2014-02-26 / Book Review

History Of Kew Gardens Told In New Book

BY JASON D. ANTOS


Images of America: Kew Gardens by Carl Ballenas with the Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School, forward by Barry Lewis, 127 pages, 200 photographs. It is available from Arcadia Publishing, Barnes & Noble and amazon.com, $21.99. Images of America: Kew Gardens by Carl Ballenas with the Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School, forward by Barry Lewis, 127 pages, 200 photographs. It is available from Arcadia Publishing, Barnes & Noble and amazon.com, $21.99. Carl Ballenas, with the Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School present their latest contribution to the preservation of Queens history.

Images of America: Kew Gardens provides a graphic look at how the area evolved at the dawn of the 20th century. The lush, hilly terrain – “the backbone of Long Island” – is situated north of the Victorian-era village of Richmond Hill.

In 1910, Alrick Hubble Man noted that the 1909 completion of the Queensboro Bridge would cause an increase in population and envisioned a modern sister community to Richmond Hill. Man developed Kew Gardens, offering people the ability to have homes in an area of breathtaking country beauty while continuing to work in the city. This extraordinary book, featuring more than 200 rare photographs, is a monumental work crafted with great reverence and accuracy, and was researched, developed and written by a group of academically gifted young students of the awardwinning Aquinas Honor Society of the Immaculate Conception School, under the direction of their teacher, author and local historian Ballenas.

“It is my hope, myself and the students, that the people who live in the community that is represented in their books will develop a deeper respect and understanding of the past and see how rich in history their community has evolved from and consider taking a deep role in preservation,” Ballenas said.

The students of the society range from age 11 to 13. They previously partnered on the books Images of America: Jamaica Estates and Jamaica. Ballenas is also the coauthor of Images of America: Richmond Hill and Maple Grove Cemetery.

Images of America: Kew Gardens is available at Arcadia Publishing, Barnes & Noble and amazon.com.

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