Nat Schneider Triangle

Nathaniel Schneider Triangle

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This triangle commemorates Nathaniel Schneider (1896-1969). Schneider was born and educated in New York City. After graduating from Morris Evening High School, he established Schneider Studios, where he designed and built sets for the Ziegfeld Follies and various other vaudeville acts. Also a magician, he helped create routines for his contemporary and friend, Harry Houdini. Schneider, blessed with the gift of wit, wrote several of radio star Fred Allen’s funniest pieces. Schneider also wrote for the more serious Long Island Daily Star and other local newspapers, and went on to create the Press Association of the American Legion.

Schneider’s business ventures were quite diverse. In addition to his set design and writing work, Schneider was president of the Affiliated Bus Transit Corporation, which had a central Queens route in the 1930s. From 1939 to 1959, he worked as a claims examiner for the North Shore Bus Company. Finally, he owned a printing plant at the corner of 174th Street and Jamaica Avenue.

Politics and civic duty were of the utmost importance to Nat Schneider. He belonged to several Democratic Clubs and in 1933 ran for the State Assembly as the Fusion Party candidate. He was president of the Elmhurst Allied Civic Associations, president of the Forest Hills Homeowners Association, president of School Board 47, and member of the Forest Hills and Kew Gardens Chamber of Commerce. In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt invited Nat, along with his wife Dorothy and sons Bruce and Robert, to attend the opening of the World’s Fair in recognition of Schneider’s contributions to the local community.

During World War I, Schneider served in France as a Sergeant Major of the 102nd Field Artillery. Especially important to Nat was his later involvement in the American Legion. He was commander of Maspeth Post #783, American Legion from 1940-1942, and founded Continental Post #1424, American Legion in 1945 in Forest Hills. Twenty years later, he became the County Commander of the Queens County American Legion.

This triangle, located at the corner of Trotting Course Lane, Polo Place, and Woodhaven Boulevard, is a Greenstreet that is owned by the Department of Transportation and maintained by Parks. Greenstreets is a joint project of Parks and DOT started in 1986 and revived in 1994. Its goal is to convert paved street properties, such as triangles and malls, into green spaces. This site features a flagpole with a yardarm flying the flags of the United States, the City of New York, and Parks. Beneath the flagpole are four imprints set into the cement base. Two depict polo players, while the last pair feature a pack of horses. At each corner of the triangle stand decorative hitching posts, each adorned with a sculpted horse’s head. There are benches here as well to provide a spot for quiet contemplation.

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