The Ridgewood YMCA building was constructed in 1931 and served as the Queens County Magistrate's Courthouse. At the time, the brick and limestone-trimmed building was the first courthouse erected in Queens since 1898. The courthouse shuttered its doors in 1962 and the YMCA of Greater New York purchased the building from the city in 1965 for $50,000. The building is the only one of three courthouses built during that time that is still being used (one in Elmhurst has been demolished; another in Rockaway is abandoned). The Ridgewood YMCA features over 21,000 square feet of state-of-the-art program space, completely modernized with top-of-the-line fitness equipment, health & fitness classes, gym, multipurpose rooms, and new locker rooms.
Ridgewood is the birthplace of several notables including magician Harry Houdini (1874 - 1926), actor James Cagney (1899 - 1986), New York Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto (1917 - 2007), poet and critic Dan Schneider (1965 -), and actress Rosie Perez (1964 - ). Ridgewood has also served as the backdrop for a number of popular motion pictures and television shows including The French Connection (1971), The Wanderers (1979), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), and episodes of HBO's The Sopranos (2006).
Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall's allocation of $1 million in capital funding led a total of $2.64 million in public contributions toward the Ridgewood YMCA renovation project, which was completed in February 2011.
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