Sunday, January 12, 2014
Condition of unique Kew Gardens house is a damn shame
From the Queens Chronicle:
A former resident of what he says is the borough’s only Anglo-Japanese-style home is furious at the vacant building’s ongoing descent into decay and dilapidation.
The home, located at 84-62 Beverly Road in Kew Gardens, looks more like the setting of a horror movie than a historic, nearly 100-year-old piece of significant architecture.
The windows have been sealed with concrete and a mysterious sign is taped to the inside of the front door’s glass windows, warning any intrigued passersby to “stay away,” that the property is “being watched” and any trespassers will be arrested.
A phone number was on the sign, but a message saying the number is out of service was heard when called by the Chronicle.
As spooky as the abandoned house appears, its sealed, cement-filled windows can be easily explained.
Two unsafe building violations were issued by the Department of Buildings on Sept. 26, 2009, but Mun Chang, listed as the home’s owner since 1973, never appeared in court or attempted to fight the tickets.
A court order to seal the home was issued on Jan. 6, 2010 and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development closed the windows with cement shortly after.
James Melikian, who lived in the home as a young child from 1956 to 1969 with his family, works to save historic buildings in Arizona, where he now lives.
He told the Chronicle in an email that every time he visits Queens, he is upset to see his childhood home in shambles.
“Whenever we visit New York City, we try to drive past our former Beverly Road home and are always saddened to see it in such disrepair after knowing its great history and distinct architectural beauty,” Melikian said. “This Anglo-Japanese-style house ... is the lone survivor of three such houses that stood at that intersection.”