Coastal Playland: Developing the Long Island Sound

From: 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM

On Thursday, May 18, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Kara Murphy Schlichting, a noted historian of New York City’s environmental history, for an evening lecture on the history of the Long Island Sound as a place for urban recreation and leisure. She will speak at 7:00 pm in the Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

Schlichting’s lecture will draw heavily from her 2019 book New York Recentered: Building the Metropolis from the Shore (University of Chicago). In New York Recentered, Schlichting turns dominant narratives about New York City’s urban expansion on their head, focusing not on Robert Moses and grand scheme planning but on the lesser-known local businesses, developers, and government officials whose efforts profoundly shaped coastal communities throughout the metropolitan region. She will explore how, in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words, “the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western hemisphere” came to be dominated by public parks, beaches, and resorts for an emergent middle class. It is a fascinating story that covers the rise of the Long Island State Parks Commission and the dissolution of the Gold Coast’s more dramatic estates.

Support for the lecture series is generously provided by a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

Kara Murphy Schlichting is an Associate Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY. She earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Her work in late-19th and 20th-century American History sits at the intersection of urban, environmental, and political history, with a particular focus on property regimes and regional planning in greater New York City.

Schlichting has published in the Journal of Urban History and the Journal of Planning History. Her book ­New York Recentered: Building the Metropolis from the Shore was published in 2019 with the University of Chicago Press’s History of Urban America Series. She is a co-editor of the H-Environment Roundtable Reviews.

Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum & Reichert Planetarium 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport, NY


Arts & Culture


Suffolk County



$10, and free to members


Patrick Keeffe

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