Gardens of Eden: Long Island's Early Twentieth-Century Planned Communities
Edited by Robert B. MacKay
W. W. Norton & Company (2015)
Reviewed by Tim Keogh
Today, New York’s high-profile real estate developers build high-rise condominiums in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island City. Their massive glass towers offer Gotham’s professional class apartments with floor-to-ceiling windows, gyms and rec rooms, trendy restaurants and organic markets, all just one elevator ride away. But a century ago, Gotham’s bourgeoisie looked beyond the confines of industrial New York, and the most prominent developers built and planned entire communities along rail lines in the expansive farmland of Queens and Long Island. Constructed in the shadow of Gatsby’s ‘Gold Coast,’ these were the fashionable areas of early twentieth century New York, with architecture and community designs that remain appealing today. For those intrigued by the idealism of suburban planning, or the beauty of Tudor or Spanish-style housing, this new book, Gardens of Eden, offers a coffee table-sized collection of rare pictures, along with intriguing narratives for twenty-two of Long Island’s most iconic early twentieth-century suburbs.
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