The Original English Village
by Susan Vladeck
Built in the design of an English village in part motivated by Louis Mumford, Sunnyside Gardens became home in 1945. We first lived in a single house on 47th street and then moved to the corner of 47th and 39th avenue where our architect father converted a two-family unit into a single family house.
Stickball on the street, building igloos in the snow, it was a community where everyone’s parents kept an eye out and welcomed you in. School buddies were street buddies. And a big group of us were together from PS 150, and 125 to Music and Art. I always credited 5th grade teacher Fannie Malden for jogging the creative sparks in us.
Fast forward to the early 80s: we took three kids on a house exchange to Cambridge, England. When we entered the house, it was yes, exactly like our first Sunnyside house. My kids were surprised that I knew where everything was. Voila, here was the original English village and townhouse replicated in the Sunnyside gardens.