Douglas Manor

Old Shore Road

Founded: 1906

Acreage: 175

Housing: 550 single family

  • Is a railroad or "garden" suburb that is largely intact. Architectural styles are eclectic, representing every architectural style of the early 20th century, including Queen Anne, Colonial, Tudor, and Mediterranean Revival.
  • Is planned according to a radical notion at the time: cooperative ownership of the mile-long waterfront. No other New York City neighborhood is planned this way.
  • Represents the aspirations of the growing middle and upper middle classes of the time, and continues to play that role in the life of New York City.
  • Is geographically and architecturally coherent, defined by the natural boundaries of the Douglaston peninsula.
  • Is part of a continuum of "garden suburb" developments that influenced suburbs to follow, including Forest Hills Gardens, Kensington in Great Neck, and other suburban developments.
  • Represents the next historic wave of New York City development after the brownstone neighborhoods of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • Has deed restrictions which predate New York City zoning (1916), and which dictated massing and setbacks, and zoned lots from largest (facing the Little Neck Bay) to smallest (facing Udalls Cove) that has ensured a mix of the middle class.
  • Reveals simultaneously the three eras of its development -- Dutch farm (Van Wyck House, 1735); country estate (Douglas mansion, 1819) with tenant farmhouses and stable; and planned garden suburb.
  • Contains the largest collection of Arts & Crafts influenced building in New York City.
  • Contains more Gustav Stickley houses than any other neighborhoods in New York City.
  • Contains eight houses by Josephine Wright Chapman, the largest collection of her work anywhere. Chapman was a well known architect who was only one of a handful of women practicing in the United States at the turn of the century.
  • Contains a collection of buildings designed by distinguished architects and firms of the day, including McKim Mead & White, Diego deSuarez, Frank Foster, James Sarsfield Kennedy, Buchman & Fox, and Aubrey Grantham.
  • Contains mail order houses from the Alladin Company, Bay City and Sears & Roebuck.
  • Contains a variety of house "types" -- the foursquare, the artist double high studio -- and has the largest collection of houses in New York City with the "dogleg" plan.
  • Is the last of New York City's garden suburbs designed for the horse and carriage.
  • Contained a thriving arts, movie, and theater colony. Residents included Ginger Rogers, Hedda Hopper, Annette Kellerman, and a host of other silent film and theater stars. Artists included George Grosz, Elbert McGran Jackson, set designer Irwin Piscatur, and pianist Claudio Arrau.
  • Contains the largest collection of imported trees in New York City, many brought by Samuel Parsons of the Parsons Nursery. The Douglas estate played a major role in the experimentation with exotic plants on Long Island.
  • Has the oldest tree on Long Island and in New York City, the 600 year old white oak on Arleigh Road.
  • Played a major role in the yachting history of New York City. William Douglas' yacht, Sappho, was the first winner of the Americas Cup.
  • Still represents an attractive alternative to urban living 90 years after its founding, with artists, politicians, inventors and professionals calling it home.
  • Is endangered. Insensitive renovations, demolition and redevelopment threaten to alter the character of this unique neighborhood irrevocably. The creation of the Douglas Manor Historic District was essential to the survival of this unique community.