Haven't we seen this Astoria house of horrors before? We couldn't find it in the archives, but there can only be so many houses so photogenically trapped by storefronts and encroaching development in one neighborhood. Even if we've chatted about this little guy there's still the matter of the big new dude next door. It's 31-19 Newtown Avenue, from New York City's most popular unknown architect Gerald Caliendo. The developer is prolific Queens builder Pistilli Realty, known for stirring up strong emotions and the occasional botchjob. A building permit circa '06 said this would be a 10-story health care facility, but it certainly has that faux-loft look, and numerous complaints and violations during construction have referred to the building as residential.
Meanwhile, Newtown Pentacle roamed and rambled around Hallets Cove and found more crap:
Ultimately, the shocking scale of these new structures dwarf the surrounding neighborhoods- blocking the panoramic views and open skies of a formerly 2 and 3 story cityscape, where a large structure was 5 stories. Philosophically, I tend to regard LeCorbusier style tower parks (and gated communities on the whole) as anti-democratic and very bad for the future of the Republic, as it tends to isolate political centers away from each other and foists an unsustainable population onto local streets and sewers. Like many of these new towers, parking amenities are planned into the structure, but that too brings more traffic onto the local streets which were not designed to handle the increased load. Quality of life in the City of New York is more than just law and order, lords and ladies of Newtown, it’s streets and sewers and electrical infrastructure.
Thank God for the Vallones and the Department of City Planning. What would Astoria be like without them?