Horse Brook (Queens)

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Horse Brook is a buried stream located in the neighborhood of Elmhurst in the New York City borough of Queens. Its historic course flows beneath Queens Center Mall, Rego Center Mall, LeFrak City, and the Long Island Expressway, before emptying into Flushing Creek in present-day Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.[1] Flushing Creek is a tributary of the East River.

Horse Brook's headwaters were near Kneeland Avenue and Codwise Place.[2] Horse Brook was first mentioned at an annual town meeting in 1662, where it was voted that “whosoever has cats or dogs or hogs lying dead in any place to offend their neighbors they must bury them or throw them into the creek.”[3][4]

The only remaining traces of Horse Brook today are the mega-blocks on the map that avoided development in the early 20th century, remaining vacant until the 1960s. Examples include the Queens Center Mall and LeFrak City.[5] A small park called Horsebrook Triangle in Elmhurst marks the approximate location of the buried stream.[2]


  1. ^ "HORSE BROOK, Queens | | Forgotten New YorkForgotten New York". Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Horsebrook Island Highlights - Horsebrook Island : NYC Parks". Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  3. ^ Seyfried, Vincent “Corona: From Farmland to City Suburb (1650-1935)” Edgian Press 1986
  4. ^ Seyfried, Vincent “Elmhurst: From Town Seat to Mega-Suburb (Queens Community Series)” 1995
  5. ^ Kadinsky, Sergey (2016). Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. Countryman Press. pp. 122–131. ISBN 978-1-58157-566-8.

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