Great Neck LI

Great Neck has a rich history and a diverse culture making this town a great place to buy real estate, a condo, a co-op, or a commercial investment. A bit of history will help you in finding the home you desire in Great Neck, and by learning about this wonderful community, you will see how it fits your personal and financial needs.

The Great Neck Library is pleased to participate in the Digitization Initiative sponsored by the Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC). The funding for this project was obtained by LILRC through a Library Services & Technology (LSTA) grant. Great Neck is one of 12 libraries and historical societies that are currently contributing to a joint Long Island Memories project.

The Great Neck Library is in the process of digitizing and publishing on the web, approximately 100 postcards from the library’s local history collection. By making these images available online we hope to assist students, other researchers and residents interested in the history of Great Neck.

The Great Neck peninsula grew from a “wilderness barely occupied by Indians, a simple colony marked by a desire for independence, a prosperous agricultural community, the home of the artists, writers and theatrical luminaries, the residence of millionaires and shapers of the country’s economy,” to its present incarnation as the modern home of an involved citizenry, reflecting the enthusiasms of its varied national origins, backgrounds, tastes and interests.” – The League of Women Voters.

At the heart of the Great Neck Peninsula is The Village of Great Neck Plaza.

Mission Statement
As a village our mission is to promote, protect and enhance the value of our residential areas, downtown, shops, restaurants, commercial properties and businesses by making Great Neck Plaza an exciting and vital place to live, work, shop and play.

Village of Great Neck Plaza
Great Neck Plaza was incorporated in on May 3, 1930 and is central to Great Neck by virtue of the Long Island Railroad station and the unique, varied, upscale shops and restaurants found on our main street, “Middle Neck Road”.

The Village of Great Neck Plaza is home to dozens of world class shops, services and restaurants in a Fifth Avenue setting, nestled in a suburban, tree-lined community. Referred to as “New York City on Long Island,” Great Neck Plaza has the finest boutiques, “white tablecloth” restaurants, jewelry designers, shoe salons, trunk shows and lots more. Combining the latest in fashion and design with personal attention to detail, the Plaza boasts shopkeepers and sales personnel who care about serving the public with style and class. Come visit us and shop Great Neck Plaza “where everyone knows your name”

To Great Neck Plaza, Village Hall by car:
Take the Long Island Expressway (LIE) to exit #33 (or Northern State Parkway to exit #25), Lakeville Road. Turn North and continue straight over Northern Boulevard. Lakeville Road then changes name to South Middle Neck Road. Continue straight in to the Village, you will start seeing commerce. The Garden’s of Great Neck shopping plaza in on the left and the Long Island Railroad train station is on the right. Make a left onto Cuttermill Road, 1st light after the train station. Very shortly, make the first right turn onto Gussack Plaza. The Village Hall is on the left, street level of the Municipal Parking Garage.

Village in Relationship to NYC:
Distance: 20.0 miles
Approximate Driving Time: 45 mins
Driving Directions to Manhattan (NYC):
Via Long Island Expressway:
Middle Neck Road South for 2.0 miles until intersection with LIE (I-495)
Take the LIE West 18.0 miles
The end of the LIE is the Midtown Tunnel which leads directly into NYC (approx. 34th Street)
Toll: $3.50 each way

Via Cross Island Parkway (to get to the Upper East/West Side Manahattan):
Middle Neck Road South for 0.5 miles
Make a right onto Northern Blvd. west (25A)
Follow 25A until intersection with Cross Island Parkway north
Follow Cross Island Parkway North to Whitestone Expressway south
Stay extreme right on the Whitestone Expressway until signs for Grand Central Parkway & Triboro Bridge
Take Grand Central Parkway towards Triboro Bridge
Triboro Bridge follows through the signs for the FDR drive, which will take you to the Upper East side of Manhattan
Toll: $3.50 each way

JFK International Airport: 15.5 miles 29 mins
Middle Neck Road South for 0.5 miles
Make a right onto Northern Blvd. west (25A)
Follow 25A until intersection with Cross Island Parkway south (left side)
Cross Island Parkway South splits into Belt Parkway (bear right)
Follow Belt Parkway until Van Wyck Expressway (towards JFK Airport)
Follow Van Wyck to JFK International Airport
Laguardia Airport: 12.5 miles 26 mins
Middle Neck Road South for 0.5 miles
Make a right onto Northern Blvd. west (25A)
Follow 25A until intersection with Cross Island Parkway north (right side) Follow Cross Island Parkway North to Whitestone Expressway south Stay Right on the Whitestone Express until signs for LaGuardia Airport (Grand Central Parkway W.)
The Great Neck Park District, as we know it today, evolved over a long period of time. The actual concept of a designated park district in our area dates back more than eighty years.
In 1916, the State of New York enacted legislation-permitting towns to establish park districts as special districts within their boarders. Five months later, Roswell Eldridge, of Great Neck, filed a petition before the Town Board of the Town of North Hempstead to establish the Great Neck Park District. The petition was approved and the first meeting of the new Park District’s Board of Commissioners was held on August 31, 1916

The GNPD set out to acquire land for parks. As its first transaction, it purchased property on Long Island Sound for $40,000 and this Public Bathing Beach became the first park in the District. It was located at the foot of Steamboat Road.

In the early 1920’s, land was acquired for Memorial Field (also known as the Athletic Field) and the Village Green. Later on in the 20’s, the Village Green was expanded with three and a half acres bought from the Great neck School District and an additional ten acres were acquired to create Allenwood Park.

The Village of Kings Point, in 1938, proposed that the Park District lease Kings Point Park from them, with the condition that the Park District develop and improve the land. Today, Kings Point park is a year round, 175-acre recreational facility that provides residents with tennis, baseball, soccer, picnics, barbecues, nature trails, sledding and cross country skiing.

In 1941, Cutter Mill, Grace Avenue, and Wyngate Parks were added to the District. These easily accessible neighborhood parks provide resting-places for adults and playground equipment for active youngsters.

In 1942, the U.S. Government purchased the old Public Bathing Beach site from the GNPD to construct the U.S Merchant Marine Academy. The Park District offset that sale to the government by buying the present Steppingstone Park and Marina.

In 1961, The District petitioned the Town of North Hempstead to expand its limits to include the Lakeville, Uplands and Westmoreland areas; and in the same year; the Village of Thomaston was added to the Districts jurisdiction.

The Parkwood Complex opened in 1964 with an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool and ice-skating rink that served a membership of more than 2,000 local families. The skating rink was enclosed to make it an all-weather rink in 1970. Parkwood has won a number of gold medals for excellence in recreational development. Parkwood Indoor Tennis Center is also included in the complex today.
In 1991, the Park District acquired the four-acre Peninsula Club in Thomaston to protect the last available green space on the peninsula.
The Great Neck Park District includes twenty-one parks and three commuter parking lots. A Park Board composed of three Commissioners – One of whom is up for re-election every year, guides the operation of the parks.