Queensbridge—which opened in 1939 in Long Island City—is the largest public housing development in North America. It has 3,142 units and houses 7,000 people within the North and South houses. Both of the houses have approximately 3,450 residents.
When management transferred families making more than $3,000 a year to middle-income housing In the 1950s, it changed the racial dynamic of the area forever. Most of those families were white and the families that replaced them were mostly African American and Latino.
The housing development has its own library, and Queensbridge Park is located nearby.
Queensbridge houses became an incubator for some of hip hop’s most well-known artists, including Nas, Nature, Prodigy and Havoc of Mobb Deep, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Roxanne Shante and Cormega.
Brendan Frederick wrote in hip hop magazine XXL, “Since the 1980s, New York City’s Queensbridge Housing Project has been documented perhaps better than any other geographic location.
Starting with super producer Marley Marl’s dominant Juice Crew in the ’80s all the way through ’90s mainstays like Nas, Cormega and Capone, the Bridge has produced the highest per-capita talent of any ’hood.”