Developed by Forest Hills Gardens resident Guyon Locke Crocheron Earle and built by Fred F. French Co. in 1917, the 64-apartments at 4 Dartmouth Street were in the first elevator apartment house in the neighborhood.
Following it was the 111-apartment building at 6 Burns Street, also developed by Earle and designed by Timmons and Chapman. Earle designed the all-steel, one-piece, “One-Wall Kitchen of Beauty, Quality, and Equipment,” a feature of the kitchens on Burns Street.
Earle also served as director of the Forest Hills–Kew Gardens Apartment House Owners Association. Earle’s other local developments included Kew Gardens Terrace, Kew Hall, and Forest Park Apartments.
“The remaining members of the Earle family are so very pleased that Tennis View Apartments is celebrating the centennial of this beautiful place,” said Earle's granddaughter, Elisabeth Krug. Our dear Guyon thought architecture and innovations, like his 1940s high-tech kitchen unit that he marketed with Buckminster Fuller, could transform people's lives, so that they could concentrate on what's important; family, friends, service to the country and god.”
A notable resident of 4 Dartmouth Street was Alrick Hubbell Man, Jr., whose father developed Kew Gardens and grandfather Albon Man founded Richmond Hill. Building upon his family’s real estate roots, he worked for his father and later served as president of the Forest Hills – Kew Gardens Apartment Owners Association from 1934 to 1950.
He is largely remembered for his influences in the world of tennis. He was the West Side Tennis Club captain from 1935 to 1937, coached young tennis players as chair of the Junior Davis Cup Committee, and earned the title of president of the West Side Tennis Club, a post he held from 1941 to 1943.
As the non-playing captain of the US Davis Cup team from 1947 to 1950, he played a part in victories by Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, and Pancho Gonzales. With a mission to promote tennis worldwide, he founded the International Club.
In 1925, Dr. Philip Bovier Hawk, a soldier, accomplished biochemist and tennis player, took up residence at 6 Burns Street to “live as close as possible to the tennis courts without actually living on them.” He was a winner of the 1921, 1922, and 1923 National Veterans Tennis Championship and WSTC captain from 1926 to 1929, before becoming president in 1931.
Hawk founded Food Research Laboratories in 1922. He earned his Master of Science from Yale in 1902 and Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia University in 1903. His numerous membership affiliations included the Davis Cup Committee, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Medical Association, and American Chemical Society.
Hawk authored books such as “Off The Racket: Tennis Highlights and Lowdowns,” Streamline For Health,” “What We Eat and What Happens To It,” and “Practical Physiological Chemistry.”
Architect, inventor, theorist, and author R. Buckminster Fuller, the “father of the Geodesic Dome,” resided at 6 Burns Street. Fuller incorporated Earle’s revolutionary kitchen into his famed “Dymaxion House of the Future.” This remnant of Forest Hills history was salvaged in the early 1990s from 6 Burns Street and is now in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.
The Geodesic Dome was patented by Fuller in 1947. The dome that today is home to the aviary in the Queens Zoo was erected for the 1964 World’s Fair and dedicated to Winston Churchill.
“I came to 6 Burns Street after my graduation in 1945,” said Fuller's daughter, Allegra Fuller Snyder, who founded the Buckminster Fuller Institute. “One of my favorite recollections is Alrick Man, Jr. introducing me to Don Budge, and he would take me and my mother to the National Tennis Championships in Forest Hills.”
Buckminster Fuller moved to Forest Hills in 1948.
“My father was in Wichita, Kansas, working with the Beech Aircraft Company on the development of the Dymaxion Deployment Unit, which they hoped would be the mass-produced, single-family dwelling unit, whose production and distribution were modeled after Henry Ford's mass-produced auto industry,” she added. “They hoped that this would solve the acute housing shortage experienced by the soldiers and their families following World War II, but Beech then decided to stay in the aircraft industry.”
Special thanks to the researchers at the WSTC Foundation for providing information from their archives.