Great Neck Online
Village of Kensington
 
Incorporated 1917
2 Nassau Drive, Great Neck, New York, 11021
(516) 482-4409

Population: 1104 (1990)

Parks: Allenwood Park; unnamed park by the Kensington Gates.

Government:

Mayor: M. David Burghardt

Trustees: Michael Cohen, Anna Eskreis, Bonnie Golub, Gloria Markfield, Nancy Sweder

Village Clerk-Treasurer: Pauline L. Karine

Village Judge: Stephen R. Taub

Building Inspector: William Howe

Village Attorney: Peter Mineo

Kensington Board Meetings: Third Wednesday of every month.

A Brief History

Kensington, it could be said, is Great Neck's first development. In 1904, Charles E. Finlay, President of the Aetna Bank of New York, and E.J. Rickert bought the land just north of the train tracks from the Deering, Thorne, and Allen families -- Beverly Road was once Deering Lane; and the Allen name remains in Allenwood Park -- with the explicity purpose of creating a residential community. They built amenities such as a swimming pool and tennis courts, a boat dock, a beach, and a swimming pool, which was rare in those days, to attract buyers. They began selling their 150 homes for $15,000 to $35,000 -- in a time when no home north of the LIRR tracks had ever been sold for more than $4,000. Soon, the Kensington Gates were erected, an elegant copy of the gates from London's Kensington Gardens, from which the community takes its name.

By the 1920s and 30s, Kensington was known as the place where the Broadway stars, artists, and New York City cultural elite lived; men once nationally renowned (and still remembered in some circles today) such as Ed Wynne, Donald Brian, Joseph Stanley, Francix X. Hope, Jim Barton, Earl Benham, Florence Moore, Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Ring Lardner, Herbert Bayard Swope, Gene Buck, and Flo Ziegfeld. Kensington was home to the cultural elite of Great Neck -- and of New York City.

Kensington has been fortunate over the years to have avoided much urban development, other than a few apartments on Middle Neck Road, remaining a small, close community as its always been. And just in the last two years, Kensington has finally been fortunate to have seen the destruction of the shell of the old Kensington-Johnson ("K.J.," as its affectionately called) school house, whose shell had been sitting there for a number of years. With such progress in mind, Kensington faces, and embraces, the future.

 

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