In the early 1800s wealthy New Yorkers crossed the river to escape the city crowds and built mansions and brownstones. Several villages popped up and in 1870 the villages and hamlets of Astoria, Ravenswood, Hunters Point, and Steinway voted to consolidate and become chartered as Long Island City. In 1898 Long Island City officially became part of New York City, as NYC expanded its borders to include what is now Queens.
I took these pictures in what was/is Hunters Point. I think these were built in the 1870's. The historic district is located at 45th ave between 21st and 23rd sts (basically one block).