The Village of Lawrence is in the
southwest 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
Inwood, and "The Hewletts", which is made up of the hamlet
Hewlett together with the villages of
Hewlett Bay Park,
Hewlett Harbor and
Hewlett Neck, along with
Old Lawrence is commonly referred to by historians as the "First Hamptons." During the second half of the 19th century, it was a main vacation spot for the rich families of the highest social scale 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 is now today.
Lawrence, or most notably Old Lawrence, was formerly home to a large upper class of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant families that 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
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
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) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.2 km2) of it (17.91%) is water.
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 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.