2 Nassau Drive, Great Neck, New York, 11021
Population: 1104 (1990)
Parks: Allenwood Park; unnamed park by the Kensington Gates.
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.