BY LYNN EDMONDS
Glen Oaks, an Eastern Queens community that borders Nassau county and is situated between Little Neck and Floral Park, is largely defined by two housing complexes in the neighborhood, Glen Oaks Village and North Shore Towers.
Glen Oaks Village is the largest co-op in New York. It’s composed of 2,904 garden style apartments in 134 buildings, spread out over 110 acres. It also contains its own three-acre park, named after the developer Jerry Tenney, as well as tennis courts, oudoor racquetball courts, a bocce court, six playgrounds, a dog part and a community room for parties and social gatherings.
The apartment complex was built in 1947 to house World War II veterans. It started out as affordable rentals and then switched to a co-op in 1981. The current president of the co-op board is Bob Friedrich, who ran for a City Council seat to represent the district in a 2015 special election.
Another large development in Glen Oaks is North Shore Towers. The three 30-story apartment buildings, developed in 1972, also turned to co-ops in 1985. Both North Shore Towers and Glen Oaks Village were built upon the former Glen Oaks Golf Club. North Shore Towers now includes a golf club.
Both North Shore Towers and Glen Oaks Village are seen as relatively affordable and good value housing. They are also within District 26, consistently rated the best school district in the city.
Before it became a golf club in 1923, the large swath of property that North Shore Towers and Glen Oaks village were built on was part of William K. Vanderbilt’s country estate. Vanderbilt inherited a fortune from his family’s railroad business and managed that enterprise throughout his life. He was also a horse breeder.
The relatively few houses in the area that are not part of other North Shore Towers or Glen Oaks Village sometimes have trouble getting attention from politicians or city services. They called their civic the “Lost Community Civic Association” to reflect this phenomenon.
The Queens County Farm museum is one of the most popular attractions in Glen Oaks. The museum features events like a huge Native American powwow every summer, a Corn Maize, Easter egg hunts, a farmer’s market and other activities big and small. It contains a historic farm building, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard, and an herb garden. The Museum also houses the longest continually farmed piece of land in the country. Hours are Monday through Sunday, 10 to 5 p.m., and entry is free except during special events.