On May 7, 2013 20 WHSAD sophomores participated in a walking tour of the landmarked Sunnyside Gardens. Sunnyside Gardens is a planned residential development consisting of more than 600 buildings in northwestern Queens. It was designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright for the City Housing Corporation and built between 1924 and 1928. The two Phipps Garden Apartment buildings were also designed by Stein for the Society of Phipps Houses.
The tour was led by the lead researcher for the Landmarks Commission and also the writer of the landmark commission report which officially made Sunnyside Gardens a landmark in 2007.
What makes the neighborhood unique is the unusually large amount of open space. The students learned that when the planners designed the gardens they wanted to create a neighborhood with access to open and green space. They also gave these two story homes acces to shared spaces that could have a variety of uses and would contribute to the sense of community at Sunnyside. For the entire development, the total area of the common gardens is almost six acres.
The students also learned that since the homes are landmarked any major construction must be approved by the landmarks commission. Students were also intrigued by the brick technique used to give aesthetic appeal to the homes in Sunnyside Gardens.