One of College Point’s many features that really should be considered by the Landmarks Preservation Commission is Beech Court or Beech Court Circle, located on a cul-de-sac at 121st Street just off 14th Avenue. While such an arrangement — a group of private homes surrounding a central green — is quite popular in the suburbs, this may be the only such occurrence in New York City as a whole.
First a little background on the area: College Point was originally settled by the Native American Matinecocks. The Indians sold much of it to New Netherland Governor William Kieft in 1645. William Lawrence was the first British settler. (College Point Boulevard’s name until 1969, Lawrence Street, honored the Lawrence family.)
Communities known as Strattonport and Flammersberg united to form College Point in 1867. College Point gets its name from St. Paul’s College, founded by 1838 as a seminary by the Rev. Augustus Muhlenberg, the rector of St. George’s Church on Main Street in Flushing. But there is no college in College Point now. St. Paul’s College foundered within a decade, and by about 1850, was converted into an elementary school and then a summer resort.