Turning Interest Into Action
The Garden City Historical Society is an essential community resource that welcomes, celebrates, and advances our community's history by involvement and education.
Founded in 1975, The Garden City Historical Society is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, chartered by the New York State Education Department. It is dedicated to preserving the historic character and ambiance of the Village of Garden City, and educating its members and the public in preservation and history related matters. The Society owns and operates The Garden City Historical Society Museum, an original 1872 A.T. Stewart-era Victorian structure, as well as a gift shop and a consignment shop—the A.T. Stewart Exchange (516-746-8900)—on the lower level of the Museum. The Society’s Archives includes over 1,200 artifacts pertaining to the Village and its immediate surrounding communities. The Society offers periodic lectures and presentations, publishes a newsletter, and maintains an Historic Structure Survey of pre-1935 residential and non-residential structures in the Village of Garden City.
The Stewart-era Apostle House
In 1975, the Episcopal Diocese donated the home it owned at 89 Fifth Street to the newly formed Society. The house, one of 9 identical homes known as “Apostle Houses,” was built in 1872 as part of Alexander T. Stewart’s visionary planned community of Garden City. In 1892 the Diocese built St. Mary’s School next door to the home. For a time, the building, which never served as a private residence, housed classes and offered boarding for faculty. In 1902 when St. Mary’s expanded its facility, the house was moved across Cathedral Avenue on Fifth Street. In the late 1970s and early 80s, Society members restored the home, planted Victorian gardens and held meetings there.
Relocation of Apostle House
In July 1988, the Society’s “Apostle House” was moved to its current location on Eleventh Street, thanks to the generous offer from the Village of Garden City to provide the site. Five years later, the Society discovered the home had been deregistered from landmark status because of the move, and renewed the process to effect its listing. In the mid-1990s, the Village provided additional land to the east and north to accommodate the current driveway off Eleventh Street.
Restoration and Future Plans
In the footsteps of A.T. Stewart, after completion of partial interior renovations and restoration in September 2005, the Society's Board of Directors opened the "Apostle House" as The Garden City Historical Society Museum, exhibit hall and meeting place. As part of those renovations, a fire sprinkler and fire and smoke alarm systems were installed, restoration was completed on the main floor, and an Archives and administrative office were created on the second floor. The Society continues to seek preservation of historic property and artifacts within the Village, offer educational presentations, and increase awareness of Garden City’s unique heritage.