The Neighborhood of South Beach

Posted by Tom Crimmins Realty, Ltd. on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 at 1:08pm.

South Beach is a neighborhood on the East Shore of Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, USA. It is situated immediately to the south of the Staten Island side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and directly east of the beach are the two land masses of Hoffman Island and Swinburne Island.


Once referred to as Graham Beach, the area was originally a summer beach colony consisting of many  bungalows and tents. In fact, in the early 20th century, summer homes used to be the dominant type of real estate in South Beach, even with an organized and developed series of homes known as Bungalowtown,

Located nearby was Warren Manor, a residential development that was demolished in the 1950s. It was destroyed because the government had plans for a city university… but their plans never came to reality. Small amusement parks and arcades, such as the Happyland Amusement Park, once operated in the neighborhood, but gradually lost more and more business.


The City of New York built a public housing project in the neighborhood in 1949; it is one of only three such projects found on the island south of the Staten Island Expressway and ten on the entire island.

The neighborhood's main street was originally named Seaside Boulevard, it was proposed due to the fact that the street ran alongside the shoreline, with the South Beach-Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk nearing it on the shoreward side. It was proposed by city-planner Robert Moses and later renamed to be called Father Capodanno Boulevard, after a Roman Catholic priest who lost his life in service during the Vietnam War. Vincent Robert Capodanno was a Roman Catholic priest who was killed in action in 1967 while serving as a chaplain assigned to a Marine Corps infantry unit during the Vietnam War.

The community is largely Italian-American, due to the fact that during the 20th century, large numbers of  Italian-Americans including immigrants, built their homes in the neighborhood.


Two hospitals lie in the neighborhood, one is an acute-care facility, the North Campus of Staten Island University Hospital, and the other is a state-run hospital for the mentally ill, the South Beach Psychiatric Center. In the latter, there have been reports of mysterious deaths of juvenile patients during the later 20th century which contribute to local stories.

What is now the Staten Island University Hospital was later constructed on part of the former Warren Manor property. The Staten Island Hospital was relocated to the site from New Brighton in 1979. Later in 1989, this hospital merged with Richmond Memorial Hospital in Prince's Bay to form Staten Island University Hospital.

Immediately to the east of Staten Island University Hospital is the South Beach Psychiatric Center, a state institution for the mentally ill which opened shortly after the aforementioned hospital did. Wild turkeys appeared on and near the grounds of this facility in the 1990s, and have since multiplied and spread to other Staten Island neighborhoods, having been sighted as far away as West Brighton on the island's central North Shore. In this facility, there have been reports of mysterious deaths of juvenile patients during the later 20th century and contribute to local stories.

Geography and Beach

The southernmost tip of South Beach is called Ocean Breeze. Situated in a low-lying coastal area, Ocean Breeze often experiences the worst flood-related damage in all of Staten Island after heavy rain has fallen, and many of the neighborhood's side streets become impassable. As a result, South Beach was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Because of the flooding that results from the low-lying terrain, the New Creek bluebelt, which collects rainwater after storms, runs through the area.

The recently restored boardwalk area boasts new playing fields, fun fountains, and a clean, lifeguard manned beach, making it a popular destination for the whole family. The 835-foot Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier is one of the longest in New York City. Comfort stations, a shady gazebo, snack bars and a restaurant also dot this beautiful expanse which boasts fantastic vistas. During the summer, South Beach comes to life with concerts, Back to the Beach festivals, and other great events. Since the 19th century, Staten Island's Eastern Shore has been a haven for tourists and beach visitors. The entire shoreline of the beach is a must-see, as well, with its long 2 mile stretch of boardwalk named after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.



South Beach is served by a number of local and express buses. The S78 and S79 SBS local buses and X1, X2, X3 and X9 express buses stop along Hylan Boulevard. The S51, S81 and S52 local buses and X4, X5, X7 and X8 express buses travel along Father Capodanno Boulevard.Two public schools operate currently in the South Beach neighborhood. Firstly, Public School 39 is located at 71 Sand Ln, Staten Island, NY 10305, is named after Francis J. Murphy Jr;  Public School 46 is located 41 Reid Ave, Staten Island, NY 10305 and named after  Albert V. Maniscalco.



South Beach was the terminus of the South Beach Branch of the Staten Island Railway, on which service was halted in 1953;

by the 1980s the tracks of this line had been uprooted, and tract homes now stand on the original right-of-way in most places. Today, Railroad Avenue and the Robin Road Trestle are the only evidence left behind. South Beach was served by the Staten Island Railway's South Beach station until March 31, 1953.


We here at Tom Crimmins Realty, operate on most of the busiest neighborhoods of Staten Island and believe each is equally important as the next with unique attractions to show its residents. If you have any questions regarding South Beach, other regions of Staten Island or are curious about the current market, come visit our office at 304 Manor Road, visit our website, or call us at 718-370-3200.




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