Monday, June 22, 2009

Morgan Park In Glen Cove

"All yields its place and goes"
It seems as if every cruising guide and article I have read about Glen Cove has included a paragraph about what used to be here. The famous Station 10 of the New York Yacht Club was situated on the grounds of this park along Hempstead Harbor's eastern shore. It was here that J.P. Morgan's CORSAIR and William Vanderbilt's ARA were moored in the early decades of the 20th century.

Despite reading about this and sailing into Hempstead Harbor many times, I was never quite sure of the exact location. My visit to Morgan Park answered these questions.

Morgan Park is an attractive, 40 acre, landscaped parcel that is open to residents only from May through September. With the ground saturated from the recent storms, and more rain in the forecast, I was fortunate to find no one at the gate checking for residency requirements. A woman in a lawn chair with a clipboard looked at me twice with a suspicious eye, but then resumed her cell phone conversation.

Opened in 1932, the park was constructed and donated by John Pierpont Morgan in memory of his wife Joan. Like many parks bordering this section of the Sound, it maintains the feel of the 1920's in its design and layout. There are gazebos and a bandstand that contribute to that mood. Just offshore, a mooring field still exists where the yachts of the New York Yacht Club once were. The former clubhouse (Station 10) once stood where a picnic pavilion is now located. When the park first opened, Station 10 was moved just south of here before being transported to Mystic Seaport in 1948, and eventually to Newport Rhode Island in 1999.

 "Gone is the glitter from the Glen Cove yachting scene" writes A Cruising Guide To The New England Coast. The post war years were not kind to Glen Cove as development seemed to turn inward and away from the waterfront. The attractive village streets were carved up as well, with four lane thoroughfares lined with car dealerships and fast food replacing the downtown. Glen Cove's connection to the water became displaced.

I walked north along the shoreline eventually reaching a breakwater that extended to the west. The rocks remained wet from the recent rains and I concluded that walking them would be a poor idea. I continued north along a seawall that provided open views of the Sound. Despite the poor weather, a small sailboat race could be seen in the distance (lasers maybe?). A few small fishing boats drifted near the mouth of the harbor. Reaching the end of the seawall, I came to a walkway that climbed a small bluff overlooking the park.

 Rather than climb the bluff for a better view, I turned around and retraced my steps. Unfortunately I was running out of time. It was late in the afternoon and I was due to meet someone at another famous piece of municipally owned waterfront land known as LaGuardia Airport.

Glen Cove Yacht Club: Station 10 Photo Gallery
New York Yacht Club: Station 10
Morgan Park: Summer Music Concerts
credit: A Cruising Guide To The New England Coast; Robert F Duncan, W.W. Norton & Co 2002


Sildenafil Citrate said...
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Queequeg said...

Sadly, the 80-year old bandstand (gazebo) at Morgan Park was destroyed by a 100 mph microburst from a thunderstorm earlier this week. As a former Glen Cover, I have no doubt that the City of Glen Cove, along with the Trustees of Morgan Park will rebuild this local landmark.

Just found your blog today. I've sailed to many of the ports around LIS that you've written about. Thoroughly enjoyable reading!