From the Times Ledger:
A glimmer of hope has appeared once more for Maspeth residents hoping to make a park out of the lot where St. Saviour’s Church once stood.
Activists recently received a letter from city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe saying the Parks Department would be interested in acquiring the land if it had the necessary funds.
Because the city does not have the funds to buy the property, however, residents are relying on City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and Borough President Helen Marshall to get money together.
“Money has to be found, but in the past we’ve gotten the response that they didn’t want to acquire more land,” Crowley said, noting she regarded the letter as a positive step.
From the Queens Ledger:
In Maspeth, where available open space is dwindling fast, residents continue to call for the city to transform the former St. Saviour’s site into a public park.
Renewed support for the project came at Community Board 5’s annual budget meeting, where residents are given the chance to request the city fund specific improvement projects around the district.
Requests were made for more cops to be put on the streets, as well as for playground, bridge, and roadway improvements, too. Glendale resident Mary Parisen presented an ambitious proposal to use city funds to beautify Glendale’s streets.
But the most popular wish list item by far was a new park at St. Saviour’s, the roughly two-acre plot of vacant land located at 57-40 58th Street that once housed a historic church built in 1847.
From the Forum West:
Almost immediately, the focus was on the former St. Saviour’s property on 58th Street in west Maspeth. While the historic church structure has been dismantled, removed from the property and will be rebuilt on a site in Middle Village, local residents haven’t given up the fight to preserve the actual property for use as a park.
The property, which comprises a full block and has been listed for $8.5 million, is privately owned and zoned for commercial use. The city doesn’t have the funding needed to buy the land and build a park, so Christina Wilkinson of the Newtown Historical Society has been working with local elected officials in hopes of arranging a land swap using city-owned land to compensate the St. Saviour’s property owner.
The budget hearing featured a handful of Maspeth residents, including several who live across from or near the vacant property. Wilkinson started by reminding the board that the idea of acquiring the land and church building for use as a park and community center was first raised three years ago. “While the church building has been saved, there is still more work to do in order to be able to call this endeavor a success,” she said.