The objective and purpose of the Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society, Inc. is to publicize, preserve, and protect the historical significance of Douglaston and Little Neck, adjacent nature preserves, and those other sections or buildings of the two neighborhoods worthy of preservation through the collection, research, and dissemination of historical information to the public.
The Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society (DLNHS) was formed in January of 1989 as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Dues and donations are tax deductible, as permitted by law.
Creation of New York City Landmark Districts
With an outpouring of help and support from the community, DLNHS led the effort to have the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission create two historic districts. The Douglaston Historic District was designated in 1997, and the Douglaston Hill Historic District was designated in 2004. DLNHS also succeeded in having both districts added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, with Douglaston Hill added in 2000 and the Douglaston Historic District added in 2005.
A Permanent Historic Collection
Over the past 40 years, a large collection of photos, maps and other historical memorabilia from Douglaston and Little Neck has been donated to DLNHS by local residents. To make it readily accessible to the public, most of this collection has been entered into the Archives @ Queens Library (formerly the Long Island Room) located at 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11432. This part of the collection is currently open to researchers and the public for on-site viewing and will eventually be digitized and available for viewing both at the Queens Library website and at the DLNHS website. We are also currently digitizing additional material which you can see here.
DLNHS increases public awareness of Douglaston and Little Neck’s architectural significance, planning, and social history through public educational forums like house tours, walking tours, workshops, and special speaking engagements on relevant historic topics featuring historians, preservationists, planners, architects and book authors.
The Society has funded and mounted two major public exhibitions. The Environment of the American Dream – The Garden Suburb at Douglaston was co-sponsored by The Municipal Art Society of New York and shown at the MAS Urban Center in 1991. Flights of Fancy: Aerial Photographs of Douglaston and Little Neck was shown at The Douglaston Club and various other locations in 2011-2012. The latter exhibit used photos from the University of California–Santa Barbara Library’s collection of Fairchild Aerial Surveys (FAS), aerial photographs taken from 1920–1965, to visually tell the story of our changing communities.
DLNHS holds fundraisers to help support the operation of the organization, including festive seasonal parties with historical themes. The Society also collaborates with other local community organizations on events and programming. DLNHS participates in Open House NY and Jane’s Walk.
Research and Publications
In 1991, DLNHS hired a team of historians to document the architecture, landscape history, development and social history of the two proposed historic districts which were eventually designated by the City of New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. Much of this research was used by the Douglas Manor Association in their 100th anniversary book, This Salubrious Spot: The First 100 Years at Douglas Manor, 1906–2006, published in 2006.
DLNHS publishes two print newsletters and two online newsletters per year with informative articles on local historical topics with archival and contemporary photos, as well as e-blast bulletins advising of upcoming events.
Renovations, Additions, and New Construction in the Two Districts
The DLNHS Architecture Committee meets with residents and provides them with important information on preserving, restoring and sensitively renovating or adding onto their houses, as well as building new houses. The Committee is comprised of a wide range of resident volunteers with related professional backgrounds, including architects, historic preservationists, engineers and historians. The Committee also advises homeowners on how to navigate the submission and review process at New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission–all free of charge!