by Kevin Walsh

Your webmaster is usually the one with the answers (well, some of the time) but when I set up ForgottenSlices in the summer of 2007 it was also for the purposes of asking questions about buildings and objects I don’t know about…for example, today’s feature in Little Neck.

Little Neck, of course, has one of the two remaining working farms in NYC of any size whatever (if you grow tomatoes in your front yard you are operating a farm, I suppose): the Queens Farm Museum, which was one of the first things covered in FNY back in 1999. The other is the Decker Farm, operated by Richmond Town Restoration in Staten Island.

The building shown in the title card can be found (or could, in December 2007) at 54-47 Little Neck Parkway, just north of the Long Island Expressway. Though it’s not found in any landmarking or historic preservation lists, it has turned up in some lists as the “Adams Farm.”

There are a huge front lawn, stone fence, an old-school mailbox with a flip flag for the mail carrier, and a brick driveway.

Some listings have it as the Adams Greenhouse and indeed there is one on the property. A barn or storage house is seen on the south side of the property.

(LEFT) side view of the house, accessible from Cornell Place in University Gardens, Nassau County. The farm property borders Queens and Nassau.

One thing’s almost certain: in today’s whirling real estate environment (in 2007 real estate was in trouble all over the country, with sale prices dropping dramatically except in NYC) developers are wasting no time snapping up large properties they deem suitable for multifamily housing, and this space seems ripe for that possibility. This slice of Queens history may be doomed. The Queens Farm Museum has made a bid on the farmhouse, so all may not be lost.



11/5/15 update: The Harvest Church of New York has purchased the site, while the greenhouse has been demolished.


Chris September 9, 2011 - 6:52 am

During the 50’s and 60’s,I remember going there during the Christmas holidays to buy wreaths and garland that they sold out of the barn. At that time I believe it was called The Allen Nursery.

Susan March 26, 2012 - 4:11 pm

My mother lives across the street! Why haven’t I noticed it after six years?

Julian Sottovia February 7, 2015 - 12:15 am

I worked at that location. It was Allen’s Farm and later called Allen’s Greenhouses. It became a florist and I worked there for a few years. The Allen family was related to the Fowler family and both were prominent Little Neck families going back to the 1800’s.

It was a fun place to work at.

Eileen (Morrison) Berling October 21, 2017 - 12:10 pm

WOW, how random to come across this! I lived in that house more than 60 years ago, and forward through LakevilleElementary School and then Junior and senior high school years, graduating from Great Neck South in 1962. I lived with my grandparents who rented the property from Alfred Allen. After my grandmother died the Allens moved in with their daughter and son in law, Ellen and Mitch Michaud. I actually remained in the house with them. The story became more complicated as the years passed. The Allen/Michaud family constructed the greenhouse, established Allen’s Greenhouse and Florist within the barn, and moved (on rollers!) their house from across the street up to the site on the property, and thereby were able to record and claim the 1 Cornell Place Great Neck address! (My address allowing me to attend school in Great Neck)
I attended my 50th high school reunion in 2012 and took the opportunity to visit the property, which had fallen into tragic disrepair. There is lots of tangled history on that parcel. I am glad to learn it, hopefully, has come into positive use.

William wilson December 27, 2019 - 2:54 pm

Hi Eileen my name is William Wilson my mom is Marion was your nick name cricket I have a lot of memories would love to hear from u.we used to call Clara meme

James Allen July 21, 2019 - 3:47 pm

The update on the house brought back many memories. My grandfather, William Allen, was Alfred’s brother. William had been the superintendent of the Taylor Estate, which is now part of the Queens Farm Museum, and then went to work with his brother at the Greenhouses. I remember visiting the Greenhouses and the house as a child. Alfred’s wife, Clara, was a Cornel (they spelled it with one l). I believe the house came from her family. William’s wife, Helen Weeks Allen, was the daughter of William Weeks, who owned a farm in Bayside.

William wilson December 27, 2019 - 2:47 pm

Hi James my name is William Wilson Ian grandson of Gladys cornel,Woolley sisterof Clara Allen I have many memories there would love to hear from you


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