Lawrence, Nassau County, New York

Village in New York, United States

Lawrence is a village in Nassau County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the village population was 6,483.

The Village of Lawrence is in the southwestern corner of the Town of Hempstead, adjoining the border with the New York City borough of Queens to the west and near the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Lawrence is one of the “Five Towns”, which consists of the villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst, the hamlets (unincorporated areas) of Woodmere and Inwood, and “The Hewletts”, which is made up of the hamlet of Hewlett together with the villages of Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor and Hewlett Neck, along with Woodsburgh.[4]

Old Lawrence[edit]

Old Lawrence, or Back Lawrence, is a part of the Village of Lawrence, comprising many large homes, mansions, beach side villas and former plantations with very large property, a few dating back to the time of the American Revolution. This area, like Hewlett is unique because its rural affluence is similar in character to the more well known Gold Coast of the North Shore instead of being more urbanized like the rest of the South Shore of Nassau County. An interesting pre-Revolutionary home on Long Island, Rock Hall, was home to two prominent families, the Martins and Hewletts, and is now an active museum.[5]

Beginning in 1869, a railroad line was completed which originated in New York City and ran through the part of Long Island now called The Five Towns. Part of the land in that area was acquired by three brothers with the surname “Lawrence,” which is who the Village was eventually named after. During the second half of the 19th century, it was a main vacation spot for the wealthy families until the 1890s. A series of hurricanes and nor’easters altered the coastline considerably and destroyed a large beachfront hotel. Lawrence could no longer boast direct access to the sands along the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time, Lawrence began to become more like a modern suburb, a village with schools, public facilities, better roads and a large town area that expanded into what it is now today.[5]

In 1897, Lawrence incorporated as a village.[5] This enabled it to gain local control of zoning.[5]

Lawrence, or most notably Old Lawrence, was formerly home to a large upper class of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant families who lived there since the time of the American Revolution. From the 1940s to 1980s, it became a center of Reform and Conservative Jewish life that included the largest Reform synagogue on Long Island (Temple Israel). Many noteworthy residents grew up in Lawrence during this period.

In the late 1980s, it saw a large migration of Modern Orthodox Jews. The Orthodox Jewish communities are close to the more Haredi nearby center of Far Rockaway which has more yeshivas for the children and younger members as well as a variety of kosher restaurants and communal organizations. Central Avenue in Lawrence (and its continuation in Cedarhurst) has a large and growing number of kosher restaurants and other business catering to the Orthodox community.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.1 km2), of which 3.8 square miles (10.0 km2) is land and 0.8 square mile (2.2 km2) (17.91%) is water.[6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 626
1900 558 −10.9%
1910 1,189 113.1%
1920 2,861 140.6%
1930 3,041 6.3%
1940 3,649 20.0%
1950 4,681 28.3%
1960 5,907 26.2%
1970 6,566 11.2%
1980 6,175 −6.0%
1990 6,513 5.5%
2000 6,522 0.1%
2010 6,483 −0.6%
2019 (est.) 6,556 [3] 1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 6,522 people, 2,113 households, and 1,629 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,694.6 people per square mile (654.1/km2). There were 2,287 housing units at an average density of 594.2 per square mile (229.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 95.2% White, 1.1% African American, <0.1% Native American, 1.7% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.

There were 2,113 households, out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.7% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.9% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.09 and the average family size was 3.62.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 32.6% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 20.3% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $104,845, and the median income for a family was $129,779. Males had a median income of $99,841 versus $41,094 for females. The per capita income for the village was $51,602. About 4.3% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.2% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.


The Village of Lawrence is governed by an elected Mayor and Board of Trustees. The present Mayor is Alex H. Edelman, elected in 2014. The Board of Trustees consists of 5 members including the Mayor. Members of the Board of Trustees are as follows:[9]

  • Alex H. Edelman – Mayor
  • Michael A. Fragin – Deputy Mayor
  • Syma F. Diamond – Trustee
  • Uri Kaufman – Trustee
  • Daniel J. Goldstein – Trustee

Lawrence recently enacted term limits for the Village Board. The Mayor may only serve three two year terms and trustees are limited to four two year terms.

Representation within wider government[edit]

  • Township – Town of Hempstead, Councilman Bruce Blakeman.
  • County – Nassau County, Laura Curran, County Executive
  • New York State Legislature – Senate, 9th District, Todd Kaminsky, Senator
  • New York State Legislature – Assembly, 20th District, empty, Assemblywoman Melissa “Missy” Miller (R)
  • United States Congress – New York’s 4th district, Kathleen Rice, Representative


The Lawrence Public Schools, School District 15, serve the communities of Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, Inwood, Lawrence, and sections of Woodmere and North Woodmere.

The Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, is a K-12 Modern Orthodox school where students study Jewish and secular subjects in a dual curriculum. The Pre-School, Kindergarten and Elementary schools are located on one campus on Frost Lane and Washington Avenue.

The Brandeis School is a conservative Jewish Day School located in Lawrence.

Mesivta Ateres Yaakov is a yeshiva located in Lawrence.

Rambam Mesivta is also located in Lawrence on Frost ave. It is for grades 9-12 where students learn a dual curriculum of Jewish and Secular studies.

Lawrence is also home to the Shor Yoshuv Institute, a Rabbinical College with several hundred students.


The Lawrence station provides Long Island Rail Road service on the Far Rockaway Branch to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn with connections at Jamaica to other parts of Long Island.

The n31, n32 buses of Nassau Inter-County Express run down Central Avenue extending southwest into Far Rockaway (with a connection to the A train of the New York City Subway at Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue) and northeast to the Hempstead Transit Center in central Nassau County with connections to other parts of Long Island.

Lawrence is connected to Atlantic Beach to the south, across Reynolds Channel via the Atlantic Beach Bridge.

Emergency services[edit]

The Nassau County Police Department provides police services in Lawrence and most of Nassau County. Lawrence is part of the force’s Fourth Precinct.[10]

Lawrence is served by the EMS group named Hatzalah of Rockaway Lawrence (RL)

Lawrence is served by the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department. The LCFD consists of 85 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians[11] and provides fire protection to the villages of Lawrence and Cedarhurst, as well as the North Lawrence Fire District and East Lawrence Fire District. The LCFD also responds to alarms such as car accidents and aided cases on the Atlantic Beach Bridge.

Notable people[edit]

Notable current and former residents of Lawrence include:

  • Ben Ashkenazy (born 1968/69), American billionaire real estate developer[12]
  • Stuart Beck (1946-2016), lawyer and diplomat for Palau who helped negotiate the Compact of Free Association, which established Palau as an independent nation in free association with the United States in 1994.[13]
  • Bruce Blakeman, First Presiding Officer of the Nassau County Legislature
  • Benjamin Brafman (born 1948), criminal defense attorney
  • Beatrice Burstein (1915-2001), first female New York State Supreme Court Justice on Long Island, prominent public servant
  • John Burstein (born 1950), children’s television personality who created the character Slim Goodbody.[14]
  • Karen Burstein (born 1942), politician and former judge who was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for New York State Attorney General in 1994.[15]
  • Michael Cohen (born 1966), personal attorney for Donald Trump, was raised in Lawrence.[16]
  • Marc Stuart Dreier (born 1950), lawyer convicted for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme.[17]
  • Bill Etra (1947-2016), live video pioneer and the co-inventor (with Steve Rutt) of the Rutt/Etra Video Synthesizer.[18]
  • Rockie Gardiner (c. 1938-2008), psychic, was raised in Lawrence.[19]
  • Henry Hill and his wife, Karen (the subjects of the film Goodfellas) moved in with Karen’s parents when the Hills were newlyweds.
  • Jacob H. Horwitz, (1892-1992), businessman, philanthropist and a fashion innovator who was one of the first to specialize in junior miss and teenage clothing.[20]
  • Donna Karan (born 1948), fashion designer[21]
  • Arthur Kopit (1937–2021), playwright, best known for Wings, Nine and Oh Dad, Poor Dad.
  • Arthur L. Liman (1932-1997), lawyer and Chief Counsel for the Senate Iran-Contra hearings.[22]
  • Peggy Lipton (1946-2019), actress best known for her role in The Mod Squad[23]
  • Steve Madden (born 1958), shoe designer[24]
  • Nancy McCartney, third wife of Beatle Paul McCartney lived in Lawrence with her first husband Bruce Blakeman.
  • Alana Newhouse (born 1976), editor of Tablet Magazine[25]
  • Aaron Russo (1943-2007), movie producer, libertarian
  • Israel Singer (born 1942), rabbi and professor who has held leadership posts in several international Jewish organizations
  • Maxine Stuart (1918-2013), actress.[26]
  • Spencer Suderman (born 1966), Airshow pilot and Guinness World Record holder[27]
  • Bradley Tusk (born 1973), founder of Tusk Strategies, a political and strategic consulting firm based in New York City.[28]
  • Rob Weiss, director/producer of Amongst Friends and Entourage[29]
  • Leslie West (1945-2020), of the hard rock group Mountain.[30]
  • Lil Tecca (born 2002), Hip hop and trap artist.


  1. ^[dead link]
  2. ^ “2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b “Population and Housing Unit Estimates”. United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Barron, James. “IF YOU’RE THINKING OF LIVING IN: FIVE TOWNS”, The New York Times, July 10, 1983. Accessed May 20, 2008. “The basic five are Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Hewlett and Inwood. But the area also includes some unincorporated communities and two tiny villages, Hewlett Bay Park and Woodsburgh, that are not added to the final total.”
  5. ^ a b c d Winsche, Richard (October 1, 1999). The History of Nassau County Community Place-Names. Interlaken, New York: Empire State Books. ISBN 978-1557871541.
  6. ^ “US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990”. United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ “Census of Population and Housing”. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ “U.S. Census website”. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ Village of Lawrence Website. Archived from the original on 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  10. ^ 4th Precinct Archived 2007-08-18 at the Wayback Machine, Nassau County Police Department. Accessed August 20, 2007.
  11. ^ Lawrence Cedarhurst Fire Department, Accessed March 9, 2008.
  12. ^ “Ben Ashkenazy | TRD Research”. 14 March 2019.
  13. ^ Roberts, Sam. “Stuart J. Beck, American Who Helped Guide Palau Into Nationhood, Dies at 69”, The New York Times, March 1, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2016. “Stuart Jay Beck was born on Dec. 23, 1946, in Manhattan, the son of Martin F. Beck, a radio broadcasting executive, and the former Lorraine Hills. He was raised in Brooklyn and on Long Island, in Lawrence.”
  14. ^ Klemesrud, Judy. “This Song and Dance Routine Is Really a Class in Anatomy”, The New York Times, April 16, 1975. Accessed July 13, 2017. “And he is ‘Mr. Slim Goodbody’, a 25‐year‐old singing, dancing, one-man anatomy class…. His real name is John Burstein, and he is the self-styled ‘black sheep’ of his achievement‐oriented family of six children from Lawrence, L.I.”
  15. ^ Fisher, Ian. “Burstein Brings an Edge to Attorney General’s Race”, The New York Times, August 7, 1994. Accessed March 2, 2016. “Ms. Burstein, the oldest of six children, grew up in Baldwin and Lawrence, L.I., and attended the Woodmere Academy, becoming the school’s first female president of the student body.”
  16. ^ Josh Nathan-Kazis (July 20, 2015). “Meet Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s Jewish Wingman”. The Forward. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  17. ^ Burrough, Bryan. “Marc Dreier’s Crime of Destiny”, Vanity Fair (magazine), September 29, 2009. Accessed July 13, 2017. “Marc Stuart Dreier was born in 1950 and grew up in Lawrence, Long Island, one of the fabled, affluent ‘Five Towns’.”
  18. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. “Bill Etra, Inventor Who Helped Make Video an Art Form, Dies at 69”. The New York Times, September 1, 2016. Accessed September 4, 2016. “William Etra was born in Manhattan on March 27, 1947, and grew up in Lawrence, N.Y.”
  19. ^ Gardiner, Jeremy; and Stavola, Kristen. “Rockie Ascendent: A Farewell to Our Favorite Stargazer”, LA Weekly, November 5, 2008. Accessed September 4, 2016. “Rockie was born in Brooklyn and raised in Lawrence, on Long Island.”
  20. ^ “Jacob H. Horwitz, 100, Innovator In Fashion and Hospital Founder”], The New York Times, October 14, 1992. Accessed August 29, 2019. “Jacob H. Horwitz, a fashion innovator who helped to create “junior miss” clothing and a philanthropist who was a founder of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, died on Sunday at his home in Lawrence, L.I. He was 100 years old.”
  21. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence. “Interview; Her Winning Way With Fashion”, The New York Times, October 16, 1977. Accessed September 15, 2008.
  22. ^ Haberman, Clyde. “Arthur L. Liman, a Masterly Lawyer, Dies at 64”, The New York Times, July 18, 1997. Accessed September 4, 2016. “Arthur Lawrence Liman was born in New York City on Nov. 5, 1932, and grew up in Lawrence, on Long Island.”
  23. ^ Berkvist, Robert. “‘Bored? Creatively I’m Bored, But…'”, The New York Times, March 19, 1972. Accessed March 2, 2016. “She wrinkles her nose at her affluent upbringing (‘upper middle-class Jewish’) in Lawrence, Long Island, and notes that he father a well-to-do lawyer, helped her break into modeling when she was 16.”
  24. ^ “BRINGING IT BACK HOME. Steve Madden’s new ad campaign focuses on his fashion center – Queens” Archived 2009-02-12 at the Wayback Machine, Dominguez, Robert, Daily News (New York), October 19, 2006; Accessed September 15, 2008
  25. ^ Newhouse, Alana. “Immaterial Girl; Madonna, Kabbalah, and me”, Tablet (magazine), December 28, 2005. Accessed July 13, 2017. “Alana Newhouse grew up in a Modern Orthodox community in Lawrence, Long Island.”
  26. ^ Fox, Margalit. “Maxine Stuart, 94, Dies; Acted on Stage, Film and TV”, The New York Times, June 17, 2013. Accessed July 13, 2017. “Maxine Shlivek was born on June 28, 1918, in Deal, N.J., and reared in Lawrence, on Long Island, and Manhattan.”
  27. ^ “Most inverted flat spins in an aircraft”. Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  28. ^ Barkan, Ross. “The Manchurian Consultant: Why Bradley Tusk Is Waging a One-Man Battle to Unseat the Mayor”, The Village Voice, July 26, 2016. Accessed September 4, 2016. “Tusk grew up in Lawrence, a village in Nassau County, and spent time after law school working for Senator Charles Schumer.”
  29. ^ “FILM; ‘Amongst Friends’ Tops Off a Journey Of Self-Discovery”, Lyall, Sarah, The New York Times, July 18, 1993; Accessed September 18, 2008
  30. ^ Fischler, Marcelle. “Nascent Hall of Fame to Welcome First Honorees”, The New York Times, October 15, 2006. Accessed September 4, 2016.

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