Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bringing back the Queensmark

A decade ago, fearing Queens had become "Landmarks' stepchild and the developer's paradise," historian Stanley Cogan helped create the Queensmark - a way of recognizing structures that weren't landmarks.

By the time the program went inactive a few years ago - a victim of Cogan falling ill - some 100 plaques had sprouted in places like Richmond Hill, Jackson Heights and Whitestone.

Now, amid a building boom, the Queensmarks committee is mulling a reunion. But others fear the honors won't win landmark designations - and may instead alert developers to historic places they'll demolish before they can be protected.

Queensmarks committee mulls return

Once again, developers don't specifically target historic places...and they already have pored over every property in this borough. They know where the "soft sites" are.


Anonymous said...

Our course they will bring back Queensmarks, QHS is the 'official' historical society for the clubhouse.

Branding is important, and our cultural officials would be happy just to have one voice depicting history the way borough hall wants it.

If Queensmarks are so great, was does QHS reject for themselves, and intead put landmarks on their buildings?

It is so sad to see Queens residents so proud to get these meaningless tin plates, while people in the other four boroughs get real landmarks.

Anonymous said...

What a sad statement about preservation in this boro. We have to give our historical sites pretend landmarks because LPC so blatantly ignores the boro and its history. Truely shameful.

Anonymous said...

Organization 'A' can save a building and organization 'B' can go into 'A's community and get funding to get credit for it.

Anonymous said...

I remember a tour of the Poppenhusen archives. On the table was a Queensmark.

It pulled off Flessels before they demolished it.

Jeff said...

Flessel's restaurant at 119 St and 14 Rd in College Pt was a Queensmark. Alot of good it did.

jerry rotondi said...

As a former 2 term board member
of the Queens Historical Society
I must say that the original intent
of the "Queensmark" was a noble effort and I had supported it.

But one day,
standing in front
of the ruins of (landmark worthy) "Flessel's Restarant"
in College Point, a woman approached me and said,
"But it had a "Queensmark".

I had to pitifully explain to her that the honorary plaque offered

Many people are similarly offered
a sense of false hope that
a "Queensmark" is like an LPC
Landmark so they walk away confident that the site is protected from being demolished.

So instead of raising hell
and clamoring for a site to become
a real municipal landmark,
they accept the Bromide of the "Queensmark" instead.

I'm sorry to have to say,
I think that QHS has far better things to do with its time and money.

This, frankly, is a waste of both.

Anonymous said...

In Manhattan
they get the real Mc Coy.

In Queens we get the poor man's
the ersatz "Queensmark".

When are you going to stop playing with yourselves at QHS
and get into the REAL FIGHT
of advocating (beyond lip service)

Are you afraid if you "pipe up"
you'll lose your funding
from borough hall and the like?

Anonymous said...

At about a hundred bucks a pop
that's an expensive "Bromide" !

And there's no historical info
on those plaques,
just a repetition of the
building's number and the QHS name...
like a male dog marking its turf!

Anonymous said...

The "Queensmark" has become
a veritable death mark!

Many such "honored" sites have already become the victims
of the bulldozer or backhoe
gracing our various landfills!

Had they been really landmarked they'd still be here!


Anonymous said...


Why does
the Queens Historical Society
insist on bringing back
a program that has already proven to be so ineffective?


Maybe it's because
they want the public to think
they're really doing something
about Queens losing its history?

After all,
you can't call yourself
a historical society
without feigning making an effort to "preserve" history, can you ?

Anonymous said...

Here's a kicker: "Queensmarks" were never even submitted to LPC for evaluation, at least not by QHS.

Anonymous said...

The Queens Hysterical Society's credo seems to be,"MAKE NO WAVES"
(lest we lose our funding sources)!

For the Lord's sake....grow a pair!

Anonymous said...

The so called "umbrella group"(QHS)
leaves all others out in the rain!

They cover themselves well though!

Anonymous said...

Why should QHS "submit"anything,
unless it's to the will of
Borough Hall.....those panty waists!

Anonymous said...

Considering the power of the
"gay rights" movement,
perhaps we need to institute the formation of a new preservation group...."Queens For Queens".

Then we'd get somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Who's going to be the new
"Borough Historian"....
Somebody like Jeff Gottlieb
or another clubhouse hack?

Anonymous said...

If I propose Jeff Kroessler
for borough historian,
somebody out in western Queens is going to get his panties in a bind!

But I am anyway
and am looking forward to
"granny's" counter post!

rubbing hands, a fireman said...

is that a bell I see up in that tower?!!!