History Mystery Homes #11
More historical photos have been digitally archived at the Garden City Public Library by our hard-working volunteer. They can be seen on LongIslandMemories.org, under our library section.
Two recently posted photos are connected with the Garden City Community Church. The first one is a photo of the church’s third home, located on the northeast corner of Stewart Avenue and Whitehall Boulevard, continuing eastward to Brompton Road. It was situated on the opposite side of Whitehall from where the current church is now. (The first GCCC location was in a home at 175 Nassau Boulevard and the second was a home at 66 Wellington Road, according to The History of the Garden City Community Church by Dr. Barry Keating.) The early 1940s photo shows the sign the church used for the Stewart Avenue side, with Reverend John Gardner, D.D. listed as pastor. He was senior pastor from 1931- 1945.
The next photo is of a home at 245 Stewart Avenue. This is the current and fourth site of the church, now on the northwest corner of Stewart and Whitehall. At the time of this photo, it was owned by Illinois- born National Guard Major Ernestus Gulick (1865- 1913), who was a contemporary of Garden City notables such as former New York State Lieutenant Governor, president of the Board of Trustees at Adelphi College and his partner in Jamaica Estates, Timothy Woodruff; president of the Garden City Company, Gage Tarbell; architect, Oswald C. Hering and architect, Aymar Embury, 2nd.
Gulick was a real estate broker who was the “originator of the Jamaica Estates” (Country Life Magazine, October 1908), head of the Estates development in Garden City from 1907- 1913 and other real estate companies. In town, he owned land from the main line of the Long Island Rail Road on the north to Stewart Avenue on the south. His land centered around Nassau Boulevard from approximately Roxbury Road to Whitehall Boulevard, according to a 1906 map of the area. Gulick was a member of the old line Holland Society of New York, a society still in existence that preserves Dutch life in the New York area.
However, it was a subsequent owner of 245 Stewart Avenue, Rudolph Kind who donated the property with the house to the church in 1944. (The History of Garden City Community Church). He was an active member of the growing church. The home was razed in 1950 to make way for the present church.
“Do you remember when St. Paul’s school had a copper cupola in addition to the clock tower? Our family home bordered the field, and around March of 1970, the cupola was destroyed by fire. Someone in my family took super eight movies of the fire from our back yard. After they thought the fire was extinguished, we noticed smoke/fire coming out of the pointed top, and the fire department had to come back. Eventually...it toppled over and was...taken away. I missed it after it was gone, as I had seen it my whole life growing up there...”
If anyone has any old books, photos or even old phone books relating to anything in Garden City like Pat Eggers does, please call Suzie Alvey. Suzie can scan or photograph the items, while you keep the original, or you can donate it. This will be extremely helpful to the archives at the Garden City Public Library and the Garden City Historical Society. Help us help history! Please contact her at 516.326.1720 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you recognize any of the homes that have been featured as well.