Floral Park is an incorporated village in Nassau County, New York on Long Island. The population was 15,967 at the 2000 census. The village is at the western border of Nassau County, and is located in both the Town of Hempstead and the Town of North Hempstead. The neighborhood of Floral Park, Queens is adjacent to the village.
Notable people associated with Floral Park include composer John Williams (b. 1932), who was born in Floral Park. NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde attended Sewanhaka High School, which is partially in Floral Park. In the Marvel Comics universe, X-Men member Iceman was born in Floral Park. Italian singer Michael Amante also lives in Floral Park.
Jericho Turnpike (New York State Route 25) is a major arterial that dissects the northern end of the village, while Tulip Avenue serves as the main street in the area.
Floral Park has a mayor-council form of government. The current mayor is Phil Guarnieri, and the four-member village board includes trustees Kevin J. Greene, Thomas J. Tweedy, James E. Rhatigan and Mary-Grace Tomecki. Floral Park has its own police force, the Floral Park Police Department which is headed by police commissioner Michael Reid. Floral Park also has a volunteer fire department. The Floral Park Fire Department is led by Chief Frank Wakely, Jr., and assistant chiefs Richard Militello, Everett Ulmer, John Kelleher, and Robert Hayes. The department consists of three engine companies, one ladder company, and one rescue company.
Floral Park has two local political parties: the Citizens Party and the Unity Party. The latter was more recently founded; for several decades the Citizens Party's candidates tended to run unopposed by any other political parties.
The village currently owns and maintains 33 various-sized parks. These range from about , to a full village recreation center with five baseball fields, a roller hockey rink, two handball courts, a pool, and a kiddie pool. Membership is required to use these facilities, and member identification must be produced upon request.
The area that is now Floral Park once marked the western edge of the great Hempstead Plains, and by some reports was initially known as Plainfield. Farms and tiny villages dominated the area through the 1870s when the development of the Long Island Rail Road and Jericho Turnpike cut through the area. Hinsdale had more than two dozen flower farms after the Civil War. The present-day village of Floral Park was once called East Hinsdale.
In 1874 John Lewis Childs arrived in the area to work for C.L. Allen as a seed seller. After building his own seed and bulb business and starting America's first seed catalog business, Childs bought a great deal of land in the area. To promote his own business and the local horticultural industry, Childs named the local streets after flowers and renamed the area Floral Park. The expansion of the Floral Park Post Office and nearby village businesses are attributed solely to the success of Childs' business. When the local Post Office took the name Floral Park, the Long Island Rail Road followed suit by changing the name of the East Hinsdale station to Floral Park in 1888. Formerly part of Queens, Floral Park became part of the new county of Nassau in 1899, and it was incorporated as a village in 1908. Childs served as its first president starting that year.
In 1903 the village boasted more than of Childs' flower beds. The massive volume of his mail order business grew the local post office to such an extent that it drew comparisons with the post offices of Chicago, Baltimore, and Boston.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,967 people, 5,770 households, and 4,258 families residing in the village. The population density was 11,635.9 people per square mile (4,499.9/km²). There were 5,892 housing units at an average density of 4,293.8/sq mi (1,660.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.56% White, 0.46% African American, 0.06% Native American, 3.88% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.38% of the population.
There were 5,770 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.9% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.30.
In the village the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $73,719, and the median income for a family was $87,243. Males had a median income of $56,527 versus $38,592 for females. The per capita income for the village was $31,183. About 2.2% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.8% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.
There are three elementary schools in Floral Park. Two of them, John Lewis Childs School and Floral Park-Bellerose School, are part of the Floral Park-Bellerose School District (the latter school also serves the neighboring village of Bellerose) and Bellerose Terrace. Our Lady of Victory Elementary School is operated by the Roman Catholic Our Lady of Victory parish.