Monday, April 19, 2010

LPC rejects millstones; EDC plans to drill holes in 17th century artifacts

From the Queens Chronicle:

Hidden under a crate and surrounded by heavy construction material, the current condition of the already worn Colonial-era millstones in Queens Plaza has preservationists outraged. They say the lack of concern for these historic artifacts that have been part of the streetscape since the 1600s is shameful.

“The manner in which these historical artifacts are being handled and stored is ludicrous,” said Mitch Waxman, an Astoria resident and contributor to the Long Island City Millstones blog, which was formed by Dutch Kills community members.

Project managers said they intend to consider the stones during construction work.

“The city and EDC are fully aware of the historical significance of the Colonial-era millstones at Queens Plaza,” said Libby Langsdorf, spokeswoman at EDC. “They are secured at the site, where there is little activity at this time.”

At this time, the EDC believes that due to the excessive weight of and fragility of the stones, it might be safer to avoid moving them.

“We are in the process of engaging an archeological resources consultant to help us develop a longer term plan to ensure their safety,” Langsdorf said. “Eventually, the millstones are to be incorporated into the new public plaza to be constructed in the area.”

However, Waxman said, the EDC’s plan is insufficient.“The eventual display calls for drilling a hole through the center of the stones and propping them up vertically in the ‘new’ Queens Plaza [and] they’ll make a great target for graffiti, and younger kids will love to climb on them,” he said.

Here was the response to an application for review from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Note these are not colonial artifacts, but a "distinctive sidewalk" (even though they will not be in the sidewalk for much longer):

April 8 2010 Letter From NYCLPC
There are a handful of folks who support the EDC's plan. Click here for video testimony. The point around 8:10 is particularly interesting with a fearless Dutch Kills civic leader declaring, "A rock is a rock."

Our colonial history rests in the hands of bureaucratic bunglers. Why wasn't an archaeologist initially consulted when making the plan for the park?


Anonymous said...

Did Mary Beth Betts just tell Singleton to call 311? Oh no she didn't!

View from Dutch Kills said...

II think the real problem here is how Queens Civic Congress is supporting one person in the community who disparagingly calls these artifacts 'rocks.' Virtually unanimous, the rest of the community (some of these organizations are even Queens Civic members) supports moving these items to a safe location as Astoria Historical Society until a final home can be found.

I publicly call their leadership, people with credentials in preservation, as Paul Graziano, Jim Trent, Pat Dolan, to reconsider their support of LPC and EDC's position, and publicly come out in support of the community's demand to:

1. Remove the stones from danger at Queens Plaza.

2. Display them within the community at an appropriate location where they can be studied and put on display as GAHS

3. Work with the community on their final installation within LIC at a location where they would be permanently protected and on display.

Anonymous said...

Kathy Masi is QCC's landmarks chair?

I this the same Kathy Masi thats on the Community Board 5, the home of St Saviours?

Christina Wilkinson said...

The QCC's stance that they do not take sides on issues when member organizations are in opposition doesn't hold water because several groups were for congestion pricing, yet the QCC was adamantly against it.

Quite frankly, I don't see how the QCC can choose to not take a strong position against the EDC's plan when colonial Queens artifacts are imperiled.

Why the QCC courts historical societies to be members but then does not look out for their interests is beyond me.

These stones are of importance to the entire borough.

Anonymous said...

Why would QCC choose a landmarks chair that has no experience with landmarks and resides in a community district that has no landmarks?

Anonymous said...

That is kind of odd, I mean they do have several historical societies as members.

Nimba Taboo said...

It’s a clear outrage on the historical and museum communities in New York.

Now the city has taken a position of leaving them in the middle of a cluttered construction site, then mutilating these irreplaceable artifacts by drilling holes in them and mounting them on pedestals next to a busy bike lane --

every museum and professional archeologist in NYC when contacted by the community for support, act like a bunch of suspicious natives in a grade B movie from the 1930s:

Great Hunter: We need porters for an expedition to Mt. Nimba.

Locals (as they glance nervously to each other before disappearing into the bush): No go! No go! Nimba Taboo!

Ya Gatta Be Kidding said...

Was it true that Jerry Walsh of Dutch Kills Civic Association doesnt want the public to discuss the millstones, claims his opinion -- that they should sit at a Queens Plaza construction site -- is the only one valid, and is passing the bag for suggestions on how to spend Senator George Onorato's $20,000 grant to the civic?

And as far as QCC is concerned, and as far as the local politicans are concerned, this is the only credible voice in town?

Hell Gate Kid said...

Did Mary Beth Betts just tell Singleton to call 311? Oh no she didn't!




Anonymous said...

Why is Penny Lee of City Planning doing this to us?

She knows about the stones, knows there are resources in the community that she can work with.

I guess this is another woman that should lose her job. Is she in over her head and cannot handle something like this?

Well, look at the broader Dutch Kills community and the massive displacement going on in LIC.

Her record speaks for her aptitude.
She needs to go too.

Millicent said...

Please, please, please don't tell me that they are going to drill holes in these millstones. I thought they were "too fragile to move" so how can they drill holes in them?

Are they not going to allow any study of the stones before they move ahead with this plan? And if Stamtiadis thinks they are just a couple of rocks, why all the opposition to the preservationists' plan?


They ought to drill a few holes in Tierney's (and Beth's) head to see if there are any brains inside besides the bionic "follow-the-developers'instructions" implant that Bloomberg had installed.

Mike Bloomturd said...

I like history. MY history.

Anonymous said...

I once was Tierny suggesting landmarking Peurto Rican shacks in the Bronx before a roomfull of nodding persevations from Brooklyn Heights, the East Side, and the West Side.

Hell, they got theirs. What do they care? They know the shit sandwich Queens is getting. Yet they go along with the program and the bullshit.

So now Queens is treated like garbage.


And no one says anything or cares about anything.

The ultimate conclusion of a world where politicans, rather than merit, decides what is good and what is best forgotten. That is what happens when you passively set yourself up to depend on them for everything.

Folks, the Landmarks Law is broken. Accept it.

The communities that have it don't give a fig about the rest of us. They ignore our mistreatment and when its shoved in their face, look elsewhere - like Peurto Rican shacks.

You know what? Why should we care about them? We are subsidizing their landmark designated communities with our taxes.

Overturn the law. f*k them.

Anonymous said...

They ought to drill a few holes in Tierney's (and Beth's) head to see if there are any brains inside besides the bionic "follow-the-developers'instructions" implant that Bloomberg had installed.


They are not isolated anomolies but part and parcel of the culture of community preservation in NYC.

They would never dream of doing something like this in Manhattan.

But with advocates like QCC in Queens what would you expect?

Anonymous said...

Where does Baloney Maloney stand on this? Or Honest Joe Crowley?

Anonymous said...

I think its obvious the new location for the orginal stones has been selected - all they need is a ringer in the community to go along with it who will drown out everyone else.

Duplicates will be placed in the plaza.

The politicans know about it. EDC knows about it. Everyone important knows about it.

The community?

ha ha ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

I think Cathy Nolan is saying nothing.

Does the wife of some 'important' local potentate work in her office?

Anonymous said...


Where are the public officials while the community is getting beat up by these two bit paper shufflers?

Anonymous said...

Where does Baloney Maloney stand on this? Or Honest Joe Crowley?


Want to put up a 15 story building? Are you driving a bus load of clueless to a poling place?


Then leave them alone!

Chester the Dog said...

I have a nice small yard in Astoria. I can take care of one!

Anonymous said...

Maybe that "4 Burros" group can lend a hand here (LOL)!

Yuck, yuck, yuck!

And where is the Queens Hysterical Society?

Uh...time to update your antique web site too fellas after you remove your thumbs from your asses.

Anonymous said...

And where is the Queens Hysterical Society?

Why the last time they showed up they peppered the community with advertising called 'Queens Marks.'

No, just stay away, thank you.