Stores and Offices
Places of Worship
There are many different kinds of buildings and design styles in the Village. They reflect the fashions of the times and the builder’s taste. For instance William R. Grace was fond of English style buildings, as were many of his contemporaries. As a result we see English Tudor style apartment and commercial buildings, the names of such places as Wyngate, and the landscaping around the numerous garden apartments along Schenck Avenue and Welwyn Road. At the same time many 20th-century builders favored Colonial Revival buildings, which used architectural features from the late 18th and early 19th century, including multi-paned windows, small entry porches, and gambrel roofs. By the late 1930s and into the 1950s, new styles were adopted from art-deco motifs and streamlined curved shapes for commercial and apartment buildings. As a result of these fashion trends we can see the Village’s history through its built environment.
English Tudor Style
English Tudor buildings have exposed exterior timbers in between plaster or stucco sheathing. This style was extremely popular for commercial buildings in the mid – late 1800s and for houses and apartment buildings in the early – mid 1900s. Examples of this style in Great Neck Plaza include 16 Welwyn Road, 4 Maple Avenue, 1 Hillside Avenue, and two commercial buildings at 70-78 and 67-85 Middle Neck Road.
During the late 1800s and early – mid-1900s many designers harkened back to classic Federal and Greek Revival architecture, with such features as triangular gable pediments on the roof, small multi-paned double sash windows, simple gable or gambrel roofs, and corner pilasters with columns. Decorative touches also included square dentils along the roof lines, round porches and manicured gardens and lawns. Examples of the style include the Village Garden apartments, 8 Bond Street, the Community Church, Citibank and 90 Knightsbridge Road.
Victorian buildings are typically characterized by bay windows, small turrets or towers, decorative brackets and shingles on the surface or roof. This style was most popular in the late 1800s to early 1900s but later buildings had similar characteristics. Examples include the Wychwood Apartments, 19 Barstow Road, St. Paul’s Church, the Robertson Block and 11 Middle Neck Road.
Art Deco and Art Moderne style buildings were most popular in the 1920s through 1940s. Their features include a smooth surface of varying colors with projecting windows surrounded by zigzags, glass blocks and occasionally stained glass. They can also have curved walls when situated on a corner. Examples include the Telephone Building, 5 Bond Street and 10 Grace Avenue.
Architectural historians call buildings that are designed by ordinary people vernacular architecture. They usually are based on patterns that are traditional in particular regions or built by a group of people. While vernacular buildings are common in rural areas, they are also part of workers houses. Examples in Great Neck Plaza include the houses along Walnut and Pearce place, 22 Chapel and 4 Ash Place. They are wooden frame homes with a modified Georgian floor plan, 2 rooms wide and 2 rooms deep. All have gable roofs and double sash windows.
Beginning in the 1950s and 1960s many professional architects experimented with various styles, ranging from the square Bauhaus style to round buildings. In Great Neck Plaza we have the Chase Manhattan Bank as the premier example of this style. Its’ square box-like cubes and glass entranceway was a pioneering example, along with the round-entrance NY Fitness Club which originally housed a Cadillac dealership at 15 Barstow Road.
Westminster Hall was built in c. 1929 in the English Tudor Revival Style. Important features include the half timbered façade on its front gables and the stained glass windows adjacent to the entrance.
8 Bond Street
This Colonial Revival structure, listed on the local, state and national registers, was constructed in c. 1926 by James O’Conner. Notable features include its brick façade and oculus gable windows, gable pediments, cornice trim and symmetrical façade.
11 Middle Neck Road
This whimsical Colonial Revival building, listed on the local, state and national registers, was constructed in c. 1913 by James O’Connor, the same architect who designed 8 Bond Street.
This small complex was one of the first garden apartments in the Village. Constructed c. 1939 by architect Wesley Sherwood Bessell, it was originally named Dunstone Garden Apartments. It is a vernacular interpretation of Dutch Colonial Revival style buildings.
The Chase Manhattan Bank is an excellent example of 20th century modern architecture constructed in c. 1961 by Benjamin Thompson and Paul Dietrich of The Architect’s Collaborative. It is designated as a Village landmark.
Institutional sites such as banks, government buildings and schools are typically built in classical styles. This site shows us how Greek classical elements including the pediment, columns and windows were common during the early 20th century. It was constructed c. 1919 by an unknown architect.
The Community Church is a typical Colonial Revival site with classical pediments, columns and windows. It has a slate roof and brick façade, along with a Palladian window over the main entrance. It was built c. 1924 by an unknown architect. It is designated as a Village landmark.
The Post Office, listed on the local, state and national registers, was built c. 1939 by architects William Dewey Foster and Louis Simon. Like other federal post offices built during this period, it was constructed in a neoclassical style using limestone and marble.
This English country style church is one of the few examples of this style on Long Island. Notable features include its slate “distressed” roof, stained glass windows and copper steeple. Built in c. 1924 by Mann & MacNeille, it is a Village landmarked site.
The Art Deco style is very prominent in Great Neck Plaza, especially in this locally landmarked property. Prominent features of this style include the copper hip roof, patterned brickwork and glazed windows. The site was built c. 1929.
The Village was once dominated by modest working class houses built by local businesses for their workers. Simple frame houses in the downtown area housed immigrants and their families from the late 1800s until the 1940s when they were torn down. The workers houses on Walnut and Pearce Place serve as a reminder of how local residents of modest means once lived.
During the 1930s the Callan Brothers created Wyngate Park, a residential family neighborhood, using classic English Tudor Revival and Colonial Revival designs that were popular during this time. The half timbers in the upper gable section and lower cobblestone façade are typical elements in the Tudor Revival style. This house was built c. 1936.