Letter from the President
Hello everyone and welcome to our recently re-launched community website. Whether you’re a long time Fieldston resident, a new homeowner or are considering a move to Fieldston, we are delighted to offer a host of information and resources that we hope you will find useful.
As a relative newcomer to Fieldston, I’ve been amazed by the sense of pride our homeowners take in our community. I am honored to be serving as President of the Fieldston Property Owners Association and look forward to building on our prior boards’ efforts to enhance the quality of life of Fieldston residents such as our recent road re-paving initiative and the re-launch of our annual block party at Delafield Pond.
I am also excited to embrace the surge in young families that have been moving to Fieldston in recent years. Our new neighbors are introducing a generation of children to our community and thereby renewing its vitality for years to come. I look forward to meeting each of you personally in the coming months.
As you explore our new website, please take advantage of the community forums that are designed for you to share your thoughts, feelings and suggestions for our neighborhood. We look forward to hearing from you.
The land that is now Fieldston was part of the estate of Major Joseph Delafield, who purchased 250 acres in 1829. The Delafield family laid out lots in 1909 – the year after the New York City Subway's Broadway line was extended to Van Cortland Park. Rather than use a grid plan, civil engineer Albert E. Wheeler, following the suggestions made by Frederick Law Olmsted and James R. Croes in 1876, designed a street plan which followed the contours of the land and preserved as much of the wooded areas as possible.
The first house in Fieldston was begun in 1910 and finished in 1911. Buyers were provided with a list of approved architects and architectural styles – the various "revival" styles – were strongly encouraged. The Tudor revival style was popular in houses built in the 1920s and many of them were designed by local resident Dwight James Baum, who was responsible for 62 houses. Another prominent architect, Julius Gregory, is credited with forty-two of the homes. Many of the houses in the neighborhood were featured in design and architectural magazines, and the neighborhood had a reputation for having houses of quality design.
Click here to read the full Story of Fieldston or view our Gallery of Historical Photos.
A New York City Landmark
Robert B. Tierney, past Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and other leading preservationists, architects and historians have called Fieldston one of the city's jewels and an important example of a planned suburban community in the 20th century. The Commission agreed and on January 10, 2006, the majority of the Fieldston neighborhood was designated as an historic district. Click here for the full designation report.