Dennis McEnery to present historical retrospective of Colonial Gardens

The Floral Park Historical Society (FPHS) welcomes the public to its next program, “The History of Colonial Gardens,” on November 4, at 2 p.m. at the Floral Park Recreation Pool Building, Stewart St.

Dennis McEnery, President of the Floral Park Conservation Society, and a member of the Colonial Gardens Park Committee, will present an overview of the development of Colonial Gardens which was always known as “one of the most beautiful spots in the village” according to Across the Years author Edith M. Purcell. 

“The FPHS is fortunate to have a resident who possesses a curiosity about local community history and is a remarkable researcher. Colonial Gardens will no longer be a mystery to the people living in the Hillcrest section of the village. Dennis leaves no stones unturned,” Ann Corbett, President of the FPHS, said. 

Whether a proud owner of a “Colonial Gardens” home, a neighbor who now enjoys “Colonial Gardens Park,” recently installed at the crossroads of Magnolia, Cisney, Adams, Beverly and Revere Drive West, or someone who is curious to learn more about a unique neighborhood within the Hillcrest section of Floral Park and Long Island, this topic should be of great interest.

The presentation will trace the transformation of this last large 13 acre parcel of vacant land on Tulip Avenue from a great hollow originally owned by John Lewis Childs into “an elliptical drive” around an “attractive park” setting. 

Attendees will learn the original “paper names” of the streets which are now the only named “drives” within the entire village.  Colonial Gardens’ development is also very much an “only in America” story, with the great depression years of the 1930s the historical context to its creation. Learn how much these homes which are regularly purchased for well over $500,000 were originally offered for sale in the late1930s. There will be a discussion of some of the unique architectural features of this Hillcrest area and even the role of its unique placement of trees and lighting of the area. There will also be some discussion of the neighborhood’s relationship with the Tulip Hill bowling alley, which now is part of Floral Park’s lore and its demise on “Super Blow Sunday.”

Dennis McEnery has been a Colonial Gardens resident since 1997, the second caretaker family of a classic brick center hall colonial home with slate roofing built by the Hill-Burt Corporation in 1938. He is a member of the planning committee for Colonial Gardens Park, president of the Floral Park Conservation Society, member of the Floral Park Zoning Board of Appeals, the Floral Park Belmont Park Task Force, the Floral Park Third Track Task Force, past chairman of the Floral Park Citizens Party, and member of the Hillcrest Civic Association. Dennis McEnery has previously presented before the Floral Park Historical Society relating to Centennial Gardens Park, which is also located in the Hillcrest section of Floral Park.

 The program is open to public. No admission fee. For more information call Ann Corbett (516)775-6849.

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