An incorporated village within the larger Nassau County town of Hempstead, Garden City is a unique, historical community founded to express the vision of Alexander Turney Stewart, an Irish-born multi-millionaire who acquired 10,000 acres of land in 1869 with a specific purpose in mind.
The 70-year-old business mogul sought to create what he viewed as a lasting legacy: a “garden spot” characterized by trees, greenery and wide avenues, with 60 homes sited on large lots. In addition, he funded a rail line to serve his new community, known at the time as A.T. Stewart’s Central Railroad of Long Island. Stewart also placed a landmark hotel on 30 acres his prime Long Island real estate.
Today more than 22,500 residents still enjoy the ambience created by the founder. In addition, the 11530 zip code now includes Stewart Manor, another incorporated village, and two additional unincorporated communities, East Garden City and Garden City South, all situated within the town of Hempstead. The location on Long Island is approximately 18 miles east of midtown Manhattan, or just under a one-hour commute by rail. Garden City is served by the Long Island Rail Road, with four stations in the Village alone, and several more in other parts of Hempstead.
Since it was incorporated almost a century ago, Garden City has honored its founder’s original vision. It remains a sought-after Long Island address, with a somewhat quaint ambience, stable growth and well-ordered development. There are downtown shopping districts and local businesses as well as parks and playing fields. Local government provides village services, led by a major and board of trustees; residents play an active volunteer role in community affairs.
The Village boasts its own school district, with three primary schools, two grade 2-5 elementaries, one middle school and one high school. In addition, the village is home to Adelphi University, the Waldorf School, an independent K-12 institution, and two Roman Catholic private schools. The Nassau Community College campus, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, is in neighboring East Garden City.
Alexander Turney Stewart died in 1876 and is entombed in the Cathedral of the Incarnation, built by Cornelia Stewart to honor her husband’s memory. Following Mrs. Stewart’s death, the Garden City Company was formed by her heirs to assure continued orderly development.
Homes for sale in Garden City include single family residences, townhouses and condos; the median home value is $921,000, substantially higher than the Nassau County median of just under half a million dollars. The overwhelming majority of residences are owner-occupied, and Garden City is known for its family-centric lifestyle. More than 40 percent of local households include married couples with children.
The Village of Garden City remains a unique enclave within the Town of Hempstead and greater Long Island. As an early master-planned community, it still reflects its founder’s intentions, with tall trees, manicured lawns, reliable public transportation, quality schools and recreational opportunities, and high property values.
Garden City real estate listings are distinctive, and homes typically are only on the market for a short time.