The Knothole

knotholeinside the knothole

The Christopher Morley “Knothole” is a tiny one-room wooden cabin formerly used as a studio by prominent 20th-century Long Island editor and writer Morley (who authored such novels as “Thunder on the Left” and “Kitty Foyle”); it was later transported to the park. The facility is located by the dog run and is open occasionally for public programs.

Constructed in 1934, the Knothole includes built-in bookshelves, a fireplace and a bunkbed. But the public has been most intrigued over the years by the Knothole’s “dymaxion” bathroom, which was designed in 1936 by Morley’s friend, Buckminster Fuller, the renowned scientist and inventor. It is a one-piece, pre-assembled unit.

In 2006, with the help of the CMKA, the County completed renovation work on the Knothole, which involved replacing damaged siding, a task that required creating new siding to replicate the thick and irregularly shaped “wavy”-edge style of the original; adding a new roof and flashings; rebuilding windows and sills; and rebuilding the porch. In addition, a new handicapped-accessible ramp was installed.

Viewing doors will also be installed so that the public can see the interior of the studio and bathroom. “Morley embraced the language and had an incredible vocabulary, even by the standards of the 1920s, when people who went to college received broad educations,” says Harrison Hunt, Supervisor of Historic Sites for the Nassau County Department of Parks. “I actually need a dictionary out for virtually every page when I read his essays because on each page there will be some great word which has fallen into disuse.”