On November 12, 2014 a group of juniors from Ms Moos and Mr. O’Brien’s class visited the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, in Sunnyside, Queens. They were escorted by Mr. Geringer and Mr. Fearon. The group met with Mary Beth Betts the director of research of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. They took a walking tour of the historic area built between 1924 and 1935. It began as an alternative neighborhood which attracted low-income workers. Its’ garden-style apartments and other homes are reminiscent of architecture of German and Dutch neighborhoods.
The area spans sixteen blocks and incorporates 600 buildings. Some of the pathways of the planned community took us through common courtyard areas and garden spaces, which were well maintained and remain communal by various court associations. Junior Lenny M. noticed that “the garden walking pathways reminded me of parts of Oregon that I’ve been to.” And Angela H. (also a junior) suggested “a certain part in Maspeth [Queens] reminded me of the muse areas in the center of the Sunnyside Gardens.”
Brick seem to be the most widely used building material when these buildings were built, however some of the brickwork was ornate and in the art deco vein. The last stop was at the Phibbs Garden Apartments, a beautiful collection of buildings at various heights with an entranceway that made us feel that we were in a storybook area of a European town. All in all, it was a tour rich in socio- and architectural finds in a preserved area of Queens, New York.