from the Foreword   |   from the Introduction

by Lloyd P. Zuckerberg

The origins of this book took place many years ago and involved one of my great passions— bakeries. What do Joe Allegue and bakeries have in common? Let me explain.

When I was three years old, my parents and I moved to Lawrence, Long Island, a comfortable suburban village that is about 100 years old. Lawrence is adjacent to Cedarhurst, and to many people the two villages along with three or four others comprise a community known as the Five Towns. My father grew up in Cedarhurst and watched it evolve in the immediate post-WW II years from a small community to a full-fledged suburb.

Every Saturday morning, my father played tennis. But on Sundays, I was treated to a trip to the Cedarhurst Cake Shop, an old-fashioned bakery that baked everything it sold "on the premises." It was just my Dad and me. We always bought more than we planned to bring home, since we knew we needed something to nosh while we took a detour on the way home. The detours involved houses. Other people's houses. Houses to which we aspired. Houses built with beautiful details. Details like slate roofs and cedar shingles. Not just simple slates. These were multi-colored and hand-cut. So too the shingles, which were thick and hand-split.

Many of the houses had beautiful granite schist as an integral part of their facades. Their detailing included historic elements found in far-away places like Colonial Williamsburg. And their placement on their lots indicated extraordinary sensitivity to how a house fits into the street.

The one thing these houses all had in common was their name. These were "Allegue Houses." I had no idea who Allegue was. I thought it was a term used in the same way one would say colonial or ranch. It was only after we moved in 1971 to a house built by Joe Allegue that I learned that Allegue was the name of a man who built houses. And I was to learn that he built some of the most beautiful and well-crafted houses in all the Five Towns.

To read the rest of José M. Allegue: A Builder's Legacy, place your order now.

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