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Roy MacKay (author)

Roy MacKay (author)
Roy MacKay (author)
This book on the historic houses of Queens is the first ever of its kind with never-seen-before photos.

Queens boasts a rich history that includes dozens of poorly publicized but historically impressive houses. A mix of farmsteads, mansions, seaside escapes, and architecturally significant community dwellings, these homes were owned by America’s forefathers, nouveau riche industrialists, Wall Street tycoons, and prominent African American entertainers from the Jazz Age. Rufus King, a senator and the youngest signer of the US Constitution, operated a large family farm in Jamaica, while piano manufacturer extraordinaire William Steinway lived in a 27-room, granite and bluestone Italianate villa in Astoria. Local musicians include Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lena Horne. Through more than 200 photographs, my book, “Historic Houses of Queens,” explores the borough’s most notable residences—their architecture, owners, surrounding neighborhoods, peculiarities, and even their fates as some vanished due to financial problems or fires.

I am a longtime, award-winning community journalist who currently works for the Queens Economic Development Corporation. As part of my position, I operate various social media channels that promote the borough’s restaurants, shops, and tourism attractions. My interest in writing this book grew organically—and intensely—after I became a trustee of the Queens Historical Society.
  • Roy MacKay (author)