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East Elmhurst residents to hold a ceremony Friday for ‘Giant Rock’

Giant Rock

Oct. 19, 2017 By Tara Law

A very large rock in East Elmhurst will be re-christened “Giant Rock” this Friday.

The 1,000-ton rock is five feet high and 11 feet wide and is believed to be about 12,000-years old. It currently sits in a parking lot between LaGuardia Plaza Hotel and Hampton Inn LaGuardia Airport by Ditmars Boulevard.

The decision to re-christen the rock came after a misunderstanding between residents and hotel employees, according to Kevin Breen, the director of sales at the two hotels.

The issue emerged a number of years ago when employees of the two hotels had a competition to name it. The name that won was “Pet Rock.”

When the Corona-East Elmhurst Historic Preservation Society learned about the competition, it contacted the hotels to let them know that the rock already had a name— The Giant Rock.

Breen said that the hotels had no idea that the rock held such significance in the community. He said that according to community lore, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his brother played on the rock as children.

“There was certainly no ill intent on the hotels’ part,” said Breen.

Developers have tried to get rid of the rock since hotel construction began in the area around 1980. However, the community has prevented attempts to detonate or move it.

The rock contains pinkish white crystals of potassium feldspar and grains of the minerals quartz, biotite, muscovite, tourmaline, and garnet.

Politicians, the Corona East Elmhurst Historic Preservation Society, community leaders, and hotel employees will rededicate the rock and install a plaque at a ceremony at LaGuardia Plaza Hotel at 2pm near 104-04 Ditmars Boulevard.

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Pere C.

The late 60s, early 70s the Rock use to be the place to go. My parents use to have picnics in that park, and the Rock was there as an old friend.


The rock is an allochthon carried to its present location by a glacier during the last ice age. 12,000 years is how long (give or take) its been in its present location, not its age. Please fact check before publishing.

Jihad Muhammad

We played around the Giant Rock for years as children’s to it holds a great significant in our lives great childhood memories at Glen Cooper YOU know what I mean and get in touch with me on facebook Jihad Muhammad used to be Jonathan Jones

Sandra Jennings-Russell

We lived around the block from the “giant rock”, so we played there many times with our dog. At the time, it was on a big vacant lot, like a little forrest that we could explore…Mother Nature’s playground. Climbing to the top of the “big rock” was always part of the fun. Then, we’d run over to LaGuardia airport and go up to the observation area on the top floor to watch the planes land and take off.

Suzanne Langford

Absolutely Glen, couldn’t have said it any better. Most of us can identify w/ that feat & victory of climbing (conquering) the “Giant Rock” I was always intrigued by nature, wild life, & the well that most of us (as children) knew existed & had enough common sense to stay away, even though we did hear rumors of someone falling in back in the early 60’s. Yes, many stories & positive memories. Thanks to All that made it possible ??

Glenn Cooper

I can’t speak for the folks 40 years old and below but for the 50 and above crowd “The Giant Rock” was a rite passage. I won’t get into all the incidents that occurred at that location but it was the one place in the neighborhood where you could commune with nature, test your pugilist skills, your ability to run quickly through the woods, or the limits of your courage all in the same breath. Lots of history there. Glad to hear it’s being preserved for posterity.

Joan M Simmons

Hooray! I was so bewildered when I irst saw the plague ” Pet Rock”, no the Giant Rock has too many great memories for the Resident if East Elmhurst. Thank you to all ?


I don’t Joan, Pet Rock is a really cute name for a plague. It’s better than the Black Death.


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