“There is a special camaraderie as we recognize that we live in an oasis of beauty, and we want to preserve this lovely environment,” said resident Margaret McGovern. “This event symbolizes how a community can work in harmony to celebrate this beautiful area and all that it has to offer.”
The cooperative apartment buildings was developed by Forest Hills Gardens resident Guyon Locke Crocheron Earle and built by Fred F. French Co. in 1917. The 64-apartments at 4 Dartmouth Street originated as Gardens Apartment, while the 111-apartments at 6 Burns Street, also developed by Guyon Earle and designed by Timmons and Chapman, originated as Tennis Place Apartment between 1919 and 1921.
Members of the Centennial Committee spent the past few months planning the event, researching TVA history and compiling memories.
“We are going to plant a centennial tree in our park on Continental Avenue and Dartmouth Street, complete with a stone marker to commemorate our anniversary,” said co-op board president John Houseman. “We are also hoping to place milestone plaques on each of our buildings. Most importantly, we will produce a centennial journal that will cover our early history.”
Borough President Melinda Katz proclaimed September 17, 2017, “Tennis View Apartments Day.”
“Tennis View Apartments could have only been successful over the years because of the leadership and involvement of the board of directors and all people who live in the buildings through generations,” she said. “That is an amazing feat to have that continuity with families and generations, while still changing and making sure that we accept new friends.”
Guest Lynne Harrison recalled her childhood in Forest Hills.
“I grew up playing with other children in what used to be called ‘swing park’ across the street,” she said. “This party was memorable, as I enjoyed reconnecting with two people who were my friends at age seven.”
Former board member Anna Rose Guasto was instrumental in reforesting an LIRR embankment next to the co-op.
“It was incredibly heartwarming to receive public recognition for securing 44 evergreen trees, after leading the charge towards beautifying the Burns Street embankment for seven years,” she said, reminiscing on what drew her to the apartments, including it's beauty and neighborliness. “I have always wanted to live a cosmopolitan lifestyle. You cannot buy friendship, but it is the most valuable gift of all.”