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Garden City, New York

Coordinates: 40°43′37″N 73°38′59″W / 40.72694°N 73.64972°W / 40.72694; -73.64972
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Garden City, New York
Incorporated Village of Garden City
Garden City's town center in August 2017
Garden City's town center in August 2017
Flag of Garden City, New York
Official seal of Garden City, New York
"Stewart's Folly"
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York
Location in Nassau County and the state of New York
Garden City, New York is located in Long Island
Garden City, New York
Garden City, New York
Location on Long Island
Garden City, New York is located in New York
Garden City, New York
Garden City, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 40°43′37″N 73°38′59″W / 40.72694°N 73.64972°W / 40.72694; -73.64972
Country United States
State New York
North Hempstead
Founded byAlexander Turney Stewart
 • MayorMary Carter Flanagan
 • Trustees
Trustees' List
 • Total5.36 sq mi (13.87 km2)
 • Land5.33 sq mi (13.80 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
89 ft (27 m)
 • Total23,272
 • Density4,367.87/sq mi (1,686.39/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes516, 363
FIPS code36-28178
GNIS feature ID0950875

Garden City is a village located in Nassau County, on Long Island, in New York, United States. The population was 23,272 at the time of the 2020 census.[2]

The Incorporated Village of Garden City is primarily located within the Town of Hempstead, with the exception being a small area at the northern tip of the village located within the Town of North Hempstead. It is the Greater Garden City area's anchor community.


The Cathedral of the Incarnation, the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island[3]

19th century[edit]

In 1869, Irish-born millionaire Alexander Turney Stewart bought a portion of the lightly populated Hempstead Plains.[4] In a letter, Stewart described his intentions for Garden City:

Having been informed that interested parties are circulating statements to the effect that my purpose in desiring to purchase the Hempstead Plains is to devote them to the erection of tenement houses, and public charities of a like character, etc. I consider it proper to state that my only object in seeking to acquire these lands is to devote them to the usual purposes for which such lands, so located, should be applied that is, open them by constructing extensive public roads, laying out the lands in parcels for sale to actual settlers, and erecting at various points attractive buildings and residences, so that a barren waste may speedily be covered by a population desirable in every respect as neighbour taxpayers and as citizens. In doing this I am prepared and would be willing to expend several millions of dollars.[5]

The central attraction of the new community was the Garden City Hotel. It was replaced by a new hotel in 1895, designed by the acclaimed firm of McKim, Mead & White.[6] This hotel was destroyed by fire in 1899 and then rebuilt and expanded, before being replaced again in 1983.[7] The hotel still stands on the original grounds, as do many nearby Victorian homes.[8] Access to Garden City was provided by the Central Railroad of Long Island, another Stewart project which he undertook at the same time. This railroad, in conjunction with the Flushing & North Side Railroad, ran from Long Island City through Garden City to Farmingdale (with a spur to the location of the Stewart's brickworks in Bethpage), and then to Babylon. It opened in 1873, with a branch to Hempstead.[9]

Stewart's wife, Cornelia, founded the Cathedral Schools of St. Paul (for boys) and St. Mary (for girls),[10] [a] a Bishop's Residence and the Gothic Cathedral of the Incarnation, which is today the center of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, as well as the final resting place of Alexander Turney Stewart and Cornelia Stewart. This elaborate memorial was completed in 1885. Mrs. Stewart died the following year. In 2008, the Cathedral of the Incarnation underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and rehabilitation project, which was completed in 2012.

Voters selected Mineola (in the town of North Hempstead) to be the county seat for the new county of Nassau in November 1898[12] (before Mineola incorporated as a village in 1906 and set its boundaries), winning out over Hicksville and Hempstead.[13] The Garden City Company (founded in 1893 by the heirs of Alexander Turney Stewart)[14] donated 4 acres (1.6 ha) of land for the county buildings just south of the Mineola train station and the present-day Incorporated Village of Mineola, in the Town of Hempstead.[15][16] The land and the buildings have a Mineola postal address but are within the present-day village of Garden City,[17] which did not incorporate, or set its boundaries, until 1919. The early village did well due to its proximity to Hempstead, which was at that time the commercial center of Long Island. In time, thanks to the railroad and to automobiles, as well, Garden City's population increased.[18]

In its early years, the press referred to Garden City as "Stewart's Folly" due to the lack of residents that Stewart had envisioned would populate his project.[4][19]

20th century[edit]

In 1910, Doubleday, Page, and Co., one of the world's most important publishers, moved its operations to the east side of Franklin Avenue and had its own train station called Country Life Press added nearby.[20] The Doubleday company purchased much of the land on the west side of Franklin Avenue, and built estate homes for many of its executives on Fourth Street. In 1916, company co-founder and Garden City resident Walter Hines Page was named Ambassador to Great Britain.[21]

The area to the west of Garden City, named Garden City Estates, was established in 1907. It was merged with Garden City with both incorporated as the Village of Garden City in 1919.[9] Garden City's growth promoted the development of many nearby towns, including Stewart Manor, Garden City Park, Garden City South and East Garden City.[18]

The Village is home to three golf courses, the first having been laid out under the direction of Devereux Emmet in 1896, now called the Garden City Golf Club.[22] Subsequently, the now-named Cherry Valley Club (originally Salisbury Club) and Garden City Country Club[23] were opened. For a short time in the late 1920s a fourth course existed, the Old Westbury Golf Club (initially the Intercollegiate Golf Club), east of Clinton Road.[24]

Aviation played a big role in the history of the Village. The Nassau Boulevard Aerodrome, west of the Estates section, hosted the Second International Aviation Meet in 1911, which featured the first official airmail service.[25] Other airfields included the Washington Avenue Field[26] and the Hempstead Aerodrome, which ultimately became Roosevelt Field before being replaced by the Roosevelt Field Mall in the 1950s.

In the 1920s, the community continued to grow, with houses built in Garden City Estates as well as the eastern section of Garden City. Housing construction slowed after the 1929 stock market crash. But in the 1930s, hundreds of houses were built to accommodate a population boom, though Garden City used a strict zoning code to preserve Stewart's vision. The Village retained a sense of orderly development, true to its rigorously planned roots.[6]

Starting in the 1930s many branches of well-known New York City stores, including Best & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, and Lord & Taylor, opened along Franklin Avenue. All of these have subsequently closed due to relocation to nearby Roosevelt Field Mall or closure. The large buildings have been rebuilt as office spaces.[27]

After World War II, following a trend of urban residents moving to the suburbs, Garden City continued to grow. Post-war construction filled out the present borders of Garden City with many split-level and ranch-style homes, with construction occurring in the town's far eastern, northern and western sections.[citation needed] The Waldorf School of Garden City was founded in 1947 (one of the first Waldorf schools in the United States), originally as a part of Adelphi University. The village's new public high school was also constructed in 1956, supplementing the original Cherry Valley school, which had opened in 1925.[28]

The flat expanse of the land adjacent to Garden City allowed its use for military activities. For the Civil War, Camp Winfield Scott existed,[29] for the Spanish-American War of 1898, Camp Black was established, and for World War I in 1917, Camp Albert Mills occupied land in the southeast part of the village.[29] Although Camp Mills was decommissioned after the war, the airbase Mitchel Field, which was established at the same time just east of the Village, existed until 1962.

In the 1960s, The World discotheque in Garden City featured multi-media supplied by USCO.[30]

In the 1970s, the old Garden City Hotel declared bankruptcy and subsequently closed, and was ultimately demolished in 1973.[31] A new Garden City Hotel was constructed on the site of the old Garden City Hotel. In 1978, fifty of the original structures collectively known as the A. T. Stewart Era Buildings were designated a national historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[32]

In 1989, St. Paul's School also closed and in 1993 was purchased by the Village of Garden City, eventually designating St. Paul's and its property as "park land.[33] St. Mary's School, the sister school of St. Paul's, was demolished in 2002.[34] Since then, six large single-family houses have been built on the property.[34]

The Garden City Public Library, first established in 1952 as a volunteer service, now serves its residents from its building erected in 1973.

On December 7, 1993, the Long Island Rail Road's Merillon Avenue station, which is located within the village, was the location of the Long Island Rail Road massacre in which six people were murdered and 19 injured in a racially motivated mass shooting perpetrated by Colin Ferguson, a black Jamaican immigrant.[35]

21st century[edit]

Garden City lost 23 residents during the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.[36] Every year on the anniversary of the attack, the Garden City Fire Department holds a remembrance ceremony. A bell tolls after the reading of each of the 23 residents' names, which are etched in the memorial monument stone on the Village Green.[37]


U.S. census map of Garden City

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 5.3 square miles (13.8 km2), all land. The village lost some territory between the 1990 census and the 2000 census.[38]

Garden City is located approximately 18.5 miles (29.8 km) east of Midtown Manhattan in New York City.[citation needed]

Greater Garden City area[edit]

In addition to the Incorporated Village of Garden City, the Garden City 11530 ZIP code includes another incorporated village, Stewart Manor, as well as two unincorporated areas of the Town of Hempstead: Garden City South and East Garden City – the latter of which was absorbed by the CDP of Uniondale in the 2010s.[39]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[40]

As of the census of 2020,[41] 23,272 people lived in Garden City. The population density was 4,059.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,567.4/km2). The town included 7,715 housing units at an average density of 1,415.2 per square mile (546.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 88.8% White, 1.1% African American, 0.0% Native American, 4.7% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.3% of the population.[42]

Garden City included 7,338 households, out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.8% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.7% were non-families. 19.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the village, the population was spread out, with 26.5% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 20 to 24, 7.2% from 25 to 34, 42.6% over 45, 21.6% over 60 and 1.9% who were over the age of 85. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

As of the census of 2020, the median income for a household in the village was $186,607. The per capita income for the village was $83,823.[43]


Garden City Village Hall in September 2021.

As of April 2023, the Mayor of Garden City is Mary Carter Flanagan and the Village Trustees are Bruce J. Chester, Edward T. Finneran, Michele Beach Harrington, Charles P. Kelly, Lawrence N. Marciano, Jr., Michael J. Sullivan, and Bruce A. Torino.[44][45][46] The Village Administrator is Ralph V. Suozzi, the former Mayor of the City of Glen Cove and the cousin of Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi.[47]

From its inception until 2021, the Mayor and Trustees were elected via a "Community Agreement" in which the four Property Owners' Associations, representing different areas of the Village, held primary elections in January. Winners were entered on the official ballot in March as the "Community Agreement Party" without opposition.[48]

Other departments[edit]

Garden City has its own police department and volunteer fire department.[49][50] Firefighting operations are conducted from three fire houses across the Village.

The Department of Recreation and Parks maintains many programs for Village residents, and operates the Community Pool in the Summer months. The Senior Center is used by all ages for meetings and recreational activities. In addition, this Commission is responsible for the maintenance of the trees located on streets and municipal property. One of the most important features of the Village is the prohibition of power lines on most streets, allowing the proper development of its street trees.[51]

The Department of Public Works is responsible for the upkeep of the Village. Its equipment is maintained by its own staff at its municipal garage. It provides garbage and rubbish collection, water service, and street maintenance including snow plowing.


Public schools[edit]

Garden City is primarily located within the boundaries of the Garden City Union Free School District.[52] As such, most students who reside within Garden City and attend public schools go to Garden City's schools.[52]

Private schools[edit]

One independent school, the Waldorf School of Garden City (grades pre-K–12), and two Roman Catholic elementary schools (K–8), St. Joseph School and St. Anne School, are in Garden City.[53] The former St. Paul's School and St. Mary's School are now defunct.[citation needed]

Higher education[edit]

In 1929, Adelphi College, which later became Adelphi University, moved from Brooklyn to its present 76-acre (31 ha) campus in Garden City, becoming the first four-year college in Nassau or Suffolk counties.[52]




Stewart Avenue (CR 177) within the village in September 2021

Clinton Road (Nassau County Route 1) traverses the village and is one of its major north–south thoroughfares.[52] Old Country Road (Nassau County Route 25) forms much of Garden City's northern border.[52] Other major roads within the village are Franklin Avenue, Rockaway Avenue, Nassau Boulevard, New Hyde Park Road, Stewart Avenue, and Washington Avenue.[52]

The Village of Garden City maintains approximately 74 miles (119 km) of roads.[54]

Road layout[edit]

Much of Garden City's street network is laid out to resemble the traditional street grid.[6][52] A major exception is the Mott Section, which features a series of parallel, semicircular streets and numerous north–south streets connecting the crescents.[52][6]


The Garden City Long Island Rail Road station in 2009

There are five Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train stations in the village: Stewart Manor, Nassau Boulevard, Garden City, and Country Life Press on the LIRR's Hempstead Branch – and Merillon Avenue on the LIRR's Main Line.[52][55]


Several bus lines traverse the village provided by Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE).[56]


Natural gas[edit]

National Grid USA provides natural gas to homes and businesses that are hooked up to natural gas lines in Garden City.[57][58][59]


PSEG Long Island provides power to all homes and businesses within Garden City.[57][60][61]


Garden City is connected to sanitary sewers.[52][62][63] The village maintains a sanitary sewer system which flows into Nassau County's system, which treats the sewage from the village's system through the Nassau County-owned sewage treatment plants.[64]


The Village of Garden City owns and maintains its own water system.[52][63] Garden City's water system serves the majority of the Village with water.[52][63] The Water Authority of Western Nassau County services Village residents who live in the westernmost part of the Village.

Notable landmarks[edit]

The Garden City Hotel in 2009


Garden City inspired the names of several nearby municipalities (as stated above), and is the namesake of Garden Village, Kentucky.[65]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The film The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), starring James Stewart, features Charles Lindbergh's historical flight to Paris from Roosevelt Field in Garden City in 1927. Its first few scenes occur at the Garden City Hotel, where Lindbergh had a room reserved (but did not use, contrary to the film's portrayal), and the press corps stayed who were covering the event spent the night prior to his flight;[93] Lindbergh was up all night working on his plane the night before the flight,[94] although he did have dinner and take a nap at the Garden City home of his friend, Gregory J. Brandewiede, at 105 Third Street.[citation needed] The opening shot of the film's first scene shows the hotel's front exterior and sign. Subsequent scenes take place[93] and were filmed at[95][96] Roosevelt Field.
  • Musician John Tesh's fourth album, released in 1989, is titled Garden City (Cyprus Records), an homage to his hometown, and includes a song with the same title.[97] The record company he created in 1995 and currently owns is Garden City Records.



  1. ^ The principal of the school was Charlotte Titcomb, a member of the class of 1852 at Dedham High School[11]


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External links[edit]