Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ridgewood gets preservation attention

From the New York Times:

Many of Ridgewood’s streets are lined with nearly identical rows of bay-front town houses and six-family apartment buildings — most built of warm-yellow bricks and decorated with diamond brick patterns or pressed-metal cornices — that give the neighborhood a sense of place as cohesive as any brownstone block in the Manhattan and Brooklyn areas that more typically attract preservationists’ attention.

But unlike the brownstones built for New York’s gentry, Ridgewood’s historic buildings were made for laborers — mainly for brewery workers — and the neighborhood, on the Brooklyn border, adjacent to Bushwick, has remained largely working- and middle-class.

In September, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission is expected to approve landmark status for both the theater and for several blocks of ornate six-family brick houses.

Here's a line that threw me for a loop:

Queens has fewer official landmarks than any other borough, partly because its buildings are relatively new — much of it was farmland until well into the 20th century...


Anonymous said...

That was part of a larger problem, residents say: Queens has fewer official landmarks than any other borough, partly because its buildings are relatively new — much of it was farmland until well into the 20th century — and partly because its history was long ignored by a Manhattan-centric landmark-designation process

Yet another example that the preservation community (read Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn) and the Four Boroughs (who knows except its local) have their collective heads up their ass.

EACH YEAR, from Waldheim to Old Astoria, 100, 150, 200 year old buildings are torn down without a wimper from the mainline groups.

Garbage like this is written because there is no effort at making the public aware of either the heritage, or the benefits to preservation.

Perhaps if they could tear themselves away from the wine and cheese displays, or trips to Paris, they just might have to get to work and address these festering ills.

Anonymous said...

It not only 'a Manhattan-centric landmark-designation process,' its a Manhattan-centric preservation community (that writes grants for the five boroughs, takes the money starving local grassroots groups that actually could do something and spend it all on their backyards).

Anonymous said...

So very ignorant. Queens, as well as Long Island has had settlement from the days of the Dutch--just as long as Manhattan has.

I live in Old Astoria and have seen 150 years worth of history disappear within the last 5 years.

Perhaps these "preservationists" could read some New York history for a change. In the last few years books such as, "Gotham," "Native Americans", and several historical novels and histories by Pete Hamil, have all topped bestseller lists and been available in every library in the city for those who care to know.

Anonymous said...

Since when has newbie Michael Perlman been elevated to the heights of a grand guru possessing an "encyclopedic knowledge" of theaters?

I thought that distinction was reserved for the Theater Historical Society"!

So the "diner king" now seeks a new title of theater nabob?

C-mon....HE FAILED at preserving
his beloved "Trylon"!

Losing ALMOST ALL of its most important features it was tortured into a state of architectural banality.

Better for it to have been demolished outright
than to suffer such prolonged humility ...then eventually its death.

Yawn...with preservationists like these self appointees popping up each year, Queens can continue to look forward to its loss of landmark worthy sites.

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, ha....get real Mike!

Do you really think that the owner of the Ridgewood Theater will honor his "promise" to keep all the interior architectural deatails intact?

He plans on converting the space into 3 screens!

Oh...maybe he means to give you some of the elements he tears out as a souvenir for your "efforts".

Give that boy a double ice cream soda on us.....he'll be needing it.

Excuse me while I down another glass of Cabernet!

Anonymous said...

The more that pseudo preservationists like the two Jeffs & the one Michael gain headlines but without any real successes to back them up....the more and more that the people of Queens will continue to be lulled into believing that our historic sites are in capable hands.

These mamby-pambies are among the most dangerous foes to real preservation out there today!

They are mere placebos in place of effective prescription medication.

The chronic disease of demolition WILL NOT be cured by these weak-kneed publicity seekers!

Anonymous said...

I live in Queens. It has many interesting and great neighborhoods and many of the best schools in the entire city. It also has tremendous potential. I have noticed for years – that the New York Times has a bias towards Brooklyn. I have nothing against Brooklyn. Brooklyn has great neighborhoods, beautiful architecture, a rich history and it is very cool. But I live in and love Queens. The bottom line is that the New York Times real estate section is a marketing tool and on a regular basis it markets Brooklyn and ignores Queens. I believe the New York Times attention to Brooklyn has had a great impact on the growth that has occurred in Brooklyn over these past 10 years
Here is the number of times Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens was the focus of a column in the real estate section in recent weeks:
From 3/29/9 – 12/21/8 (15 weeks) Habitats: Manhattan – 6/15, Brooklyn 6/15, Queens 0/15.
From 3/29/9 – 12/21/08 (15 weeks) The Hunt: Manhattan – 4/15, Brooklyn – 3/15 and Queens – 2/15.
From 3/29/09 – 8/24/08 (15 columns - column is not published every week) The Sell: Manhattan 5/15, Brooklyn – 6/15, Queens – 0/15.
Out of 16 weeks from 3/29/09 – 12/14 – Manhattan was in the real estate section 6 times, Brooklyn 9 times and Queens 2 times.
Let’s not forget – On The Market. I don’t have those numbers – but I believe that Brooklyn is represented every week and Queens – well – maybe 1-2 times/year?
I do not have the numbers for the articles on the front page of the real estate section but I know Queens is not represented nearly enough.
I would like to see the New York Times give Queens the kind of attention it has given Brooklyn. I have had the New York Times delivered to my home for over 10 years. I will not continue to support the New York Times if the New York Times does not support Queens. I will no longer be buying the New York Times.

Anonymous said...

The more that pseudo preservationists like the two Jeffs & the one Michael gain headlines but without any real successes to back them up....the more and more that the people of Queens will continue to be lulled into believing that our historic sites are in capable hands

Like everything in Queens determined by the clubhouse, everything in Queens preservation is determined by people living on the West Side and Brooklyn Hieghts.

These fellows mentioned are perfect to represent Queens as far as THEY are concerned.

Dr Jeffrey Krass said...

Hey everybody, come pay $20 to hear my lecture, even though Barry Lewis' is free. I'll even iron my clothes.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they went to Paris, Texas or Paris, New York poster #1.

Perhaps if you spent more time sweating at your job than you do stroking,
you too might be able to save up enough pennies to book a trip to Paris France!

WTF has all this got to do with the subject?

Anonymous said...

True dat!

In Queens the clubhouse rules and THEY LOVE preservationist newbies like Perlman and your two Jeffs whom they can steamroll over with little effort.

Preservation takes BLOOD sweat and fortitude.

These pen wavers like Jeff & Mike ought best to take up the sword instead.

Nah....they're just bloodless wannabees themselves
who faint at the sight of gore!

Hey....yer mamma's calling.

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody, come pay $20 to hear my lecture, even though Barry Lewis' is free. I'll even iron my clothes.

Barry is not free. In true Terrible Terri clubhouse fashion its paid with borough hall funds, I mean taxpayers dollars. And most of the money is not going to Barry ... more on this later (wink) right Terri?

That is why Jeff had to charge.

Anonymous said...

WTF has all this got to do with the subject?

You are right! Wrong focus. We should look at who is funding the Paris trips.

Anonymous said...

I too would like to chime in with an irrelevant comment.

Anonymous said...

I tell you what Mr. B.S. Artist
you sound like you're in need of a good vacation yourself.

Your brain appears to be stuck on pause with this Paris/Paul shit
you keep on posting over and over and over (yawn) again.

Once again... nobody knows WTF you're talking about...dig?

So in a spirit of generosity I'll agree to buy you a round trip bus ticket to Paris, New York if you'll reveal who you are and explain in a logical manner WTF you
mean by "who's funding the Paris trips".

I can't write a check to "anonymous" now...can I?

And do get a good night's sleep.

Anonymous said...

Sent via Blackberry on my way to pardon any errors in advance:

Good mornin' Mister B...up yet?

Any more Paris/Paul/HDC/funding/preservation community BS to offer today?

You keep up your off the issue cryptic posts and
I'll keep on returning the favor.

Anonymous said...

Raw nerve seems to be touched. Hmmm.....

Anonymous said...

Not mine...
but perhaps your nerves "B"?

A little advice:
Don't continue to sling it,
if you cant take it.

And NO this is not "P" who's posting
just a friend of his!

Anonymous said...

Free? Really? Maybe I can tell my neighbor who is footing the bill.

We can get a refund, right?

Anonymous said...

Paul does community studies without charging?

That is great news. I want to pass this on to my civic and perhaps we can retain him.

I would suggest the other posters of the blog to do the same. He did a study for my co-worker's neighborhood and everyone is pleased.

He does great work.

Anonymous said...

That's Miss Barry Lewis.

Eye on Ridgewood said...

Leave the kid alone – he’s idealistic and loves old theaters.

I would find the “late-ditch” involvements of Mr. Kerzner in any preservation movement to be quite amusing, if they were not so self-serving. Years ago he decried the “quiche crowd” moving in to his Ridgewood neighborhood, and now, 30+ years later, when property values have stagnated in comparison to other similarly developed sections of the city, he has discovered “preservation.”

A cursory Google search of the gentleman provides a fascinating array of information –from his own home ownership, his personal real estate business, his dealings as a real estate (and estates) attorney, his management position in Con Ed’s Renaissance Housing Program (when will someone investigate this one?) – to his assorted past and present positions in the Ridgewood Home Owners’ Association, Community Board 5, Queens Civic Congress, Greater Ridgewood Restoration Corp., and even recently, as a director of the Polish and Slavic Center. It would seem that he, and the small band of regulars whose names are habitually listed alongside his, are more concerned with capturing and keeping the European spillover from Williamsburg and Greenpoint now gentrifying Bushwick, rather than its now pushed-out Bushwick exiles.

He blew it with the “quiche crowd” and is trying to make it up with the “kishka crowd” to serve his own interests and investments.

Eye on Ridgewood said...

I wish the Anonymouse bloggers would at least come up with occasional pseudonym...

To the individual citing the lacking instances of Queens press in the NY Times: try using its search engine to look up "Queens politician under investigation" or "Queens politician indicted." Peruse the results for the last 12 months -- that is if you have time to surf the thousands of articles that result.

Perhaps its time to look inward.

Anonymous said...

Oh really?
The battlefield is no place for such "idealists".

Safer for them to sit at home with mommy pounding out words online!

Except for "Don Quixote" I have no use for hapless dreamers who con the public into believing they're a force to contend with in the field of preservation.

Give me 300 Spartans
rather than two full armies composed of jerk offs!

Eye on Ridgewood said...

Neither the young man nor Don Quijote strike me as “hapless” – continued progress requires the occasional idealist or visionary to motivate a populace to think, see (in the philosophical sense) and engage.

It is odd that a self-described laconophile would show an interest in preservation, given his/her own “battlefield” analogy and its consequent destructive aspects – unless it is reflecting some flavor of self-preservation. The small band of regulars that continue to “battle” and deal in this real estate arena are indeed, as Herodatus described the Spartans, “rustic, hesitant, uncooperative, corrupt, and na├»ve.”

Considering the ultimate failures of Sparta, perhaps Anonymous might do well to tilt less at windmills, and at minimum, consider a more cogent argument or metaphor.

Eye on Ridgewood said...

Whoops, that should have been "Herodotus."