Historic Hempstead Plains - Nassau County, Long Island

Santini Base - sub base No. 1, a sub base of Mitchel Field

Santini Sub Base. (This section is in progress. Updated 02/25/2000)
In 1925, the Santini area was a golf course called "Cold Stream Golf Course".
1 The Santini and Barnum woods areas were purchased in 1941 or 1942.5 It was picked up after the expansion of Mitchel Field proper, in 1938. Mitchel Fields mission was also expanding in this time period. Larger aircraft required more runway space for safety. Santini would provide additional support space for Mitchel Field. During W.W.II, it would treat many of the airlifted wounded. The Santini hospitals name was "New Cantonment" and was on the northwest corner of Merrick Avenue and Front Street. This hospital mainly treated overseas returnees , neurological wounds and convalescent care, it was fully capable of providing all needed medical care.2 Please see Katherine Kennedy McIntyre's description of Santini Hospital and the human drama that took place there.6

Santini was split in two by the creation of Meadow Brook parkway, in 1954. One Hempstead turnpike entrance was across from the Nassau Veteran's Coliseum. The present day Glenn Curtis boulevard is approximately at the site of the original entrance. It quickly deviates from the path of the old road. During the construction of the Meadow Brook parkway an overpass was constructed to join both halves of Santini. This
overpass to "nowhere" still exists. It is entirely disconnected from any road.3

In 1955, Santini was used as an Air Force Reserve boot camp.
4 In fact the use of Santini for reserve and National Guard training actually predates 1955. This use would continue until Mitchel's deactivation. Santini was named after the names of the woodlands acquired.5 While the Santini section was added during W.W.II, it still remained essential to Mitchel Field's mission. Space at Mitchel was critically short during the Korean conflict years. Santini Hospital continued to operate as late as 1954. Preparations were underway for Mitchel to acquire more space from the Meadow Brook Polo club. There was talk of building another permanent hospital in the newly acquired area. Refurbishing of Santini hospital was put on hold, in 1954. Santini would be at its busiest in the summers in the 1950s due to ROTC and National Guard training. A number of its buildings were used as warehouses.

Here is a list of the buildings on this part of the base in the mid forties.

  • Theater - would be just southeast of Star Buck's coffee shop on Hempstead turnpike.
  • Cantonment Hospital - northwest corner of Front street and Merrick Avenue.
  • Red Cross Recreation building - west of Cantonment Hospital.
  • Enlisted men's Club across from the Red Cross recreation building.
  • Post Chapel.
  • Exchange branch number 1.
  • Exchange branch number 3.
  • Post office.
  • Tailor shop.
  • Pass House - a few hundred feet north of front Street just west of Merrick avenue.
  • Post office - just east and south of the overpass to "nowhere".
  • Officers club - just west of the remaining entrance road west of Borrelli's restaurant.
  • Officers Mess - just south of the officers club.
  • Bachelor officers quarters - just east of the officers club and mess. These buildings were still standing in the early 1970s.

If anyone can add to the history of this part of the base. I would appreciate it. Please

Present day Santini area photos:

Glen Curtis blvd, Merrick Ave.

Front Street Section. also a 90 degree panoramic view from front Street.

An old Hempstead Tpke entrance

A north view from the park road.

Aerial view of Santini sub base (ca 1953).

Views from the NorthWest section.

See the Mitchel Field additional photos section


1) 1925 Nassau County land map.

2) Mitchel Field Handbook.- Nassau County Museum, Hofstra University, LISI

3) Field observation.

4) Ray Grohs- See the guest book for his information.

5) In the beginning, East Meadow, Steve Buczak, LI Airfields of Yesterday, "History of Mitchel Air Field' from the Dan Pflug collection.

6) World War II: It Changed Us Forever, Edited by Margaret G. Bigger. © 1994 by A. Borough Books. Still available in print and definitely worth having.


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