Great Neck Historical Society hidden treasures program

Great Neck Historical Society hidden treasures program
The brickwork details add a subtle design feature on The Telephone Building. Photo provided by the Great Neck Historical Society,

Great Neck is fortunate to have works by some of the most acclaimed practitioners in America’s architecture and design history.

In spite of this renowned heritage, many of these names have yet to be highlighted for the public.

Andrew Cronson, a young architectural historian and expert on Long Island residential architecture, would like to change that. He will be presenting a series of programs for the Great Neck Historical Society which will be spotlighting the “hidden” names and places of Great Neck.`

The society is pleased to present the first of these programs by Mr. Cronson on Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. He will focus on Ralph Walker of the firm, Vorhees, Gemelin & Walker which designed many buildings for the New York Telephone Company during the 1920s and ’30s.

Walker is credited with designing the Telephone Building in Great Neck Plaza on the corner of Barstow and Welwyn Roads. Mr. Walker designed many buildings in New York City in the Art Deco style that today are considered masterpieces from that era.

Cronson will give a broad overview of his style and esthetic sensibilities. Some of Walker’s remarkable collaborators included Hildreth Meière, Samuel Yellin, and the Guastavino Fireproof Tile Construction Co.

Cronson currently serves as Vice President of the Save Chelsea organization where he is responsible for the advancement of their special projects and digital initiatives. He has also led a multi-year campaign to restore a monumental mural by noted artist, Julien Binford.

His preservation work has been featured in local and national publications including The New York Times, Newsday, AmNY, Untapped Cities, Vanishing New York, The Villager, Chelsea Community News, The Williston Times, WABC News, and Manhattan Express. Cronson received his undergraduate degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

He is also a member of the Wings Club, Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York, and the New York Academy of Sciences.

The Great Neck Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and the presenting the history and heritage of the peninsula. These programs are free to the community and this one will be virtual. Please sign up for a zoom link by March 22 at

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