Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Historic Houses of Broadway-Flushing


From Queens Rules:

"She [Lisi De Bourbon] added that Queens enjoyed less landmarking status than Manhattan and Brooklyn because the borough developed later and less densely."

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A response:

"So, let's see - here's the round-up of historic district advocacy in Queens so far:

Broadway-Flushing, with 1330 buildings on the National and State Register of Historic Places as of 2006, has not gotten designated by the LPC despite massive support from a huge majority of residents, all elected officials (except Mayor Bloomberg), CB7 and historic preservation organizations.

Douglas Manor - developed at EXACTLY the same time at the same density by the same real estate company a century ago - gets designated, but only after a decade of contention, and are told that "nothing like this will ever happen again" by the LPC back in 1997.

Douglaston Hill, a planned suburban community developed right after the Civil War, gets less than a third of their neighborhood designated only after sheer insanity and threats from elected officials as Bloomberg ran for a second term in 2005.

Jackson Heights and Sunnyside Gardens - both planned developments with significant density, constructed mostly in the 1920s and 1930s - get designated; Jackson Heights is landmarked to help stabilize the area in the early 1990s. Sunnyside Gardens gets landmarked a few years ago after much acrimony, with charges of economic racism from a small minority of property owners, delaying designation for several years.

Ridgewood, with almost 3,000 densely packed rowhouses and apartment buildings on the National and State Register of Historic Places as of 1982, has less than 200 of them landmarked by the LPC over a 30 year period.

Fort Totten is landmarked in the early 2000s after former Mayor Giuliani tries to sell it off to St. John's University and Gary Ackerman tries to build million-dollar condos there. It is non-residential and many of the landmarked buildings are deteriorating; some, like the old Willets Farmhouse, are near collapse.

The Steinway Workers Houses, handsome Civil War-era rowhouses in the northern part of Astoria, are designated by the LPC in the mid-1970s only to be overturned by the "Borough Bulldozer" Donald Manes at the old Board of Estimate. This, along with the RKO Keiths Theater in Flushing and a few other examples, was the excuse that the LPC used for decades as a reason not to designate historic buildings in Queens.

Old Astoria - arguably one of the most historic areas in the entire city with freestanding mansions from the 1830s to the 1880s - not only does not get designated after repeated desperate pleas but is savaged by developers during the past decade.

Waldheim, in Flushing, a planned community from the 1870s in perfect condition in the 1980s desperately asks for designation in 1984, 1989, 1995 and 1998 to stop their neighborhood from being decimated. They are ignored, savaged and destroyed by developers.

Parkway Village, a planned community from the 1940s which housed some of the first United Nations workers and diplomats, is denied landmark status by the LPC, despite excellent architecture, planning and "appropriate density."

Richmond Hill, a planned community from 1875 with one of the few spontaneous restoration movements in the entire city to restore their beautiful Victorian-era buildings, receives only insults from the LPC and the neighborhood is told that they are not eligible.

Meanwhile, three neighborhoods in Victorian Flatbush with similar houses and development patterns from the turn of the 20th century are designated this year.

Kew Gardens gets an honorable mention here, as this planned neighborhood of beautiful freestanding substantial suburban-style homes from the 1910s to the 1930s is nixed by the LPC a few years ago due to opposition from their Councilperson (Melinda Katz) and the LPC's seeming hatred of freestanding substantial suburban-style homes.

Just before Election Day, the LPC announces that they are considering designating Addesleigh Park in St. Albans. This pretty suburban-style neighborhood, the home of many of the jazz greats and a crucible of African-American history from the 1930s to the present, is certainly deserving of landmark status, but the LPC did virtually no outreach. While over 300 houses are being considered - mysteriously enlarged from less than a dozen individual buildings owned by jazz greats six months ago before the Mayoral Election came into full focus - several blocks have been removed from consideration because elected officials who live there don't want to be in the proposed district.

Notice a pattern or trend? We, the tweeded, are, to put it mildly, royally fucked. In the 19th CD - Tony Avella's current district - we were told that we would not get our historic district in Broadway-Flushing (among other things) unless we voted for Paul Vallone, because he was supported by Bloomberg. So, while Vallone was defeated, the suckers in the 19th CD largely gave Bloomberg his margin of error over Bill Thompson.

Queens - a borough with neighborhoods in perpetual crisis. Better get your act together, Queens, or it's Queens Crap forevah."

-- A Concerned Resident

13 comments:

primadonna said...

Landmark this area already!! I can't take it!

primadonna said...

"So, while Vallone was defeated, the suckers in the 19th CD largely gave Bloomberg his margin of error over Bill Thompson."

Because the suckers in District are RACIST. Thompson was going to be "another Dinkins" according to many of theses idiots.

Anonymous said...

Well, you have the presevation community to thank for this -

they are pulling the rug under us all the time so they can get their districts expanded (on our dime)

while they either ignore us,

give us bad info (talk to your local elected hack who is in the pocket of the developer) or

no info (best kept hidden secret: landmark desigantion increases property values) or,

when we stick their noses in it, maliciously works against us (check out this blog for many examaples of this from Pratt, Hunter, MAS, Sacred Sites, etc)

The only way we can change things is overturn the law, and put in place something that ensures that everyone stands on equal footing.

Believe me, if that law gets overturned, they will replace it damn quick.

Snake Plissskin said...

I went to a preservation meeting last year and the room looked like NYC of 1980.

Jewish, WASPs, and a sprinkling of American blacks from Brooklyn.

They use our tax dollars for a small (mostly white and wealthy) segment of the city.

Anonymous said...

How about Tierney talking seriously about protecting Peurto Rican shacks (Casinas or what ever) while ingoring Queens?

Any everyone takes him seriously - even the Queens representatives....

Anonymous said...

As much as this website hates Paul Vallone, he was clearly the best candidate to get money into the district, the policy academy, the historic land marking, and pretty much any other thing we needed financially. Once again, as much as this website hates Paul Vallone, hes not such a bad guy. I had a one on one conversation with Paul recently and I must say, he is a very respectable and well educated man... Its a shame CD19 is too lazy to vote when there are 6 candidates, but God forbid an Asian was representing this district.

You guys wanna talk about lazy candidates?? Dan Halloran didn't even start campaigning, raising money, had an office or anything else that you would want a candidate to do. Also, rumors have it, if Jerry, Paul or Behar would have won, Dan was going to drop out and let them win because he knew the Pagan stuff was going to be exposed... I sure am glad we have that guy as our city council member for the next 4-8 years. Kevin Kim winning was the best thing that could have happen for him. Too bad hes going to get NOTHING done in four years... The man is going to be on an Island and have a very hard time passing anything with all the Democrats in office.

Paul Vallone would have done great thing for CD19.

Anonymous said...

EDIT:

You guys wanna talk about lazy candidates?? Dan Halloran didn't even start campaigning, raising money, had an office or anything else that you would want a candidate to do before September 16th.

Anonymous said...

It's quite possible Vallone is a respectable and educated guy. But the fact of the matter is the reason he lost and the reason Kim lost is because their contributions were just way too shady. The people of District 19 are way too savvy.
And maybe Paulie if you in addition to some of the other dreamers that ran in the primary DIDN'T run, we may have had Iannece who really was the one who deserved to win.

Anonymous said...

"And maybe Paulie if you in addition to some of the other dreamers that ran in the primary DIDN'T run, we may have had Iannece who really was the one who deserved to win."

There's nothing stopping Jerry Iannece from running against Gary Ackerman, right? That would show that he cares more about the people of the district instead of just doing what the Party leaders tell him to do.

Anonymous said...

You guys wanna talk about lazy candidates?? Dan Halloran didn't even start campaigning, raising money, had an office or anything else that you would want a candidate to do before September 16th.


BULLCRAP!!!!!!! I saw him campaigning in July! I was even given campaign literature and contact info. I guess that makes you a liar! NEXT!!!

Anonymous said...

Boy somebody is really on Paul Vallone's dick here.

Now swallow and get it over with Ms. or Mr. "X"!

Anonymous said...

You guys wanna talk about lazy candidates?? Dan Halloran didn't even start campaigning, raising money, had an office or anything else that you would want a candidate to do before September 16th.


BULLCRAP!!!!!!! I saw him campaigning in July! I was even given campaign literature and contact info. I guess that makes you a liar! NEXT!!!

----------------------------------

thats why he didn't raise a single dollar, get a campaign office, have any type of volunteers working for him, ect... I did a lot of work in this election, and can tell you that Dan didn't start doing anything till September 16th.

Queens Crapper said...

So you mean he beat Kim with one hand tied behind his back?

Ha ha ha ha! Love it.