Thursday, June 21, 2007

Forest Hills Gardens named #1 cottage town

From Cottage Living magazine:

This is the model cottage community, designed almost a century ago and emulated ever since.

Our Top 10 Cottage Communities for 2007

Forest Hills Gardens—not to be confused with nearby Forest Hills—is a small community (142 acres) laid out in 1910 by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the premier landscape designer of his era. In the United States, Forest Hills Gardens is the granddaddy of what might be termed the planned, pedestrian-scale community.

Photo from Cottage Living

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, a great neighborhood, but sad in that they remain aloof from the preservation movement (as sad as it is today).

As a matter of fact, its sucks (both their attitude and the state of NYC preservation).

Jennifer said...

I hope it stays this way and the builders don't get to it!

rego-forest preservation council said...

The Forest Hills Gardens Association imposes strict guidelines in which repairs must respect the historic fabric of the community. One homeowner hoped to modify their home in a way that would be selfish to the cohesiveness of the community. The owner was taken to court, and lost. The Association claims their regulations, which I believe are based on deed restrictions/restrictive covenants, are more powerful than that of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

I am extremely thankful that the legacy of the Forest Hills Gardens is preserved, and it continues to remain a crown jewel of Queens & the country to this very day! I coin it "Urban planning at its best!"

Anonymous said...

In this neighborhood, we are certain that developers such as Frank Baharestani won't have a chance. Let him go back to his rug business, instead of leaving a crap trail all over the rest of Forest Hills.

Anonymous said...

I believe the original deed restrictions set up by the Russel Sage Foundation that built Forest Hills Gardens forbidded Jews from living there ! (Any word on this) ?

Of course these would be now considered illegal null and void !

So much for the exclusionary "Utopian" dreams of earlier times in this "model" elite cottage community enclave!

Sometimes our "pretty" history includes an uglier side!

Anonymous said...

Yea, they are protected, but so what?

The point is that as Queens falls apart around us the attention that they pay to their little enclave will be pointless.

An island in a sea of bad taste is a but pinpoint in a world of overdevelopment.

They must get out to the surrounding communities and be proatctive in joining the fight to keep QUEENS a good place.

Peter said...

The deed restrictions forbidding Jews was overturned back in the late 60s.

But there are a lot of other deed restrictions and covenants on properties in FHG and the adjacent Van Court section that prevents your classic pink brick McMansion from being built. Hooray for that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks "Peter" for that exact historical info.

I didn't realize it was that late. These Anti-Semitic deed restrictions certainly took a long time to officially eliminate from "The Gardens" charter documents (not that they could have been enforced anyway because they were constitutionally illegal) !

Anonymous said...

F.H. Gardens is primarily a "sequestered" bubble community and has nothing to do with the rest of Queens !

Anonymous said...

Yeah....there was this lady with big glasses...named "Roz"....I think....from F.H. Gardens, who used to attend the earlier meetings of the "Queensborough Preservation League" who seemed to express no interest in F.H. Gardens becoming an LPC historic district because The Gardens stronger deed restrictions might become replaced by the less stronger LPC restrictions!

That's about all she ever seemed to contribute......a watchfull eye.

The impression that I got was that the F.H. Gardens residents didn't seem to be interested in what was going on in the rest of our borough as long as they "had theirs' " in the way of the "good life" and the supreme architectural protection of their community!

Can you blame them ? !!!

mazeartist said...

The FH Gardens look beautiful from the outside, but it is far too restrictive. It appears 90 percent white. All the streets have Anglo-Saxon names, no numbers here. It prohibits parking, even though the city cleans their trash and patrols their streets.

It's like a semi-independent city within NYC. It feels like a gated community without the gates.

It is also, thankfully- crap-free!

Anonymous said...

"The impression that I got was that the F.H. Gardens residents didn't seem to be interested in what was going on in the rest of our borough as long as they "had theirs' " in the way of the "good life" and the supreme architectural protection of their community!

Can you blame them ? !!!"
-----------

Well ... they are making a big mistake. The city is lettered with little smug enclaves that tried to ignore the surrounding community until it overwhelmed them (St Johns Park in Manhattan anyone?)

The really smart thing is for them to get involved. This mentality of 'protected' areas remaining aloof and above the struggle helps no one, including, in the long term, themselves.

Anonymous said...

"mazeartist".....of course it's "crap free" !

Look at some of the powerfully rich & famous folks who live there !

They all take good care of themselves !

If I had their $$$$$$$$.... I'd buy be living there too !!!

verdi said...

That's interesting "mazeartist".....

Really....does that mean that while a portion of my tax dollars go to DSNY for picking up FH Gardens' ELITE TRASH yet I am not permitted to park on their PRIVATE streets without getting "the boot"? !!!

That seems like that's downright illegal !!!

Let the residents pay for their own private sanitation service !!!

TV retro said...

This photo reminds me of "the village" setting featured in that cult classic 1960s TV British import "The Prisoner"....starring Patrick Mc Goohan !

B-r-r-r......all that conformity (though beautiful) , in a way.....leaves me cold !

Anonymous said...

FHG residents pay city tax. Could be one of the best places to live in Queens. I hope to live there someday.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the same NYC taxes that everyone else pays... residents pay dues to the forest hills gardens corp. and annual parking dues.

Someone needs to remove the comments that imply we get more without paying taxes. We pay more and and it's well worth it.

I too hate Queens Crap. One of the reasons I moved to the Gardens was the protection from developers.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the post: "I believe the original deed restrictions set up by the Russel Sage Foundation that built Forest Hills Gardens forbidded [sic] Jews from living there ! (Any word on this) ?"

The writer is repeating a mis-truth and mis-statement that is often raised concerning Forest Hills Gardens. The Sage Company's foundation document for the Gardens is Declaration 3, which was enacted on April 18, 1913. The Declaration deals with the layout, architectural regulations, maintenance and governance of the community. This and all other Sage Foundation (and, later, Forest Hills Gardens Corporation) documents never made any religious, ethnic, national-origins, gender, or sexual-orientation restrictions on present or potential residents of the community.

Anonymous said...

Externally, the gardens is one of the loveliest areas in the boroughs.
But when we were house hunting, I could not believe the cheesie taste in room design that these homeowners have.
Many of the kitchens have been gutted and replaced with McMansion features like granite countertops and flashy chrome.
A saw a lot of mirrored walls, gold fixtures in the bathrooms.
It's like the mafia meets mafioso on steroids.
It's a sad fact that the beautiful gingerbread brick exterior cloaks its vulgar antithesis.

Anonymous said...

"I could not believe the cheesie taste in room design that these homeowners have.
Many of the kitchens have been gutted and replaced with McMansion features like granite countertops"


Kitchens are a personal thing. Hey tear out the marble and granite, and throw down some retro linoleum and formica cabinets and countertops, you do you...

Anonymous said...

Sadly, motorcyclists have all but destroyed the serenity of the area.
Late night and week-ends, hundreds of motorcycles vroom up and down Jackie Robinson Parkway.
You hear it all the way through the gardens.
The noise is horrific.
I wouldn't pay millions to live next to a motorcycle speedway.

Anonymous said...

Hello!! Cord Meyer was jewish himself

You are unbelievable!