Thursday, March 21, 2013
As predicted, millstones get damaged at Queens Plaza
From the Daily News:
The western Queens hustle and bustle has taken a chunk out of a relic of old industrial New York City.
Local preservationists were alarmed when they recently noticed a centuries-old millstone — currently displayed in a small pedestrian greenspace near Queens Plaza — had been seriously damaged.
The circular stone is part of a pair in Dutch Kills that date back to as early as the mid-1600s. They were used in water-powered gristmills that converted grains into flour.
“They are not going to last much longer while exposed to the elements,” Bob Singleton, executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, told the Daily News on Wednesday.
A group of concerned stakeholders keep a “continuous watch” on the millstones, and quickly noticed the damage to one of them, Singleton said. The millstone had a previous crack in that spot.
His organization is reigniting its years-long push to have them relocated to somewhere indoors, Singleton said.
“You don’t need the precious artifacts to be exposed to uncertainties of urban life,” he said.
The proper location for the two millstones was debated in 2010 while the pedestrian plaza was being erected by the city Economic Development Corp. The two circular relics were excavated from their encasing in a city sidewalk.
“Parks retrieved the section of the millstone that came off and we’re storing it until we can make repairs,” agency spokeswoman Tara Kiernan said in a statement. “There were no signs of vandalism and we suspect the piece might have been part of a former repair. We do not have any plans to move the millstones indoors.”
Further proof that this city is run by a bunch of idiots.