Began at the end of the 19th century as a small cluster of fishing cottages and a hotel, Howard Beach transformed into an upper middle class neighborhood with wide streets and mini-mansions after World War II. Geographically, it is in a very scenic and secluded position if one overlooks the sixth busiest airport in the country—JFK—directly to the east. Most of Howard Beach overlooks Jamaica Bay and is buffered by creeks and inlets. The Belt Parkway and Nassau Expressway cut it off from the rest of Southern Queens to the north. Perhaps because of these well-defined borders it is one of the most racially segregated areas in the borough and has an 85% white population. There is a wide variety of single-family homes set on a very flat, artificial terrain reclaimed from the sea. Mostly built in modest mid-century styles (raised ranch, split-level, etc.), these houses have acquired a traditional and/or decorative overlay that integrates them into the Queens vernacular.