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In the 1970's, a group of concerned citizens recognized that real estate could threaten Garden City as a hamlet of history, culture and architectural integrity. In 1975, they banded together and formed the Garden City Historical Society to protect the history and artifacts of Garden City as well as to retain its unique character and preserve buildings that were built by A.T. Stewart, the visionary founded of Garden City.
The Society owns and operates The Garden City Society Museum, an original 1872 A.T. Stewart-era Victorian structure. In 1975, the Episcopal Diocese donated this structure, which was one of nine identical homes known as "Apostle Houses." At the time, this house was located on Fifth Street which was right next door to St. Mary's school for girls. At that time, the house, which never served as a private residence, housed classes and offered boarding for faculty. In the late 1970's and eary 80's, Society members restored the home, planted Victorian gardens and help meetings there.
The Original Apostle Houses - Then and Now
On the Move
In July of 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-1990's, the Village provided additional land to the east and north to accommodate the current driveway off Eleventh Street.
The Historical Society Today
In September 2005, the Society opened "The Garden City Historical Society Museum," to the public. Today, the Society attracts a vibrant community, from growing families to seniors, who enjoy its wide-ranging programs and find purpose in its mission.
The museum is also home to a gift shop and a consignment shop, the A.T. Stewart Exchange, on the lower level of the museum.
Through the years, the Society has served as the conscience of the community, and a protector of the past with an understanding of how it can best inform the future. Supported primarily by private funding, the Society is recognized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, chartered by the New York State Department of Education.
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