Sunnyside, Tarrytown

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Sunnyside Gardens is a community within Sunnyside, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. The area was first development in the United States patterned after the ideas of the garden city movement initiated in England in the first decades of the twentieth century by Ebenezer Howard and Raymond Unwin, specifically Hampstead Garden Suburb and Letchworth Garden City. Covering 77 acres between Queens Boulevard and the Sunnyside Railroad Yards, Sunnyside Gardens was constructed between 1924 to 1928 by the City Housing Corporation, founded by developer Alexander Bing, and architects Clarence Stein and Henry Wright. The project grew out of discussions in the early 1920s about housing and planning; Lewis Mumford was a leading participant.Sunnyside Gardens includes one-, two-, and three-family homes, and a few apartment buildings, all made of Hudson brick (it was inexpensive, durable, and available). Each private residence has a small front garden facing the street and a private garden in the rear. The rental units in the two- and three-family houses enjoy private terraces overlooking the gardens. There are two configurations: the courtyard condition and the mews condition; at the edges of the community some homes simply line the street, with a common walkway running the length of the row. Homes in the courtyard blocks enclose an inner courtyard that was designated a common, landscaped but not used for recreation. Each homeowner actually owned, and paid taxes on, the part of the common in the block and lot, even if it was not used. The mews houses face a common front court and back on alleys; each mews house also has a private rear yard. This model allowed for denser residential development, while also providing ample open/green-space amenities. Clarence Stein and Henry Wright served as the primary architects and planners for this development (Frederick L. Ackerman designed some of the mews houses), and the landscape architect was Marjorie Sewell Cautley. As an amenity for the residents, the City Housing Corporation reserved lots on the northern edge of the development abutting the railroad yards for a private park. This is one of only two private parks in the city, the other being Gramercy Park.
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Sunnyside Reviews
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149 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The best part of the tour was the guy greeting you before you enter the house. Once inside, it is very cramped. Though worth seeing to hear about the life of the author, but if pressed for time in the...  more »
  • I have been trying to visit Sunnyside for two years when we visit my son in White Plains. There always seemed to be a problem; either they weren't open on the day I was there or they were having speci...  more »
  • Very interesting. You must get tickets before. Docents are in period clothes. It was a lovely day so we were able to walk around the grounds which are lovely.  more »
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