Pleasant Plains is a neighborhood located on the south shore of Staten Island, New York City. It is bordered by Woodrow to the north, the Lower New York Bay to the south, Richmond Valley to the west, and Prince’s Bay to the east. The neighborhood Pleasant Plains, Staten Island is represented in the New York City Council by Joe Borelli.
Pleasant Plains has a population of about 5,000 people. It was named by officials of the Staten Island Railroad Corporation, the original owners of what is now known as the MTA Staten Island Railway. When the railroad line was extended to Tottenville in 1860, a station crossing Amboy Road approximately two miles north of Tottenville was named Pleasant Plains. Eventually, the name “Pleasant Plains” was applied to the community that soon sprung up around the station.
History of Pleasant Plains
One of the most notable historical landmarks in Pleasant Plains is the Mission of The Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto, or simply “Mt. Loretto”. It is a Catholic institution that was founded in 1882 by the Reverend John Christopher Drumgoole, who purchased a 120-acre farm from the Bennett family. He started the mission in Manhattan in 1871 originally to aid homeless newsboys. He later expanded the mission to include a boys’ orphanage and a working farm on Staten Island. At one time, it was the largest farm in New York State.
In 1888, Father Drumgooles successor began construction on St. Elizabeth’s Building, a six-story Georgian Style building to be used as a girls’ orphanage with a capacity of 350 children. It was destroyed by fire in March 2000 as a result of arson.
Today, Mt. Loretto is still owned and operated by the Archdiocese of New York. It offers various social services and programs for children, families, and seniors. It also hosts several events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Fall Festival and Christmas Tree Lighting.
Pleasant Plains has several attractions and points of interest for residents and visitors alike.
Mount Loretto Unique Area is a 241-acre state park on the South Shore of Staten Island, New York City. It is partially located in the neighborhood of Pleasant Plains. The park is home to a variety of natural features, including the red clay cliffs, forests, meadows, and wetlands. It is also a popular destination for birdwatching, fishing, and hiking.
Here are some additional facts about Mount Loretto Unique Area:
- The park was established in 1984.
- The red clay cliffs were formed by millions of years of erosion.
- The park is home to a variety of plant and animal life, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and osprey.
- The park is open to the public year-round.
The Church of St. Joachim and St. Anne, part of the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto, had a fascinating history. Initially constructed in 1891, it tragically succumbed to a devastating fire nearly a century later. This iconic church featured in “The Godfather.”
Commissioned by Rev. John Christopher Drumgoole, the founder of Mount Loretto, the church was a grand structure, standing 102 feet tall, 185 feet long, and 85 feet wide. It boasted Gothic architecture, a granite facade, a pure marble altar, and could accommodate 1,000 people. On December 19, 1973, a destructive fire engulfed the church, leaving only four stone walls. These remnants served as the foundation for the smaller-scaled church rebuilt in 1976.
Prince’s Bay Lighthouse, dating back to 1864, features living quarters connected to it. Perched atop the highest part of these remarkable bluffs, it serves as a historical landmark. The lighthouse was built in 1864 and is one of eight extant lighthouses on Staten Island. It is also the second oldest lighthouse in the borough. The lighthouse has attached living quarters, which were built in 1868.
The Prince’s Bay Lighthouse is a prominent and dramatic feature on Staten Island and is a popular destination for visitors. It is also a working lighthouse and continues to guide ships safely into and out of New York Harbor.
The Cemetery of the Resurrection is one of the largest cemeteries on Staten Island, and it does hold a significant place in the community. It is a Catholic cemetery that was established in 1980, and it is located in the Pleasant Plains neighborhood of Staten Island. The cemetery is spread over 126 acres, and it is home to over 42,000 gravesites. It is a place where the community can come together to celebrate the holidays and to participate in other special events.
The World War I Memorial on Staten Island is a beautiful and inspiring tribute to the men and women who served in World War I. Unveiled on June 9, 1923, the memorial is located in Pleasant Plains Plaza, a park in the heart of the Staten Island community. The memorial was designed by sculptor Henry J. Albright, who was inspired by the renowned Winged Victory of Samothrace statue, prominently displayed in the Louvre Museum of Paris. The statue depicts a winged goddess of victory standing on the prow of a ship. She is holding a palm branch in one hand and a wreath in the other.
The World War I Memorial on Staten Island is a similar bronze statue of a winged goddess of victory. She is standing on a globe, with a sword in one hand and a palm branch in the other. The statue is mounted on a granite pedestal, which is inscribed with the names of the Staten Island residents who died in World War I.
The World War I Memorial is a powerful and moving reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women who served in World War I. It is also a symbol of hope and victory. The memorial is a beloved landmark in the Staten Island community, and it is visited by people from all over the world.
Pleasant Plains is a predominantly residential neighborhood with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and apartments. The median home value in Pleasant Plains is $866,067, according to Zillow. The median rent price is $2,300 per month.
Some of the popular neighborhoods in Pleasant Plains include Bloomingdale Park, Maguire Woods, Woodrow Estates, and Pleasant Plains Estates. These neighborhoods offer spacious and modern homes with amenities such as garages, pools, fireplaces, and hardwood floors.
Education in Pleasant Plains, Staten Island
Pleasant Plains is home to several educational institutions, including:
- Small World Preschool
- Ps 3 The Margaret Gioiosa School (Pre-K to 5th grade)
- Ps 6 Cpl Allan F Kivlehan School (Pre-K to 5th grade)
- South Richmond High School – I.S./P.S. 25 (Pre-K to 12th grade)
It is important to note that public school students living in Pleasant Plains are zoned for Tottenville High School. This means that students who attend PS 3 The Margaret Gioiosa School, PS 6 Cpl Allan F Kivlehan School, or South Richmond High School – I.S./P.S. 25 will automatically be enrolled in Tottenville High School when they reach the 9th grade.
However, students in Pleasant Plains do have the option to attend other high schools in Staten Island or New York City through a process called school choice. Students who are interested in attending a different high school should apply through the NYC School Choice website.
Additionally, there are a number of private high schools located on Staten Island, including Staten Island Academy, St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School, and Monsignor Farrell High School. Students in Pleasant Plains are free to apply to any private high school of their choice.
Pleasant Plains is served by the MTA Staten Island Railway (SIR), which runs along Amboy Road and connects to the Staten Island Ferry at St. George Terminal. The SIR operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Pleasant Plains is also served by several local and express bus routes operated by MTA New York City Transit and MTA Bus Company. These include:
- S55: Rossville – Staten Island Mall
- S56: Huguenot – Staten Island Mall
- S59: Port Richmond – Tottenville
- S78: St. George – Bricktown Mall
- SIM25: Eltingville – Midtown Manhattan
- SIM26: Tottenville – Midtown Manhattan
- SIM32: Travis – Lower Manhattan
- SIM33C: Mariners Harbor – Greenwich Village
Pleasant Plains is a charming neighborhood that remains a pleasant place to be after all these years. With its diverse community, rich history, and convenient amenities, there is a reason it has attracted families for generations. Whether enjoying the parks, shopping local businesses, or participating in community events, Pleasant Plains offers an engaged small-town atmosphere despite being in the heart of New York City. It truly has something for everyone while maintaining its tight-knit feel. Pleasant Plains continues to be a great place to call home.
Greetings! I'm Dr. Andrew Stepanov, a passionate explorer of Staten Island's vibrant neighborhoods. Rooted in the heart of the borough as a devoted resident, I've dedicated myself to unveiling the unique history and experiences that define Staten Island. Through my blog, Staten Island Explorer, I aim to share insights into the rich diversity shaping our community. Come join me on a journey to uncover hidden gems, embrace diverse cultures, and revel in the beauty that makes Staten Island a place I am truly honored to call home.