Sunnyside Gardens, Queens, New York City
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Sunnyside Gardens, in the Sunnyside neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens, was one of the first developments to incorporate the "superblock" model in the United States. The complex was constructed from 1924 to 1929.
The residential area has brick row houses of two and a half stories, with front and rear gardens and a landscaped central court shared by all. This model allowed for denser residential development, while also providing ample open/green-space amenities. Clarence Stein and Henry Wright served as the architects and planners for this development, and the landscape architect was Marjorie Sewell Cautley. These well-planned garden homes are listed as a historical district in the National Register of Historic Places, and are also home to one of the only two private parks in New York City.
In 2003, a grassroots movment started to request designation as a New York City Historic District, in response to lack of protection for the historic character of the homes in the neighborhood. Currently (2006-2007), neighborhood arguments over whether to move the neighborhood into stricter regulation under the New York City Landmarks Commission is causing some contention in the neighborhood. On April 17, 2007, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on the neighborhood where 60 residents and advocates, including Fiona Lowenstein, Henry Wright's great, great great granddaughter, spoke in favor of landmark designation while 25 people spoke against.
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