Forest Hills grew out of an experimentthe transformation of 142 undeveloped acres into America’s first garden city. From the early renderings of 1909 came a “fairy-book suburb,” as Sinclair Lewis wrote, with architecture that was inspired by medieval villages. The success of the community bred development of homes, churches, and businesses on nearby plots. Forest Hills landed the most prestigious tennis tournament in the country. Theodore Roosevelt visited. Helen Keller moved in. Only generations later would the peace shatter when residents viciously protested a historic proposal for public housing.
About the Author
Nicholas Hirshon, who grew up in Forest Hills, is a journalism professor at St. John’s University and a former reporter for the New York Daily News. His writing has also been featured in the New York Times, Hockey News, Montreal Gazette, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hirshon published his first Images of America book, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in 2010. Ray Romano, a favorite son of Forest Hills, recalls in the foreword how the neighborhood impacted his path to the Emmy Award–winning series Everybody Loves Raymond.