One of the finest neighborhoods in the world, FHG began as a planned Garden Community early in the 20th century. Wealthy widow Olivia Slocum Sage donated a large sum to establish a Garden Community in Forest Hills that could be a healthy, positive living environment appealing Manhattanites who were living in crowded and dirty conditions. The community was planned by an A-list of talent; landscaping was planned by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. and the initial architecture was designed by renowned New York architect Grosvenor Atterbury. The Gardens, as it is known, is an outstanding mix of bucolic charm, great architecture, the best public schools in Queens, a strong sense of community and urban conveniences; all only 15 minutes outside of Manhattan. The architecture is controlled by the communities’ homeowners association, the Forest Hills Gardens Corporation, as required in the restrictive Covenants. The streets, sidewalks and lighting are owned and maintained by the FHGC who also controls the parking on streets in The Gardens.
There are approximately 800 buildings on 142 total acres, with a mix of freestanding homes, attached townhomes, 8 Coops and one apartment building. Many homes are of relatively modest size but some are quite large. The community also includes green spaces, including 2 significant parks.
Cottage Living magazine named The Gardens one of the top 10 communities to live in in their July 2007 issue as a testament to the desirability of the community, which is born out in the elevated real estate prices as compared to the rest of Forest Hills and other neighborhoods in Central Queens. It is a great place for families but could be a challenge for singles.