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Sunnyside Gardens

About this listing

Neighborhood designed with "garden city" plan

Place Details

Borough : Queens
Neighborhood : Sunnyside Gardens
Residential, What New Yorkers Find Beautiful, Residential

Place Matters Profile

By Angela Starita

Sunnyside Gardens is the first garden community in the United States, a forebear of such places as Radburn, New Jersey. Located in Queens and built in the 1920s, it sought to introduce a new form for urban living, one that emphasized communal green space.

Built between 1924 and 1928, Sunnyside is the first planned garden community in the United States. It was built as a project of the City Housing Corporation (CHC), a group that organized in March 1924 to counter the haphazard and extensive construction that had started in Queens after World War I. Acres of houses sprouted up without any concessions to park space or other planning elements. The CHC’s designers were adamant about providing green space for residents. To them, shared open gardens were fundamental to creating a true community that would be a haven from the city. In this, they drew on the...

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Richard Plunz,A History of Housing in New York City(1990); Jeffrey Kroessler, Building Queens: The Urbanization of New York's Largest Borough(1991).

On The Web

Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance


Kim Edel

As a derivative of the English "gardens" movement, the Sunnyside Gardens became a model for working class housing with communal central gardens. The historic preservation of the front of the houses helps to identify the Sunnyside Gardens.

Irma Rodriguez

Sunnyside Gardens was one of the first if not the first planned community in the USA. It was designed by architects Stein and White in the early 1920s taking their inspiration from the English Garden Communities. More importantly it was designed to house the working class and provide a country-like oasis for city dwellers.

In addition to its historic significance, it is simply a lovely place to visit and even lovelier to live in.

It truly has a sense of place. When one enters the area they know they are someplace different and special. I particularly like the lovely old trees that form a cooling canopy over the area.

Our neighborhood organization, the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance (, is seeking historic district designation from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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