This transformation was fueled by the opening of the Staten Island Railway’s North Shore Branch in 1886. Arlington station, one of the stops on the line, played a pivotal role in connecting the neighborhood to the broader Staten Island community.

This newfound industrialization attracted a diverse immigrant population to Arlington. Italian and Irish immigrants arrived in significant numbers, making Arlington a melting pot of cultures. They found employment opportunities in nearby factories, docks, and shipyards, such as the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, the American Linoleum Manufacturing Company, and the United States Lines.

Arlington was not only home to European immigrants but also had a thriving African American community. This community established churches, schools, and social clubs, contributing to the neighborhood’s rich cultural tapestry.

Challenges and Resilience

Despite its cultural vibrancy, Arlington faced challenges in the mid-20th century. The neighborhood experienced urban decay and a declining population. A significant blow came in 1953 when the North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway was abandoned, leaving Arlington without rail service. Environmental pollution, crime, and poverty became pressing issues that the community had to confront.

Arlington Today

The late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen significant revitalization efforts in Arlington. These include the construction of new housing developments, renovations of existing structures, and improvements in public services and amenities. The community is striving to regain its former vibrancy and address the challenges that it has faced.


Arlington’s demographics reflect its rich history and transformation. According to, the neighborhood was home to a diverse population. This community showcased a mix of backgrounds, with residents identifying as Black or African American, Non-Hispanic White, Asian, Multiracial, and Hispanic, among others.

From an economic perspective, Arlington encountered certain challenges. The median household income was at levels that were lower than the city average. A significant portion of the population lived below the poverty line, indicating economic diversity within the community.

Education and Transportation

Education in Arlington is facilitated by local schools, including P.S. 44 in Mariners Harbor and I.S. 72 in Heartland Village. Additional nearby institutions include P.S. 22 and I.S. 51. The local high school is Port Richmond High School, which plays a vital role in shaping the education of Arlington’s youth.

Transportation in Arlington is served by several bus routes operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The local bus routes include S40 (Staten Island Mall-St. George Ferry), S46 (West Shore Plaza-St. George Ferry), and S48 (Forest Avenue-St. George Ferry). Limited-stop variants include S90, S96, and S98, while express bus routes to Midtown Manhattan are provided by SIM33 and SIM34. By car, Arlington is accessible via South Avenue and Forest Avenue.

Exploring Arlington’s Attractions

Arlington is not just a place of history and culture; it also offers a range of attractions that reflect its character:

  • Mariner’s Marsh: This wetland area, part of the Staten Island Bluebelt system, provides a habitat for wildlife and plays a crucial role in flood control and water quality improvement.
  • Arlington Terrace Apartments: A public housing complex on Holland Avenue, constructed in 1954, stands out with its distinctive design, featuring curved balconies and brick facades.
  • Mariners’ Harbor Library: Currently under construction on South Avenue, this branch of the New York Public Library will be a state-of-the-art facility with a green roof and a community garden.


  1. Where is Arlington located within Staten Island?
    • Arlington is situated on the North Shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City.
  2. What is the historical significance of Arlington?
    • Arlington was originally part of the town of Northfield, incorporated in 1788. Its history is intertwined with industrial development and a diverse immigrant community.
  3. Who are some notable residents with ties to Arlington?
    • Arlington has been home to noteworthy individuals like jazz musician Randy Weston, civil rights activist Ella Baker, and New York City Councilwoman Debi Rose.
  4. What are some of the challenges Arlington has faced?
    • Arlington experienced urban decay, population decline, and the abandonment of the North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway. Environmental pollution, crime, and poverty have also posed challenges.
  5. How has Arlington undergone revitalization efforts?
    • In recent years, Arlington has seen improvements, including the construction of new housing developments, building renovations, and enhanced public services.
  6. What is the demographic makeup of Arlington?
    • Arlington is a diverse community, with a population of 6,354. It includes individuals of various backgrounds, with a significant percentage of Black or African American residents.
  7. What educational institutions serve Arlington residents?
    • Arlington residents are generally zoned for local schools like P.S. 44 and I.S. 72. The local high school is Port Richmond High School.
  8. How can one travel to and from Arlington?
    • Arlington is served by several bus routes operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), providing convenient transportation options for residents and visitors.
  9. Are there any interesting attractions in Arlington?
    • Yes, Arlington boasts attractions such as the Arlington Marsh, the Atlantic Salt Company, Arlington Terrace Apartments, Arlington Cemetery, and the forthcoming Mariners’ Harbor Library.
  10. What does the future hold for Arlington?
    • Arlington continues to evolve, celebrating its history while looking forward to the future. The community is committed to preserving its heritage while addressing modern challenges and opportunities.


Arlington offers a captivating journey through time, culture, and resilience. Its rich history and diverse demographics make it a unique part of Staten Island’s landscape. As the community continues to evolve, it remains a place where history and culture converge, creating a distinctive and dynamic neighborhood that celebrates its past while looking forward to the future.

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