This series of lectures is drawn from the content of SPLIA’s latest book, Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Early Twentieth-Century Planned Communities.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Please call LIU Post – Hutton House Lectures and Continuing Education with a Mastercard, Visa, AMEX or Discover to charge: 516-299-2580
LOCATION: Lorber Hall (formerly known as Hutton House) on LIU Post’s south campus. Use the east gate entrance off Route 25A. Follow the Lorber Hall signs, which read School of Professional Accountancy, and you will arrive at Lorber Hall. The Hutton House Lectures are held in a beautifully restored mansion, extensively renovated, on the first floor.
Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Early Twentieth-Century Planned Communities
Dr. Robert B, MacKay
Friday, June 19 2015, 10:30am-12noon
The onset of suburban development on Long Island is often believed to be a post-World War II phenomena, but it actually began a half century earlier when greater affluence, improved railroad service, and new methods of financing made the dream of country living a greater reality for a growing urban middle class. Touted as an antidote to the complexities of urban living, these residential parks were characterized by significant investment in landscaping and infrastructure and employed concepts introduced by the Garden City movement in England.
In this talk, Dr. Robert B. MacKay, editor of the new book, Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Early Twentieth-Century Planned Communities, provides an overview of the garden suburb phenomena on Long Island using examples from throughout the region to explore characteristic design and planning experiments while providing insight into the bold characters who shaped these distinctive places.
Dr. Robert B. MacKay is the author and editor of a number of books about Long Island’s history and architecture including the A.I.A. Architectural Guide to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Long Island (1992), Long Island Country Houses and Their Architects, 1860-1940 (1994). He is Chairman of the New York State Board for Historic Preservation and for forty years, until retiring in 2013, was the Director of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities.
The American Utopia: Garden City and the American Garden Suburb
Professor Richard Guy Wilson
Friday, July 17 2015, 10:30am-12noon
Long Island’s Garden City represented a new way of living that emerged during the second half of the nineteenth century. Imbued with the ideal of back to nature with individual houses, the garden type of American suburb became internationally famous. Drawing from the recent publication, Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Early Twentieth-Century Planned Communities (published by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities), this talk will examine the origins of a new type of planned community; how it impacted English suburbs and then came back across the Atlantic as a model for new neighborhoods throughout the country. Attention will be paid to the cultural conditions, planning, landscape and architecture in the period from 1850 to the 1920s.
Professor Richard Guy Wilson holds the Commonwealth Professor’s Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson’s University) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Wilson specializes in the architecture, design and art of the 18th to the 20th century both in America and abroad and is a frequent lecturer for universities, museums and professional groups. He is the author or joint author of sixteen books including Harbor Hill: Portrait of House (2008) and Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village (2009), and has been the curator for major museum exhibitions such as The American Renaissance, 1876-1917 and The Art That is Life: The Arts and Crafts Movement in America.
Country Life in Kensington and Douglas Manor: The Rickert Finlay Company
Kevin Wolfe, AIA
Friday, August 14 2015, 10:30am-12noon
In 1904, just two years after its founding, the Rickert-Finlay Realty Company advertised itself as “the largest developer of real estate in Queens Borough—over 10,000 lots within the limits of New York City.” In fact, the fledgling firm owned more than 1,000 acres from Long Island City all the way out to Great Neck on Manhasset Bay. Rickert-Finlay would prove to be one of the most successful developers of land in the New York area in the early 20th century. This talk will focus on two of their most singular residential developments—Douglas Manor, a romantic assemblage of eclectically styled single family houses on a mile long peninsula facing Little Neck Bay—and Kensington at Great Neck, the most lavish of all, with its own man-made canal, swimming pool complex modeled on Hadrian’s Villa, and 10 acres of Japanese gardens. Mr. Wolfe will examine how these unique developments came to be, their place in the history of suburban development on Long Island, and how they have fared a century later.
Kevin Wolfe, AIA is trained as an architect and landscape architect and has been practicing both disciplines since 1988. Specializing in the renovation and restoration of historic buildings and gardens for contemporary uses, he is active in the historic preservation movement in New York City and is a co-founder of the Douglaston & Little Neck Historical Society. Mr. Wolfe is also an award-winning journalist who writes on architecture, interior design, landscape design and historic preservation. He is the author of This Salubrious Spot—100 Years at Douglas Manor (2006), and the Rickert-Finlay Realty Company chapter in the Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Early Twentieth-Century Planned Communities (2015) published by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities.