Long Beach is one of the older, more established communities on Long Island. Founded in 1880 when the first Long Beach Hotel was built, it continued to grow at a steady pace (the railroad arrived in 1882 promoting Long Beach as a resort community for vacationers). The major attraction in its development was the fact that Long Beach is an oceanfront island along Long Island’ s south shore which has a moderating effect on its climate. Long Beach averages 10 degrees warmer in the winter and 10 degrees cooler in the summer than inland communities on Long Island and New York City. With the ocean on one side and the bay on the other, Long Beach developed as a seaside community.
By the beach on the oceanfront there is a 2 ¼ mile long boardwalk (built in 1914 with the help of some elephants), where, both in winter and summer, one can find strollers, joggers and bicycle riders. A section of the boardwalk is set aside as a bicycle lane and the recent interest in physical fitness has resulted in an increased use of the lighted boardwalk both during the day and at night. The adjacent beach is a 3.5 mile stretch of pure white sand open to the public year round with daily and seasonal rates during the summer (call (516) 431-3890 for information).
The City of Long Beach is one of only two cities on Long Island (the other is Glen Cove). Although geographically within the Town of Hempstead located in Nassau County, Long Beach is politically independent and self-governing. The governing body consists of a five member City Council elected every two years, which appoints a City Manager. Long Beach also elects a Legislator every four years to represent the city on the six-member Nassau County’s legislative body.
The City of Long Beach currently has a population of about 37,000 persons and about 15,000 households spread across two square miles of land surrounded by water. Over 4,000 children attend Long Beach schools. Its two major downtown shopping areas along Park Avenue and along West Beech Street are a hub of activity supported by the strong Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, in existence for over six decades.
The bay side of the community is lined with homes and private docks. Waterfront homes can also be found in an area called the Canals. Man-made extensions were created when canals were dug connecting areas of Long Beach to the bay. In fact, no home is more than a few hundred yards from the water as Long Beach is only ½ mile wide at its widest point.
In terms of housing, Long Beach offers one of the widest ranges of living styles on Long Island. New condominiums, which include all kinds of self-contained recreational facilities, are springing up along a portion of the oceanfront. New homes embodying the latest architectural designs can be seen along with the older gracious dwellings which were built in 1930. Older smaller homes are also to be found throughout the island, which once were seasonal summer homes, but now serve as year round residences. Much of Long Beach is going through revitalization and redevelopment. Part of the down town commercial shopping area along West Park Avenue recently underwent a beautiful facelift, including restoration of the historic train station and the addition of several new shops. Long Beach is also going through somewhat of a housing boom as older buildings are being replaced or recycled into new modern residences both along the shore and throughout the inland parts of the City.
THE CHAMBER'S JOB IS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT. This includes development of industry and trade, handling of civic activities, publicity and public relations for the community, and many others. The variety and scope of activities is virtually unlimited, depending on the needs of the community and the desire and ability of the Chamber to carry them out. The Chamber may aim to increase community payrolls, improve the buying power of its citizens, attract more customers to the trading and retail area, solve city zoning problems, improve the parking situation, and suggest the betterment of the licensing system. The Chamber may also suggest changes and improvements in legislation of the local body, the county, state, and nation, in such matters as taxes.
The Chamber does not carry all this work alone, but often works closely with other organizations and public officials. Its aim is to help all members of the business community--firms and individuals alike.
In some cases, the Chamber works with the city and county government, such as in industrial public relations and development programs. But the benefits to such bodies from such a working together are legion: The know-how of the Chamber and its available manpower and facilities designed especially for such type of work can sometimes do a specialized job that the city and county cannot.