Thursday, July 5, 2012

I hate what you've done with the place!

Scouting NY brings us the sad story of the crappification of the former home of late preservationist, Nancy Cataldi. As you look at these photos, remember that this comes courtesy of Mary Beth Betts, director of research at the LPC, who never met an unattached house in Queens that she gave a shit about. Specificly, she told Nancy and others in Richmond Hill to go jump in a lake when they requested historic district designation for Victorian homes there.

Nancy's family likely sold the home to a buyer that planned to live in it to ensure that it would not become a teardown. But is this really any better?

Nancy, wherever you are, I hope you can't see this.


Anonymous said...

Well, you cannot always blame Betts for this because preservation seems to work far better in the other boroughs.

We know the drill:

1. There is no real city wide preservation effort (under the current law we a pawns of our two-bit councilmen and we know where their interests are) As long as THEY need YOUR councilman to vote for THEIR district THEY couldn't give to shits to what YOUR councilman does to YOU.

2. The Queens pols elevate people that are as stupid as they - who respond in kind to their paymasters - so that the borough's cultural level is fairly low and coarse.

3. Vibrant! Diverse! Uncouth! Third World!

4. Anyone that tries to stir the torpid waters of Queens is cut down by the ice cream money the machine hands out to their little minnows in exchange for lurid tales of what their little minions will do to you to shut you up. And since their bellies are filled with goodies, their little minds are on a mission. You.

Queens Boro Historian? said...

Where is the problem people?

They did not tear down the house.

Anonymous said...

The landmarks law should be overturned and until someone in Queens has the backbone to do this, shit like this will be shoved in your face time and time again.

Betts is not a rogue. She is doing everything within what the law permits.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1: it does NOT work in ALL boroughs: Staten Island faces crap identitcal to Queen's crap (with a nod to Crappy: that's why I read this blog!) - we usually get teardowns, with maybe 4+ junk-"luxury" attached homes instead.

Anonymous said...

1. Does it look better? No it looks like crap.

2. What can be done? Unless some of these homes - as in the before picture - obtain landmark status, there's nothing that can be done -- other than to hope sellers are patient enough, and buyers are honest enough to agree between themselves not to crapify the property.

Anonymous said...

Mary Beth Betts is the singular person responsible for more demolitions and horrible alterations of historic buildings in NYC than anyone else.

She hates suburban housing. She hates Queens. She's made comments on the record, like "never again" (that was when Douglas Manor was designated against her wishes) and has turned down more than 90% of requests from neighborhoods in Queens for landmark designation, except in urban areas (Ridgewood, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights).

Until she gets removed - and she's been there since 1994 - nothing is going to change.

Anonymous said...

Mary Beth Betts is the singular person responsible for more demolitions and horrible alterations of historic buildings in NYC than anyone else.
And also the person responsible for more Manhattan, Brooklyn, etc designations.

The fault is ours: as long as preservation is weak in Queens, and we do not fight for it, we will get the short end of the stick.

Everyone knows in LPC - as well as Queens - the that the machine is against it. Look at their choice for boro historians starting with Hank Ludder. Compare that list with the other boroughs.

The fact of the matter is that on a per capta basis, Queens is in a class by itself on landmarking far below even Staten Island.

The only way to get noticed, considering the sorry local talent that we got, is to overturn the law.


Anonymous said...

LOL! I love the runway next to it. You can land and park a 747 on it. Who moved in-- Italians? Israelis? Arabs? They just love concrete. Only in New York, by the way. You go out to the rest of America and people would laugh at this as well. C'est la vie.

Anonymous said...

In 20 years of looking at modifications to lots in Queens, I have never seen the greenspace increased.

Anonymous said...

looks like eurotrash to me. 5-to-1 odds they are polish or some other former russian-held nation.

Anonymous said...

I love how they couldn't be bothered to find a door frame in white to match all the windows. Whatever was on sale i guess.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the people,s republic of Queens. Do as your communist/progressive masters demand or your Stalin loving politicians will become angry at you.
Remember, big brother is watching.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the people,s republic of Queens. Do as your communist/progressive masters demand or your Stalin loving politicians will become angry at you.
Remember, big brother is watching.


Sounds like Gramps again.

WTF does your rant have to do with this poor house being destroyed by dumbass homeowners and an unresponsive government agency?

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. What is wrong with this?

I rather live in the latter images with a nice concrete driveway and some green instead of the other previous image which looks like you are living in a forest.

Plus mosquitoes and squirrels will be surrounding you if you have too much green. You actually want squirrels in your house? Come'on.. some greens are nice.. but not all green like the previous image and not all concrete. You need a balance!

Anonymous said...

That 'renovation' resembles the work of the same kind of Uzbekis who are doing their best to uglify Forest Hills.

To put in my theory as to the sorry state of preservation in Queens - I'd say that Manhattan especially is better in terms of landmarking because lead by the late Jackie O, there are rich, famous celebrities there willing to fight against developers.

The only thing that seems to carry a degree of clout with these developer scum are people who go to the same country clubs and the same parties as their patron saint Mike Bloomberg - ergo rich Manhattan idealists sometimes succeed in pushing back.

While there may be a handful of Top 1% scumbags in Queens, there are not enough Top 1% idealists, thus the developers have free reign.

Queens Crapper said...

Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, not greenery. Raccoons are attracted to food, not greenery.

Keeping property as green as possible cuts down on the need for electricity used to power air conditioners, cuts down on basement flooding due to its absorption ability and makes air healthier.

It's sad that I have to explain this to the ignorant.

Anonymous said...

You will get squirrels in your house if you have nature around you? That's a new one. I have never had a squirrel in my house, and my yard is full of trees.

Anonymous said...

I live in Richmond Hill and one of the reasons is because of the greenery! However, living here I appreciate the good intentions of the folks who renovated this place. To them it looked old (and it was! To a preservationist, old is beautiful, but if you are not, you don't get it.) They didn't have the time to maintain the temperate zone garden and instead chose to chop it down to a size they could manage. Not the ideal, but what they could keep neatly. I also suspect they were unaware of the historic nature of Nancy's house and its place in a historic community. On the latter point, landmarking would surely have helped because the area lacks any formal designation. On the former, I am not sure what would help slow down the encroachment of concrete!

Anonymous said...

To the last poster:

Please don't apologize for these people. They lied to everyone and did as they pleased.

The family knew EXACTLY the nature of who the house belonged to, who she was and why it was in such pristine condition.

They made promises to preserve the house in the condition that they were buying it.

If Nancy had done what she had said she was going to do - put a deed restriction on the property that would essentially treat it as a landmark, allowing a third party to enforce it - this never would have happened. Unfortunately, due to her extremely sudden passing, that paperwork was never completed.

If anyone wishes to place a deed restriction on their property to stop this type of situation from happening again, please contact me through QC - I'd be happy to help, and walk you through the steps of doing it for your own house and property, like I did for mine.

Paul Graziano

Anonymous said...

Que bella cosa...
fit for mafiosa.

Anonymous said...

The new owners are Guyanese.

Lakeplanner said...

Yes, the new owners are Guyanese, but apparently they have Eastern European tastes. They paid $555,000 for an immaculate historic home so that could give it a Bukharian makeover.

Anonymous said...

Guyanese GAVONES!

Anonymous said...

Paving over so much of the yard is now illegal.

For what it's worth, there are other zoning laws designed to preserve a reasonable amount of green space on private property. I'll leave you to debate the loss of personal freedom on private property for the common good.