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?