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
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.2
- 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 write.
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.