A strip of marshes and fields south of Little Neck Bay was known as “The Alley.” It was a great source for a rich supply of game, water and timber. Long before roads and parkways, it was an indian trail, too. It later became a 16,000-acre land grant to English colonists from New Netherlands Governor William Kieft in the mid-17th century.
Shown here is the rental summer home in “The Alley” of Gloria Swanson made up with hay roof to give the appearance of being in France.
The famous silent French drama “ZAZA” was filmed here in 1923 with Swanson in the title role. She co-starred with H.B. Warner (later, as an older man) he played Mr. Gower, the druggist, in “It’s A Wonderful Life.” These photos were never released as studio publicity and have never been published before. They were recorded by an insurance lawyer for legal purposes. The quaint homes of “The Alley” were razed with construction of the Cross Island Parkway in 1938. Little remains today of its former self.