Story as it appeared in the Queens Ledger
The Tea Garden may not be familiar to the current generation, but the charming spot nestled behind the Forest Hills Inn and Jade Eatery & Lounge at 1 Station Square will make a comeback as early as later this year.
Passersby last week witnessed the filming of Fidelio, a film about the life of director Stanley Kubrick. The abandoned Tudor-style garden was resurrected as a scene from 1957 Munich. The Kubrick film, Paths of Glory, was filmed in Bavaria, which is where Kubrick met the love of his life, Christiane Harlan.
Between the Tea Garden’s century-old trees and in front of a sign that read “Hofbrauhaus Munchen,” couples socialized, toasted, and danced the waltz. Nineteen year-old actor and songwriter, Elijah Vance played a German actor in the carnival, and stated,
“The Tea Garden made me feel as if I was in 1920s Germany,” said 19-year-old actor Elijah Vance.
Prior to filming, the Tea Garden was weeded, and cracked and missing flagstone tiles were replaced. Red-and-yellow potted Mums graced the perimeter of the defunct brick fountain, which was embellished with a multi-level traditional stone fountain.
Tree pits were also outlined with flowers and mulch. Blue-and-white balloons and wooden barrels contributed to the scene’s authenticity.
Local residents got a taste of the Forest Hills space that once hosted festive gatherings prior to the 1960s, and began to recognize the Tea Garden’s potential for a creative reuse project.
The Tea Garden dates to the opening of the Forest Hills Inn in 1912. The July 12, 1924, edition of The Forest Hills Bulletin read, “The Tea Garden of the Forest Hills Inn is a veritable fairyland, when lighted with Japanese lanterns, with the trickling fountain heard in the background, and a new moon shining overhead. There is no more delightful place in Greater New York for one to spend the dinner hour.”