Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ridgewood landmarked but what about the rest of Queens?

From the NY Times:

Its two square miles are packed with eye-catching designs; about 10 percent of it — 350 buildings — has landmark status, even if it isn’t on the radar of most New Yorkers. And with an additional 940 buildings coming up for a vote before the Landmarks Preservation Commission in the next two years, Ridgewood could soon have nearly 1,300 with landmark status — about the same number as Brooklyn Heights — which would mean 40 percent of its cityscape was protected.

It's great that the LPC landmarked so much of Ridgewood. Not only was there no real threat of demolition because most of the area is comprised of rowhouses, but designating such a large district means that the LPC can play the numbers game and brag about how many Queens homes they designated to "prove" how much they care about the borough.


Joe said...

Many of these row houses that have been getting seriously F_ed up are still not covered in this landmarking.
Foreigners are putting, Home Depot brass bling, pink woodwork, ripping out classic gate iron work and replacing it with bland brick including capping over sandstone stoops.
Its one of the worst eyesores you can do to a block.
Look at the abortion at 1060 Seneca ave, it ruined that whole block

Anonymous said...


too bad - perhaps it's too late for those old beauties - too many changes already made!

Anonymous said...

Queens is at the mercy of a squat, troll-like, municipal lifer.

Being that...
the LPC is really run by their arrogant chief of research, Mary Beth Betts.

She's their concierge-gatekeeper.

Betts is the one who initially gives a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on all requests for evaluation regarding future landmark status for any site or neighborhood.

Bobble-head, Chairman Tierney, merely follows her lead and nods yea or nay to affirm Mary's decisions.

Furthermore, the LPC prefers row housing over free standing houses.

After landmarking Douglas Manor an LPC spokesperson was heard saying, "We'll never do this again"!

Only a serious lawsuit will bring the LPC to its knees (an Article 78 filing) and move them to landmark other deserving Queens neighborhoods like
Broadway-Flushing, for example.

Broadway-Flushing has already achieved both state and national historic district status.

So what's holding up the LPC
regarding Broadway-Flushing's municipal designation...
Bloomberg politics...or lazy elitist civil servants like Mary Beth Betts?

Or is it both?

Somebody needs to light a fire under Councilman Halloran's ass to get things moving for Broadway-Flushing.

So far he's been just sitting on his hands.

Anonymous said...

So where is the so called "preservation community"...
all of its various historical societies, preservation leagues,etc. ?

Cowering in their corners...
lest they get their boro hall, etc. funding cut if they dare speak out too loudly against the LPC inequalities regarding Queens landmarks.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of landmarking...
portions of Ridgewood are in flux.

Things could get better or things could get worse.

The old guard is gone.

Will the ("vibrant") new crew (Dominicans, etc.? Whew!) improve things?

Time will tell.

Jerry Rotondi, preservation advocate. said...

I'm wondering.

Maybe each borough needs its own Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure that Manhattan elitists aren't deciding their fate!

But I could be wrong.

What if pro-over-development Queens Boro Hall appoints the usual suspects to run their Landmarks Commission?

Uh, oh!

So much for thinking out loud.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the only way to get your way regarding historic preservation is to be rich enough to move into an established old historic district.

Face it folks...Queens is the wild west for over-development.

And Queens Borough Hall is their chief advocate.

It's, pretty much, been this way since the early borough presidents going back to the 1900s!

As the late Stanley Cogan...Queens Historical Society's president...
said very often, "We're the Landmark Commission's stepchild and a developer's paradise".

Anonymous said...


Halloran is in Koo-hoots with fellow Republican Peter Koo.

He'll never really support a landmark district for Broadway-Flushing...only give it lip service.

It violates his Libertarian agenda.

Then its residents should make sure that they violate him at the polls!

Anonymous said...

Hollerin' Halloran...
his oratory spittle drippin' toward his middle.

He talks up a good game...
but very often delivers little!

Anonymous said...

"Maybe each borough needs its own Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure that Manhattan elitists aren't deciding their fate!"

I agree with this! What could Manhattan possibly know about Queens landmarks!

Anonymous said...

I think they found the one block in the area that doesn't have a thousand polish/albanian/slavic flags hanging from he windows.

Anonymous said...

Maybe each borough needs its own Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure that Manhattan elitists aren't deciding their fate!

But I could be wrong.

you are. who do you want to determine preservation, mary beth betts or honest joe crowley.

the very same people that you charge cowering in their corners will make the boro a nightmare of silly useless queensmarks that are little more than an advertising gimmick for that powerhouse of preservation, qhs...or satisfy political agendas that would all but stifle any grassroots efforts.

its bad enough the communities in the other boros with piss and vinegar ignore queens and do nothing to counter the bullcrap from our politicians and press on preservation (every wonder why?), this idea would would forever cut us off from the real world and confine us to the tender mercies of the pygmies that sit on the 4 boros or the queens preservation commission.

meanwhile the real preservationists would get away with murder hogging all the money, attention, and preservation ... as they continue to ignore us.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe each borough needs its own Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure that Manhattan elitists aren't deciding their fate!"

I agree with this! What could Manhattan possibly know about Queens landmarks!

A lot more than you. The staff, the commissioners, are all drawn from the 5 boroughs.

Get out of Queens and walk around - its a big world out there and once you get over the anger that pretty much everyone looks down on Queens you might want to do something to change it.

Retreating into the Hermit Borough is only the route of suicidal stagnation while the rest of the city moves forward.

Anonymous said...

If you think its bad now, if that real estate developer puppet Paul Vallone and ever gets into the City Council Northeast Queens will be done.

Someone from Northeast Queens needs to step up and stop the Vallone takeover of Northeast Queens. Paulie will destroy the community, move away, and take over Papa Vallone's multi-million dollar lobbying business.

99% said...

The landmarks law is unfair. It discriminates against poor people and people of color.

The areas that are getting landmarked do very little to help the other 99% of the city - because they depend on our politicians to vote for their designation.

So they remain mute, with a smirk on their face, as they direct our attention to our politicians if we want help.

A fools errand indeed.

Someday, hopefully sooner than later, it will be overturned.

Anonymous said...

How is landmarking an area discriminating against poor people & minorities? Why because they cant Build more housing projects and section 8 housing?

Steve Behar said...

It's time to get the Broadway-Flushing landmarking done!

99% said...

How is landmarking an area discriminating against poor people & minorities? Why because they cant Build more housing projects and section 8 housing?

Glad my taxes are paying for your good life....

...for now.

Anonymous said...

My Own Tax dollars pay for my good life. I work hard everyday. I dont take hand outs.

Anonymous said...

This is good news. I am surprised it did not happen earlier. I am a European living in Ridgweood and I love the place. Places like that are extremely expensive in any European city and automatically landmarked I saw many incredible places in Queens. If a number of buildings would be restored, a number of individuals kicked out, Queens at least in those spots I have in mind, would become a great place to live especially if one is not obsessed with Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

I live in a landmarked Ridgewood rowhouse. The gentrification we had hoped for did not happen and we are still subjected to stupid thump thump thump barrio music all night long.

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's what I had in mind by "number of individuals kicked out". It seems to be a general horrible problem of New York but it gets even worst if you travel in New Jersey. That's shocking. I must say I have never seen anything like that in any country I previously visited. Because of the "stupid thump thump thump barrio music" I had to move out at a the certain moment. And the music is just the tip of the iceberg...

Ned said...

I beleive he means mean burrito music.
A good 1/2 of Ridgewoods beaners don't work and make fiesta & baby's all night long.

georgetheatheist said...

And the parking sucks. What good is it owning a house and there's no driveway?

Anonymous said...

I lived in that hell hole for a while and hope i never have to go back. the beaners have destroyed the place with garish home depot bling, impossibly loud music 24/7 , bed bugs, the place is sex offender central (check the maps). Nice houses but it's getting destroyed.

Anonymous said...

I live in a landmarked Ridgewood rowhouse. The gentrification we had hoped for did not happen and we are still subjected to stupid thump thump thump barrio music all night long.

The LPC has done nothing for Sunnyside Gardens - we get the impression that - since our elected officials were miffed that we managed to get it designated despite every roadblock they could place - the commission picked up on that and now its open season on our community.

They are letting people do pretty much what they want yet still making us fill in paperwork and pay fees left and right.

Jerry Rotondi, preservation advocate said...

Thanks for (huh?) disagreeing or (huh?) agreeing with my statements.

Which is it to be?

I thought that I've already covered both the pros and cons of creating separate LPCs for each borough citizen "anonymous".

But I do appreciate your lengthy expository dissertation on the subject.

Now that you've elaborated so "eloquently" on my initial comments---
does Polly want a cracker?

Anonymous said...

it sounds like an old familiar wannabe John Bowne era descendant is posting in his usual ersatz non-comprehensible 17th century tongue.

Anonymous said...

My, my, my..."suicidal stagnation"...such a flavorful phrase.

Doesn't that sound like a sour grapes developer posting?

Anonymous said...

Hey doofus...even in the "hermit borough"...we know damn well how the LPC works.

And they DON'T work for Queens.

The 5 commissioners might be drawn from each borough but they work for Bloomberg's developers!

Anonymous said...

Pull your head out of your ass and smell the coffee, bub.

You're on your own a fool's errand.

If the landmarks law ignores or discriminates against people's of color nabes, how come Brownsville got landmarked?

Anonymous said...

Yes George...no parking...complicated by poor public transportation.

The "L" line...for slow lousy service!

Anonymous said...

It sort of looks like Park Slope...
but it ain't.

Anonymous said...

Some posters need to shorten their comments and learn to communicate with greater lucidity....
especially that Ass-torian "gentleman".

And you know damn well who you are.

Anonymous said...

Northeast Queens
will never "be done" jealous one.

Paul Vallone lives there and he won't shit in his own yard.

The section of Astoria that daddy Pete lives in is doing just fine!

It's the Steinway/Broadway junction that looks like crap!

that's not too far from the GAHS headquarters.

Oops, did we strike a nerve here?

Anonymous said...

A person says "Northeast Queens will never be done", another states "Ridgewood starts looking like Park Slope but it ain't" First of all you should care of each place for a real decent city cannot be made of spots of luxury combined with misery. That if you care about your city overall. Second, nobody ever claimed Ridgewood is like Park Slope which is currently invaded by gangs. The point is that Ridgewood will be done certainly because the landmark request has been approved. Anyway, this ridiculous empty competition makes no sense. With only few nice spots NY looks like a third world city, with more decent spots it gets closer to an alpha city..

Anonymous said...

I think it's great ! I own two homes htere. Started just when I gratuated from Cleveland. Worked hard, saved money . Bough my first one in 93.
I have always kept it up to standards and welcome the area to have Historic status. I'm getting more people from other areas of the country interested in Ridgewood. I believe they're interest will help the area grow. Plus they pay above market rent and are never behind, ublike the local who I have rented to before.
As far as I concered, Landmarking is great.

Anonymous said...

Ridgewood's architecture certainly resembles Park Slope's.

Wait until the Dominican population expands.

There will soon be gangs there too.

Anonymous said...

That's nice for you real estate speculator, "Mr. Cleveland".

When do you intend to graduate up to slumlord honors and buy three more houses?

One home in landmarked Douglas Manor, for instance, is worth at least 3 in Ridgewood.

That's the way the cookie crumbles.

I didn't make the rules....
so curb your criticism of my comment.

Anonymous said...

a great little gem in the far reaches.

Like Fort Apache,
too close to the Indians.

Anonymous said...

Jackson Heights...
north of Roosevelt Avenue...
safely secured within a landmark district.

But venture south and you'd better pack some "heat"!

Chika, chika...mas drogas!

Anonymous said...

I dunno...
the rapid transit lines that feed Ridgewood from my job in Manhattan pass through some nasty nabes!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the rest of Queens doesn't meet LPC's Mary Beth Betts standards.

Anonymous said...

A brief review:

When the LPC first toured Broadway- Flushing (Mary Beth Betts in tow) with Councilman Avella...it seemed that the area certainly deserved landmark status...as far as the LPC was concerned.

At that time,
Councilman Avella was trying to secure about $1,000,000 in funding for the LPC so that it might function better.

The LPC wound up with about $500,000...as I recall.

Soon after that check was cashed... the LPC found that the area didn't "meet their criteria" for historic district status.

So, what changed their mind?

A lesson to be learned:

Kissing up to the LPC gets you nowhere...even when backed by money...if the Bloomberg administration has other plans for your neighborhood WHICH DOESN'T include landmark status!

Later, State Senator Frank Padavan repeated Avella's tour with LPC's Chairman Tierney and others.

Result..."bupkas"...a plate of beans for Broadway.

Another lesson to be learned:

NYC has its REAL plans, stashed away in a back drawer at the planning commission.

They DON'T apparently (as of yet) include a historic district for deserving Broadway-Flushing.

Perhaps the time has finally arrived for the Broadway Flushing Homeowners Association to gird its loins and prepare for a serious and sustained battle for the neighborhood's survival.

It appears that past polite approaches have not gotten the job done.

The squeaky wheel gets oiled...
while cupcakes and tea only fatten the lazy faint hearted.

ridgewoodcivic said...

I have lived in Ridgewood since 1980 and grew up in Long Island and I have always loved the neighborhood. Every neighborhood has its pluses and negatives but Ridgewood tallies up rather well and it has a lot of buildings of unique character deserving of preservation. Luckily most of the destructive changes to buildings have been recent and are not ubiquitous so we have hope! I don't know all of the details of other neighborhood efforts - I probably know the most about Richmond Hills efforts which I fully support - however Ridgewood first got its national and state designations in the early 1980's and has been lobbying for city status for a decade. The key to the Landmark commission is increased funding. That is the main reason that more areas are not designated but also because developers don't want it and I guess have influenced the lack of funding. Oh by the way, the old guard is not gone. I met many third generation Ridgewoodites who are active in working to protect the neighborhood. Also, when do you become 'old guard'. Does over 30 years count? As to the newer neighbors: we all have a responsibility to make them welcome and get them involved. Also, Ridgewood is heavily renter and the number of absentee owners has risen. We need to promote owner-ocupancy in the neighborhood but there are no easy answers to that. I have to say that a number of Dominican and Polish newer residents have stepped up and got involved. There are plenty of older residents who don't get involved.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in ridgewood for 10 years now i have to say its a very good neighborhood when I first got here but over the last 3 years I have seen alot of more bushwick folks coming around since their home is being occupied by white colonist of european decedents. Maybe it wont get any worst but only time will tell