Monday, March 1, 2010

City neglecting Canarsie Cemetery

From Courier-Life:

If those interred in the Canarsie Cemetery stepped out of their graves and looked at the deplorable condition the historic boneyard’s been left in, they’d keel over and die all over again.

So said members of Community Board 18, who once again tried — in vain — to get the city to step up to the plate and repair the streets and fences around the Canarsie Cemetery on Remsen Avenue, which is slowly becoming the coldest “hot property” the city is trying to sell off.

As they finalized their capital budget priorities and requests for fiscal year 2011, the board asked the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to “reconstruct sidewalks and replacement fencing adjoining the historic Canarsie Cemetery on Remsen Avenue between Church Lane and Avenue K.”

“The sidewalks and fencing are old and deteriorated and in disrepair,” board members wrote. “Serious buckling and hazardous pedestrian walking conditions exist.”

Board members said that neither the sidewalks or the fence surrounding the cemetery has been replaced in some time. Things got worse late last year when a drunk driver rammed into the fence on one side the cemetery, damaging it.

The city didn’t respond to the request, directing her to “discuss” it with the Brooklyn DOT Borough Commissioner.

When she contacted the Borough Commissioner’s office, she was told that they had no money to repair the sidewalks, but offered to “ticket the property owner” and use the money collected to repair the streets.

“You know I think you should,” Turano responded, knowing something that the borough commissioner apparently didn’t — the city owned the land.

Once the borough commissioner learned who owned the cemetery, he quickly changed his tune.

The Town of Flatlands acquired the cemetery in 1888 from the estate of John Remsen. The town later merged with Brooklyn — then a city — and ultimately, New York City. The Canarsie Cemetery is the last burial ground owned by the city.


Anonymous said...

it's not the only or the last cemetery owned by the City.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the Remsen Cemtery in Rego Park acquired as a public park, after decades of red tape?

Anonymous said...

Now Now guys, you need that cutting edge institution like a certain 'umbrella' historical group like they have in Queens favored by their Boro hall (should set off alarm bells already).

Landmark Moore-Jackson Cemetary (adds to the landmark tally for the borough without endangering developable land) and then lavish stuff like sidewalks and the like from the 'preservation' budget (so the likes of Shulman can brag about their preservation credentials)

Anonymous said...

I'm touched by the concern of all who commented about the condition of a landmark owned by the city, however, as someone who is about to loose a loved one that is to be buried in Canarsie Cemetery, I don't give a darn about landmark staus or whether it's the last one the city owns. What I do care about is how this was allowed to happen. Is there no one left in Canarsie who has family in this cemetery? I realize the neighborhood I grew up in no longer exists, but that's true of most neighborhoods in the 5 boroughs. The city of New York should be ashamed. I'm sure they would be able to scrape up some funds if there was a community left to fight for it.