9. Grace and Thomaston Buildings
The Grace and Thomaston Buildings are two historic buildings in Great Neck Plaza listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings were both built by the W. R. Grace Company, a chemical business founded by Irish-American politician and Mayor of New York City William Russell Grace. The namesake Grace building was constructed in 1914, while the Thomaston Building, named for a town in Maine where Grace’s wife Lillius Gilchrist grew up, was built in 1926.
The Grace Building, at 11 Middle Neck Road, is a 3 1/2-story brick building shaped like a chevron and is one of the area’s largest Tudor-style buildings. The building sits right across from the Great Neck Long Island Railroad Station and it features architectural elements like a large octagonal tower and wrought iron balconies. The building today houses offices, apartments, and stores like hair salons and beauty parlors.
The Thomaston Building is a 3 1/2-story brick building on Bond Street, a quaint Great Neck street with a number of eateries and small businesses. The building originally served as the headquarters for W. R. Grace Company’s international real estate operations until 1971, when the company moved to Manhattan. In the 1970s, the building featured a small shopping mall and served as the Village Hall for Great Neck Plaza, and in the 1980s, the building was completely restored by Patrick Silberstein. The Georgian Revival-style building features architectural elements like oculus windows and a cross-gabled roof. A number of businesses like Italian restaurant La Rotonda and currently occupy the building, which was added to the NRHP in 1978.