Monday, May 19, 2008

Bank erects tombstone on public property

When an individual or organization wants to install something on public property, they are supposed to get a permit from the city agency that holds title to it. But this is western Queens - the rules are different here.

Last year, Maspeth Federal Savings built a circular brick pit at the corner of 69th Street and Grand Avenue to host a new town Christmas tree on a piece of land which happens to be owned by DOT. The previous tree had been planted right in the ground. Since the co-sponsor, Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, is pretty much run by Maspeth Federal, they went along with it. (When individual members were asked about it, first they said they didn't know anything about it, later they just shrugged.) Not only was the bank required to obtain a permit from DOT, but they also needed approval from the Art Commission of the City of New York for a permanent installation in this public space.
As if it weren't ugly enough, the Christmas tree pit recently became host to a black tombstone-like monument dedicated to Maspeth Federal's one-time vice president who passed away last year. He was a nice guy who probably wouldn't appreciate his name and image being featured on a town eyesore. A short distance away are bricks that display the names of the bank president's parents and the parents of the bank's lawyer... This despite the fact that the bank has a lovely blooming garden on 68th Street which would be a more appropriate setting for these tributes.
And that's not all! The bank has snagged itself some free advertising on P.S. 58 The School of Heroes. Note that the bottom of this banner states "Compliments of Maspeth Federal Savings". Public schools are not the appropriate place for banks to promote themselves. But this is Maspeth, where anything goes and the town bank acts like they own everything. Let's also not forget that they sold the mortgage to the developer of St. Saviour's Church. But in their minds it's all ok because they sponsor an antique car show, a handful of summer concerts, a foot race and a parade.

Prediction: No local politician will raise this issue with the bank, DOT and the Art Commission won't take any action and no local paper will cover the story from this angle. However, there will be loads of photos of the parade and the dedication of the latest assault on Maspeth as if letting this institution run amok on public space is a good thing. And in a few months, MFS will no doubt place some other permanent eyesore at this intersection. Because they believe in treating us all like family.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is freaking hideous!

Anonymous said...

Who does Maspeth Federal's design consulting? What taste...

Anonymous said...

Poor Bruce. He doesn't deserve to be remembered that way.

Anonymous said...

So because he coordinated the tree lighting every year, he should get a monument in the town square? Was this task so gargantuan that this man deserves to be honored by the entire town? I am sure I could do the same thing if I made a few phone calls.

Anonymous said...

"Compliments of Maspeth Federal Savings"

The banner may be compliments of the bank, but the parade is sponsored by multiple organizations, and I find it insulting that MFS is trying to take credit for everything when their contribution is no greater than anyone else's.

Anonymous said...

Expect a full page story on how wonderful Maspeth Federal is in this week's Queens Ledge.

Anonymous said...

You sure like attacking this bank because it didn't do your bidding on the St. Saviour's issue. Come now, don't you realize how silly these complaints sound? That brickwork looks pretty nice, and I think most people living in the area don't much mind it or a poster announcing the Memorial Day parade.

Julie said...

"That brickwork looks pretty nice"

Why don't you answer the question about why the bank does anything it pleases on public space without a permit? If you think it's ok for them to do it, then why shouldn't everyone just build and hang whatever the hell they want to on public light poles, sidewalks, etc?

P.S. that tree pit is ugly.

Anonymous said...

I think most people living in the area don't much mind it or a poster announcing the Memorial Day parade.

Ditto what Julie said. Did anyone bother to ask the town if they minded? No. That's what the art commission is for. Oh well, who needs permits?

Anonymous said...

"Come now, don't you realize how silly these complaints sound?"

I think you sound silly for defending the 'anything goes' mentality that is pervasive at Maspeth Federal.

Anonymous said...

"I think most people living in the area don't much mind it or a poster announcing the Memorial Day parade"

People who give a damn about their neighborhood care. Neighborhoods become eyesores when one little thing after another is overlooked.

Anonymous said...

How distasteful that a bank would essentially use the death of one of its employees to advertise on public property.

A real tribute would not list the people who paid for the plaque at the bottom. What a disgrace.

Brian Berdia said...

I live in the area and hate the tree pit, the tombstone and the banners that are put not only on the school, but also on the triangle at 69th street and LIE and along the LIE service road for all of Maspeth Federal's events. They are in a central location and can advertise on their own property without encroaching on city property. And they have a time capsule around the back and they should put the tombstone next to it.

Anonymous said...

Did they at least mention it at the community board?

Anonymous said...

The Rudzewick legacy continues.

Anonymous said...

the best part is that they defaced city property by installing the pit and the city does nothin about it just showin that if u bankroll developers u are better than the average person and deserve to use city prop for your own self gain

CntrySigns said...

I'm sure if people removed their money from the bank telling the manager why, it might and thats a big might get things changed. I'm really surprised that with the DOT needing so much money they would allow the bank to use their property without charging rent!