Pleasant Plains, Staten Island : NYC Tourist Guide

Pleasant Plains, Staten Island, in NYC, New York, USA

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Pleasant Plains, Staten Island, New York City

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Pleasant Plains
Pleasant Plains is a neighborhood located on Staten Island, one of the five boroughs of New York City, the largest city in the United States.

Situated on the island's South Shore, Pleasant Plains was apparently given its name by officials of the Staten Island Railroad Corporation, the original owners of what is now known as the 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 (this is one of three points at which the railroad crosses this same street; the other crossing points are just south of the Bay Terrace and Huguenot stations). Eventually, the name "Pleasant Plains" was applied to the community which soon sprung up around the station.

In 1882, a 320-acre (1.3 km) farm east of the railroad station was purchased by the Roman Catholic Church, which established an orphanage on the site. This institution became known colloquially as Mount Loretto, but its official name is the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin. In 1978, 126 acres (510,000 m) on the north side of the property were converted into the Cemetery of the Resurrection by the Archdiocese of New York, which needed to open a new cemetery on Staten Island as most of the burial plots at the island's existing Catholic cemeteries had already been used up. The mission has been the scene of two notable fires: One, in 1973, destroyed its original church (at which a scene from The Godfather had been shot one year earlier), and a March, 2000 fire, believed to have been deliberately set, gutted an abandoned building once used as a girls' dormitory on the eastern side of the property, which had been acquired from the mission by the city government two months prior. In 2004 a 12-acre (49,000 m) tract at the northeastern corner of the mission's property, which had been the site of a convent maintained by the Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, a Franciscan order of nuns, was sold to residential developers for $19 million, despite steadfast opposition from local conservation activists.

The perpetual commercial core of this community centers around the intersection of Bloomingdale Road, Amboy Road & Pleasant Plains Avenue. Like many of the South Shore's old commercial cores, it is experiencing a mild, yet noticeable rebirth.

Still sparsely populated even today, Pleasant Plains was once the home of acclaimed harpist Maud Morgan and a former head of the New York City Opera, Max Maretzek. Gus Farace, a reputed Mafia associate who was murdered in 1989 after allegedly having killed a federal drug-enforcement officer, is buried in the Cemetery of the Resurrection. Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement and founder of the Peter Maurin Farm community on Bloomingdale Road up from Pleasant Plains, is also buried in the Cemetery of the Resurrection.

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