Friday, August 15, 2008

First Reformed Church to open as arts center

A long-vacant Jamaica church is about to be resurrected as a performing arts center.

Work crews were busy last week putting the finishing touches on a $22 million renovation that transformed the former First Reformed Church of Jamaica at Jamaica Ave. and 153rd St. into the Jamaica Performing Arts Center.

The city, which owns the property, is set to turn over its operation to the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning later this month or early next month.

Curtain rises at new Jamaica Performing Arts Center

The church was founded by Dutch merchants. The original building near 162nd St. and Jamaica Ave. was completed in 1715. A new church was built at the present location in 1833. A fire destroyed the wood structure in 1857 and a brick church was built on the site two years later.

In the 1990s there were plans to tear down the church to make way for a Social Security Administration building. But the church was landmarked, so the feds planned to use it as an auditorium. The development corporation later stepped in to preserve it for future use, Towery said.


jerry rotondi said...

This illustrates the vast difference between the kind of creative thinking that goes on in Jamaica and the fixed poker games that are played in Flushing.

But then borough president
Claire Shulman spurned this viable
re-use of an architectural treasure (which is still currently listed on the national register of historic places).

"You've got Theater In The Park", she sharply snapped on the occasion of a "Queens Unity Day" event held at "Reception House" catering hall back in 1987.

This is just one "fine" example
of how your borough government
is "working" for you!

jerry rotondi said...

Please excuse me.
A glitch in e-mail transmission
omitted this following paragraph which should have followed my first sentence.

The RKO Keith's Flushing theater
would have made an ideal multi cultural performing arts center
as was first suggested in 1986.

In fact over 3,500 petition signatures were collected supporting this measure.

Liman said...

Doesn't anybody think $22m is an awful lot of money? If it wasn't a city job, I'll be it could be done for half the cost.

Anonymous said...

AH, where is HANAC.

If this was Astoria the local jerks would say 'who cares?'

And that is the community board. You should see the rank and file.

Emphasis on rank.