Friday, March 2, 2007

New waterfront landmark for Astoria

The LPC finally designated the former Sohmer Piano Factory in Astoria:

Landmark status for Sohmer factory

L.I.C’s Sohmer Piano Factory Landmarked

...Community Board 1, which represents Astoria and Long Island City, originally voted not to landmark the property, said District Manager George Delis.

“There was nothing unique about it and we thought it would prevent development at that location,” he said.


Calls for landmarking have been going back to at least 1984:

Streetscapes: The Sohmer Piano Factory; Discordant Notes On Landmarking

Along with the opposition to such efforts:

Community Board 1 opposes designation and wants the site redeveloped -- a 23-story waterfront condominium, Shore Towers, has just been finished seven blocks north.


(Lord, is Shore Towers hideous. One of those "Was the architect smoking crack?" designs. Although a better question might be: "How long has community board 1 been smoking crack?")

Official designation announcement: Sohmer Piano Factory

Photo from Time Out NY.


Anonymous said...

What does George Dellis make as district (DESTRUCT) manager yearly? $70-90,000? Damned self-serving piece of "scatta"!

Isn't he in the real estate business?

And as for CB#1.....they'd sell out their community any day.

We really don't need this type of faux community board that's in the habit of representing developers instead of its residents.

Anonymous said...

People, please - let's not offend real crack users by comparing them to Community Board 1. That's hitting below the belt.

Anonymous said...

This building only took about a quarter of a century to landmark. It's about time the commission did something right for Queens!

Now let's hope City Council (mostly the self-centered Melinda Katz) doesn't overturn its landmarking. She did it with the Jamaica Bank branch in Elmhurst, to the disarray of her constituency. Stop bowing down to the developers, copykatz!

Anonymous said...

Between Vinnie “Big Mike” Denoato shouting down any opposition at the community board meetings, and George “Demolition Man” Delis who regards his position as an opportunity to keep track of the latest development opportunity, CB1, like every other institution in that part of Queens suffers from cronyism and club house politics,

There is little doubt the community is going down the tubes, and the aging clique in charge of it is increasingly out of touch with the realities of modern day NY.

They don’t care; most of them have summer homes were the really live. Their role is to milk the community dry. They care little of its future.

And considering that they control everything down to the point of spreading wrong information to the public, and knowing they can get away with it, the future of Astoria is bleak at best.

Anonymous said...

Community Board 1 in Queens is widely regarded as an embarrassment of the community board system in N Y.

They are responsible for the racist Suna project, and think nothing of endangering their community with overdevelopment.

A fire house closes? Increase the zoning in Dutch Kills

Electric grid fried? Blame Con Ed then a few weeks later approve thousands more in housing.

Hospitals closed? Lets put in 15 story towers.

The point is that these guys are endangering the public safety of the community. God forbid something happens. They will get their asses sued.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in Astoria is apathetic. There is no point in trying to do anything to impove our community. A tiny clique of perhaps 50 people control everthing.

For example, I went to the precinct council meeting with a group of young people trying to get involved. They had no interest in new blood (except perhaps to help the old biddies serve coffee)

It was a love fest with everyone walking around in a fog.

It was a shame. And a sham.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. Went to a Taminent event a few years ago.

The average age was somewhere in the 70s.

They were giving each other plaques. And more plaque. And yet more plaques.

At 11:30 PM, without dinner being yet served, we left.

It was a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

The guy that bought the Sohmer Building was the same guy that tried to evict Socrates.

If it wasn't for Parks Commissioner Stern displaying leadership that is absent in our community, he would have succeeded.

During the hearings, the community board actually said they would provide better services (sidewalks, garbage pickup etc) if the community went along.

I always thought something like this (withholding services from a community unless a private developer's wishes were satisfied) was illegal.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen an Astoria Civic event? Half the people present were Vice Preisdents of the organization.

Pretty much the same people and age group as the precinct council. Surprise surprise.

With the exception of a scholarship (which after decades is less than one medium sized developer makes in a year in Astoria) and some bicycle race in Astoria park, it does nothing except bask in the supposed glories of the past.

No civic in Queens worth their name is not a member of the United Civic Congress.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine went to the precinct council meeting in November. All they did was have a bunch of developers throw a few dollars in a pot for a charity.

That was the entire evening.

They raised the equivalent to a month's rent for a nice size Manahttan aparmtment.

So much for giving back to the community.

Anonymous said...

For too long Queens has become a "demolition derby"! It was started by that evil SOB, Donald Manes and is being continued via "club house politics" (playing "footsy" with developers) through the present administration!

Beep Marshal is not the doddering jovial fool that she often appears to be.

She's a cunning partner of the overbuilders! Watch out for her! She's worse than that kindly grandma Shulman ever was!

mazeartist said...

George Delis once wanted to turn Socrates Sculpture park into a Queens Crap luxury marina!

Anonymous said...

Sohmer sold for about $750,000 in 1980 to Adirondack Direct who resold it June 2006 for$22,000,000. That's almost 3000% or 112% per year. God bless America, or at least the rich Americans.

Anonymous said...

The Sohmer / Adirondack Building went to the notorious doctor that grew up in that neighborhood and subsequently is hell-bent on destroying it after not living there for 30 years. He was the same pathetic loser that tried his best to evict the Socrates Sculpture Park so he could put up three 40 story towers there. Thank God he lost and the Park became a real New York state park.

This is his latest stab in the back to the neighborhood he was born in and obviously is bleeding it dry.

What's even sadder is the old Mayflower Moving lot directly behind it and in back of 2 blocks of 2 family houses. This thing is frightening! At least 20 stories high with NO windows facing Queens, only facing the river.

Suspiciously, there are no public records of this building ANYWHERE except for building code violations that are obviously being settled by pay-offs to our incredibly corrupt Department Of Buildings and their merry crew in Jamaica.

Talk about a building TURNING IT'S BACK ON ASTORIA, this takes the cake.

Anonymous said...

To correct the comment about Shore Towers just being built, Shore Towers has been there since 1975 and has had a horrendous rat problem ever since, just like ALL riverfront property eventually does.

Please ask a REAL Astorian next time, thank you very much!