THE VILLAGES OF MANHASSET
Manhasset includes three incorporated villages – Munsey Park, Plandome and Plandome Heights – and parts of three others – Flower Hill, Plandome Manor and North Hills as well as the unincorporated area served by the Town of North Hempstead, including the areas known as Bayview, Manhasset Park, Norgate, North and South Strathmore, Strathmore Village, Strathmore Vanderbilt, Shorehaven, Spinney Hill, and Terrace Manor. Each incorporated village annually elects a mayor and trustees. A clerk treasurer is appointed by elected officials as well as building inspector, zoning and appeals board and a planning board. Villages may levy taxes and enact ordinances as long as they are not conflict with State, County or Town laws. Limits on village taxes and indebtedness are determined by the State Constitution.
THE VILLAGE OF MUNSEY PARK
The history of Munsey Park dates back to the early part of the twentieth century. The area was almost totally large estate farmland with rolling hills, natural and verdant wooded landscapes abounding with small game and, only occasionally, broken by developed homesites. In 1922, the Louis Sherry Estate and Mansion were among the properties purchased by Frank A. Munsey, a conservative newspaper publisher. Over time, through additional purchases of small and mid-sized tracts, Munsey amassed 663 acres which included all of the present day Munsey Park, a small village where vintage street lamps lace narrow, tree lined roads and traditional homes grace manicured properties. At the time of his death in 1925, Munsey’s fortune was estimated at more than $40 million – which was willed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. The museum developed a model community with all the homes built as authentic American colonial reproductions and the streets named for American artists. The first model home was opened February 19, 1928. To avoid architectural monotony, there never were, not are there today, anywhere in the village any adjacent or nearby homes of identical design, a factor greatly contributing to the steadiness of property value. The Village was incorporated in 1929.
Area: One-half square mile
THE INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF PLANDOME
Incorporated in 1911, the Village of Plandome is an affluent community adjacent to Manhasset Bay, complete with its Village Hall, a local landmark once serving as an elementary school, the Village Green, in the center of Plandome, and its own LIRR Station no more than a mile away from each home in the Village. A civic-minded community, it boasts several organizations that have helped form the cohesive village – Plandome Field and Marine Club, 1908, Plandome Women’s Club, 1909, the Plandome Fire Department in 1911-12 and Plandome Association in 1940. In June 2001, the Village was ranked #58 in Worth Magazine’s list of 250 richest towns in the United States.
Area: One-half square mile
THE VILLAGE OF PLANDOME HEIGHTS
Plandome Heights was built on property once owned by Bloodgood Haviland Cutter, the “Long Island Farmer Poet”. He died in 1906 leaving his land to American Bible Society. One portion became a sand-mining operation while “ The Heights” was purchased in 1909 by Benjamin Duke, a founder of the American Tobacco Company. Duke wanted to create his own social environment, a summer community for his friends and fellow tobacco executives rivaling Tuxedo Park. The Plandome Heights Company built ten homes, all in the same Spanish architectural style of white stucco exterior and red-tile roof and all surrounded by lovely spacious gardens. A walk through Plandome Heights today reveals nine of these beautiful “tobacco homes” that were part of the originally planned Duke Community.
Benjamin Duke died in 1929, the year Plandome Heights was incorporated.
THE VILLAGE OF PLANDOME MANOR
Plandome Manor, incorporated in 1931, consists of four distinct areas, Plandome Park, Plandome Mills, Circle Drive and Gull’s Cove-Elm-Sea Lane and Luquer Road. Within its boundaries are beaches, a railroad station, a golf club, a museum and no commercial enterprises. In 1908, Plandome Park was home to Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of the Secret Garden, Little Ford Fauntleroy, and A Little Princess. Her house, on the waterfront property, was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Grumman in 1940. Mr. Grumman was the founder of the Grumman Corporation, one of the largest employers on Long Island. The company was well known for its production of Navy airplanes during WWII.
The property adjacent to Grumman was home to Ellis L. Phillips, an engineer who founded the Long Island Lighting Company. His home, Laurimore, is a beautiful English Mansion and is still standing today. Payne Whitney had a large stone boathouse built for his son John Hay (Jock) Whitney adjacent to what is now known as Plandome Park’s Beach. William Henry Hewitt, a large landowner in the area operated a Gristmill and sawmill on his land opposite Leed’s Pond. The Mill survived and is now a well-kept residence containing some of the old machinery that operated the mill. The Goldman Estate is now the North Shore Science Museum using the land and pond for educational purposes.
Area: .2 square miles
THE INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF FLOWER HILL
Today, the Village of Flower Hill occupies parts of Manhasset, Port Washington and Roslyn. Similar to that of other parts of Manhasset, the area was one of farms and pastures, extending from what is now Port Washington Boulevard straight down to Hempstead Harbor. Incorporated in 1931, Flower Hill abuts the villages of Plandome, Plandome Manor, and Munsey Park, as well as Roslyn and Port Washington. The zoning varies from 7,500 sq ft lots to one-acre residential plots. A popular theory of how the name came to be, is the that there was an abundance of flowering cherry trees lining the road to one of the farms as well as fields and meadows always filled with lovely wildflowers. Flower Hill is home to St. Francis Hospital, a teaching hospital of and a world-renowned Cardio-Vascular Center.
Area: 1.6 square miles*
* This figure include small parts of other towns – no definite boundaries exist in the Village.
THE VILLAGE OF NORTH HILLS
There really is a Shelter Rock, an 18-ton boulder, the largest know on Long Island, deposited by a glacier more than 11,000 years ago near what is now Shelter Rock Road, in the Village of North Hills. The Matinecock Indians used its 30 foot overhang for shelter in their village on the site. Many legends woven by both Indians and colonists who arrived in the 1600s are still told. The giant boulder, on the Estate of John Hay Whitney, publisher and Ambassador to England is not visible from the road. The English settlers built a fence in 1658 along what is now Northern Boulevard and created a farming community. One of the largest farms belonged to Isaac Underhill Willets, namesake of IU Willetts Roads (which bisected his property – to his displeasure.) That farm is now a golf course. By the 1900s a dozen families owned huge estates, including railroad magnate Nicholas F. Brady, who built Inisfada, the fifth largest residence in the country, now the St. Ignatious Retreat House.
To protect their way of life, landowners organized a Village, incorporated in 1929, with two-acre zoning. Decades later, a 10-year battle raged over a zoning ordinance, passed in 1970, which among other provisions, allowed for multi-family housing at 10 units to an acre, cluster housing and commercial development. A new building code in 1980 resulted in relative quiet.
North Hills has been home to many famous people – among them, New York Yankee co-owner Daniel Reid Topping, CBS executive William S. Paley, industrialist John Peter Grace and financier publisher John Hay Whitney.
Area: 2.8 square miles
Households: ( not available)