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The Early Years
The Stewart-era Apostle House
Relocation of Apostle House
Restoration and Future Plans
Historical Society Officers
Board of Directors Meetings and "Contact Us"

History of Garden City Historical Society

With the first crash of the wrecking ball into the façade of the Garden City Hotel, Long Island, New York's premiere hotel servicing notable individuals from around the world, and the community’s third hotel on the Stewart Avenue property, a small group of onlookers vowed to preserve the architectural and historical heritage of their village. Two years later in 1975, seven residents banned together to form the Garden City Historical Society. They held the first meeting on November 17, 1975 and filed for a provisional charter from the New York State Board of Regents.

The Early Years

The next three years saw the Society increase its original 138 membership several fold, and pursue a campaign of historical awareness through lectures and presentations, and an education program for school children. A 26-member committee catalogued the 54 Stewart-era houses remaining in the Village and succeeded in having them listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Society commissioned the sculpting of a bust of Charles Lindbergh, which is permanently displayed in the Garden City Public Library, and began exhibiting yearly in the library’s main showcase. Members encouraged interest in the magnificent Cathedral of the Incarnation, and taped community resident interviews. The Society also secured republication rights to the pictorial history book of Garden City written by former Village Historian Mildred Smith.

The Stewart-era Apostle House

In 1975, the Episcopal Diocese donated the home it owned at 89 Fifth Street to the newly formed Society. The house, one of 9 identical homes known as “Apostle Houses,” was built in 1872 as part of Alexander T. Stewart’s visionary planned community of Garden City. In 1892 the Diocese built St. Mary’s School next door to the home. For a time, the building, which never served as a private residence, housed classes and offered boarding for faculty. In 1902 when St. Mary’s expanded its facility, the house was moved across Cathedral Avenue on Fifth Street. In the late 1970s and early 80s, Society members restored the home, planted Victorian gardens and held meetings there.

Relocation of Apostle House

In July 1988, the Society’s “Apostle House” was moved to its current location on Eleventh Street, thanks to the generous offer from the Village of Garden City to provide the site. Five years later, the Society discovered the home had been deregistered from landmark status because of the move, and renewed the process to effect its listing. In the mid-1990s, the Village provided additional land to the east and north to accommodate the current driveway off Eleventh Street.

Restoration and Future Plans

In the footsteps of A.T. Stewart, after completion of partial interior renovations and restoration in September 2005, the Society's Board of Directors opened the "Apostle House" as The Garden City Historical Society Museum, exhibit hall and meeting place. As part of those renovations, a fire sprinkler and fire and smoke alarm systems were installed, restoration was completed on the main floor, and an Archives and administrative office were created on the second floor. The Society continues to seek preservation of historic property and artifacts within the Village, offer educational presentations, and increase awareness of Garden City’s unique heritage.

 

Historical Society’s Officers

President Albert Intreglia was installed in June 2011. He served on the Society's Building Committee, handling many operational and maintenance aspects of the historic structure, which houses The Garden City Historical Society Museum. He has also served on numerous committees.

Vice President Mary Mahoney has been a member of the Board of Directors for several years and has organized and participated in many events, including the December "Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes," the A. T. Stewart Flea Market, and the Events Committee.

Recording Secretary Gloria Jones joined the Historical Society Board in 2005. She’s a longtime resident who recognizes the importance of preserving Garden City’s history and raising awareness among young people and residents about our shared heritage.

Corresponding Secretary Beth Watras has been a Garden City resident since 1994. She has actively participated in numerous Historical Society Committees, including the Worth Trunk Sales and the Candlelight Walking Tours of Historic Homes in December.

Treasurer Maureen Traxler has been volunteering for The Garden City Historical Society Museum since 2001. She has served on the Archives and Acquisitions Committee, Flea Market, Events Committee, and Marketing and Communications. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2003.

Board of Directors Meetings and Contact Us

The Historical Society’s board of directors meets on the second Thursday of each month. For further information, contact us at thegardencityhistoricalsociety@verizon.net or mail requests to Garden City Historical Society, P.O. Box 179, Garden City, New York 11530-0179.

 

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