Gardens of Eden: Long Island Planned Communities Of The Twentieth Century
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Historical profiles of the major planned communitiesof early twentieth-century Long Island.
Edited by SPLIA’s former director, Dr. Robert B. MacKay, Gardens of Eden is an exploration of a distinct type of suburban development that proliferated across the region before zoning regulations were developed to manage land use in New York City and its environs. While the onset of suburbia on Long Island is often believed to be a post-World War II phenomena, 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. Luminaries such as Grosvenor Atterbury, Charles W. Leavitt Jr., and Frederick Law Olmsted designed dozens of high-end, carefully conceived communities on New York’s Long Island. 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
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