From the Queens Chronicle:
In December 2007, after four years of heated negotiations, the Parks Department agreed to allow the CWNY to use the former bachelor officers’ residence, which is in a landmarked historic district at Fort Totten. The brick structure was built in 1905 and is located next to the Bayside Historical Society headquarters.
The interior contains 10 apartment-style units. The entire building is in serious need of repair. The front porch is collapsing and the interior is without electricity, running water or heat.
Jawin’s group has raised $1.7 million, with the first stage of rehabilitation expected to cost $1.5 million. “Once we clean up the building, do the basics, remove the asbestos, put in new windows and a roof, we can occupy the first floor and then do more fundraising to finish the job,” she said.
The city estimates it will cost $5 million for Jawin’s group to pay for the entire project and she fears that the longer the process is dragged out, the more expensive it will become. She’s also concerned about the structural integrity of the building if the procedure continues to be so slow.
“We are frustrated because we can’t have the building cleaned and it doesn’t make sense for the city to allow it to continue to decay,” she said. “It’s unproductive.”
According to the DDC, CWNY has failed to comply with the programing terms of the license agreement, but would not specify what those terms are. Nevertheless, the city is working with the group to allow it to go forward.
The restoration is subject to Parks’ approval, as well as the city Landmarks Preservation Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office.
Funding has been promised by the Borough President’s Office, Queens City Council members and the state, through Bayside Assemblywoman Ann Carrozza’s office. The money, however, cannot be released without the official approvals in place.
Jawin was told at the meeting that the DDC has to finish its report, then it goes to the various agencies for approval.
Despite the delays, Jawin said she believes the atmosphere between her group and the city has improved somewhat. She will next meet with the DDC on Nov. 16.
Plans for the CWNY headquarters call for it to be used as a conference, resource and learning center. There will be an area devoted to women’s history, workshops on welfare, job training and support groups. Other programs will be held on health, nutrition and park-related themes.
Photo from Scouting New York