Tuesday, July 23, 2013
LPC rejects Avella's landmarking request for Flushing Meadows
From Save FMCP:
Senator Tony Avella was joined last Friday by preservationists and several area civic groups at a press conference protesting the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) decision to reject landmark designation for Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP).
The 1,255 acre Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is the Borough of Queens’ most prominent park and provides open space and recreational benefits to thousands of borough residents and low and middle income families. The Park is a valuable asset for the City and the residents of Queens not only because of its green space and natural areas, but also due to its embodiment of historical structures and leading cultural and educational institutions. The Park also has a unique history, serving as host to two World Fairs in 1939 and 1964, plus hosting the General Assembly of the United Nations from 1946 to 1950.
That is why, earlier this year, Avella asked LPC to review landmark status for Queens’ most prominent and historic park, which is under the threat of devastating development interests. Currently, the Mets organization is floating the idea of building a Mall in the park, the United States Tennis Association is proposing to expand and Major League Soccer is still interested in building a stadium that would further eliminate parkland.
Unfortunately, LPC recently denied this request and indicated that the park did not meet the criteria for designation.
Avella stated, “I am very disappointed in the Landmark Preservation Commission’s decision to not designate Flushing Meadows Corona Park as a landmark. It is clear to me that with its rich history and importance as Queens’ most significant and treasured park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park deserves landmark recognition, especially now. With three separate development proposals threatening to take away valuable parkland, Flushing Meadows Corona Park needs to be preserved now more than ever.”
“Parkland is sacred,” continued Avella. “The City should not be entertaining these proposals which would radically reduce open and recreational space for the hundreds of thousands of Queens residents who use this park on a yearly basis. Instead, the City should landmark this vital borough park to ensure its continued usage for generations to come and send a clear message that parkland is not for sale!”
“That is why I am calling on the Landmarks Preservation Commission to immediately reconsider their decision and demand that they hold a public hearing on this important issue. At the very least, the residents of Queens deserve to have their voices heard,” concluded Avella.
I guess the only surprise here is that the Parks Department turned the Unisphere fountains on a full month before the US Open.