Forest Hills Gardens - A Tudor-Style Time Capsule in NYC

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Living in Forest Hills, New York City is a fairy tale of tucked-away hamlet surrounding by sea of red roofs and abundant greenery. Central Queens by E, F, M, R and LIRR, commute to midtown east only takes 15 mins by public transportation; the fresh air of Forest Park, resident appreciated the chance to have a Tudor style well-built home, their own garden and dog friendly neighborhood. Who can ask for more?

Reef Restaurant - A local gem where they served the Mediterranean diet of southern Europe. The owner /  artist who made the sign, was kind enough to posed for me! Located between Queens Blvd and Austin st on 72nd Ave.
108-02 72nd Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375

Forest Hills Gardens is one of America’s oldest planned communities. Modeled after England’s “garden cities,” originally intended to create an ideal environment that incorporated shared green space with urban convenience for the working classes, the Gardens (as it’s known) is home to about 4,500 residents. The private community is managed by the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, an organization made up of property owners.

This unique community consisting of over 800 free-standing (sadly we lost some of the trees after hurricane Sandy), attached houses, apartment buildings as well as churches, parks and storefronts, dates from 1909, when architect Grosvenor Atterbury and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.–-son of Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect who helped design Central Park–-were commissioned to plan a new town. Though the community lies within the boundaries of one of the world’s most modern and populous cities, it has retained much of its co-operative, idyllic nature. There is a tennis stadium located in Forest Hills Gardens, until 1978, the West Side Tennis Club drew the international spotlight each September for the prestigious U.S. Open Tennis Championship; the stadium was also host to legendary bands like the Who and Chicago. Though the tournament has since moved to neighboring Flushing, the West Side continues to operate as a tennis club.  During summer time, the stadium is home to multiple music performance where famous musician spotted with their band and guitars. 

Atterbury’s love of the Tudor style gave the community the aesthetic that still defines it today. Along the avenues that branch out from Station Square, massive, elegant Tudor-style homes boast towers, spires, Norman-style turrets, fancy brickwork, exposed half-timbers, red tiled clay and gabled roofs, and mullioned windows. The Arts and Crafts style popular in the 1920′s can also be seen in the Atterbury-designed homes.

Visitors to Forest Hills Gardens who find themselves beneath its arched entryway often feel as if they’ve entered a portal to another place and time. The entry plaza, Station Square, with its architecturally stunning manor house fronted by patterned brickwork, topped by a domed tower and surrounded by arcaded walkways, resembles some version of an Anglo-German country manor crossed with a fairytale village. A gracefully curving gate shelters the neighborhood; shared green space anchors it.

The community contains four parks just for residents and their guests. “Mildred Pierce,” a period film for HBO about 1930′s Beverly Hills, starring Kate Winslet, was shot here, and the neighborhood played a central role in the Alfred Hitchcock. The Forest Hills Gardens of today is generally known for offering some of the most expensive residential properties in Queens County. But the neighborhood and its smaller brethren are the only private communities of their kind in the borough. Named “Best Community” in 2007 by Cottage Living Magazine

Just a block or two outside Forest Hills Gardens, Austin Street and 71st Avenue offer restaurants, shopping, and other amenities. A 15-minute walk to the south through the Gardens is Metropolitan Avenue, known for antique shops and a burgeoning foodie scene. Outside these planned communities, Forest Hills offers a mixed bag of houses and apartment buildings of varying architectural styles and sizes. In some areas, wealthy new residents are tearing down older homes and building outsized new “McMansions.” Signs of the unavoidable NYC luxury building boom include the 21-story Windsor, completed in 2005 and consisting of 95 Manhattan-esque luxury apartments. Kennedy House is a huge soaring tower on the north side of Queens Boulevard; there’s a pool on the roof.

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