Saturday, July 11, 2009

Prospect Cemetery to be restored

From the Daily News:

Tucked along the Long Island Rail Road tracks in downtown Jamaica is a ragged old cemetery where most of the graves have been virtually lost in an emerging woodland.

The thick and untamed foliage, a rarity in the concretecentric downtown, conceals thousands of Colonial-era graves - and, perhaps, a few secrets.

Starting in September, the graveyard, known as Prospect Cemetery, will get a resurrection of sorts.

After years of planning, the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., acting as a steward for the city-owned property, has succeeded in raising $1.2 million in city, state and private funds for the restoration.

The restoration may also unravel two historical mysteries.

The first involves a plateau hidden in the wooded section of the property that may be a Native American burial ground, Ludlam said.

The second comes from a history of the cemetery, written years ago, that notes headstones were once laid on the ground as a pathway.


Timothy said...

The cemetery is also getting some work from NYC Parks, after some title-finding led to the discovery that the grounds are Parks property! (Kate Ludlam nentioned this a few weeks ago)

btw - there's a tour there today, 3PM-ish.

Anonymous said...

I think someone from York College went through with a weed-whacker about 2 weeks ago to improve the area right around the Chapel, since the Chapel is now the "Illinois Jacquet Performance Space," used by the College.

Anonymous said...

Funny how not a penny for St Saviours where it belongs - in Maspeth.

georgetheatheist said...

Why is this cemetery/"performance space" named for Illinois Jacquet? I mean really, how many of you ever heard of Illinois Jacquet? You probably still don't know who Illinois Jacquet is and you have to now look him up. I'll tell you why it was named after Illinois Jacquet: to appease the local African-American co-moon-i-tay. Liberal guilt at work again. Who, which individual, signed off on naming it after Illinois Jacquet?

Anonymous said...

"Who, which individual, signed off on naming it after Illinois Jacquet?"

Probably named by Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. If you didn't know, many important jazz musicians of the twentieth century lived in (or moved to) Southeast Queens, including Illinois Jacquet. But I don't know why he in particular was singled out in this instance. Could have probably been named after a dozen different people.

Anonymous said...

Yes, like the people it was originally named for. "Three Sisters Performing Arts Center" sounds fine.