DO YOU BELIEVE IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION? TO WHAT EXTENT IS IT NECESSARY FOR THE CONSERVATION OF LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER? WHERE WITHIN DISTRICT 30TH DO YOU FEEL PRESERVATION SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED?
COMO: I feel that everyone should believe in historical preservation because it is vitally important that we protect our heritage and history. Each neighborhood has its unique origin and distinctive character that should be preserved for future generations. No one borough should have a monopoly on historical designations and I believe that Queens has been grossly ignored by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. I believe that historic preservation has many intrinsic benefits. We should not make the mistake of measuring historic preservation based solely upon economics. The aesthetic, educational, cultural, political and environmental benefits outweigh any economic opposition. If elected Councilman I will fight to ensure that Queens gets the consideration it deserves. Any building or area that has an historical significance within the 30th district should be considered for a landmarks designation. There should be an open dialogue between elected officials, community board members, civic associations, residents and the LPC to identify historical sites. As a community we should work together to create a healthy balance between development and preservation. I have been a member of numerous civic organizations including: serving on the Board of the Peter Cardella Senior Center and Christ the King Regional High School and an active member of the Middle Village Property Owners, Glendale Property Owners, Juniper Park Civic Association, COMET Civic Association, Middle Village Chamber of Commerce, Italian Charities of America, Maspeth Middle Village Civic Association, the Mario Lanza Lodge and Glendale Kiwanis.
CROWLEY: I believe strongly in historic preservation, so much so that I have studied, practiced and promoted forms of preservation in my daily life. I have a bachelor’s degree in preservation and restoration from SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology and have completed graduate level course in historic preservation from Pratt Institute where I hold a Masters of Science in City and Regional Planning. Professionally, I have utilized my preservation skills on historic landmarks which include Radio City Music Hall, Times Square Empire Theater and the historic Central Synagogue. There are many areas of the 30th district in which preservation should be emphasized. The 30th district has many historic locations that contribute to the unique character of our neighborhoods. There are locations in each neighborhood of the district: Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Richmond Hill, Ridgewood and Woodhaven.
OBER: I believe in historic preservation and have worked in preserving my neighborhood through my civic work. The history of a neighborhood intersects with its historic building stock and instills a sense of pride in the place we live. It is this sense of place which is grounded in the buildings we preserve. The character of the neighborhood is part of what makes a place a wonderful place in which to live. The character includes the beauty of its architecture, the scale and layout of the buildings, and the sense of the people who built and created the neighborhood. Historic preservation is necessary to preserve the unique neighborhood character.
OGNIBENE: I am absolutely committed to the historic preservation of our local neighborhoods character, it is an essential element of the quality of life we covet and the reason we live in these communities. While there are significant areas in all the communities in the 30th Council District which are eligible for landmark status review and require protection from unnecessary development this can be done on a location by location basis. On a broader scale I would place an emphasis on the communities of Ridgewood and Richmond Hill which have a significant amount of classic structures and are the communities most vulnerable to wide spread abuse and over-development.
Como: Have you finished listing your affiliations yet? Where within the district should preservation efforts be directed?
Crowley: What preservation battles have you led? Where within each neighborhood should be preserved?
Ober: You seem to understand preservation, but skipped the specifics as well.
Ognibene: Ridgewood and Richmond Hill should get the emphasis, eh? So you're setting Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale aside for the developers?