Thursday, January 2, 2014

Condo project halted as cemetery is investigated

Received in e-mail:

"15 Graves Opened
CONDOS/STORE FRONTS BUILT OVER CHURCH CEMETERY

Recent construction on property previously owned by the Union Street African Methodist Episcopal Church and its cemetery has uncovered more than 15 exposed graves thought to be those of Negro slaves and their decedents that have been dug up and then recovered shallowly after a stop order from the Health Department. The property is the site of new condominium apartments and storefronts on Corona Avenue at 91st Street -- across the street from Newtown High School.

Wing Fung Realty is the management company whose sign declares they are conducting the sale of the apartments that are entered at 47-19 and 47-21 91st Street (next door to a residence at 47-07 91st Street) and the block of store fronts from 90-05 to 90-19 Corona Avenue, which are next door to the Sabor Colombia 2 restaurant at 90-31 Corona Avenue. Dahill Construction is listed as the current property owners on the NY Department of Transportation notices for sidewalk and bus shelter (Q 19) openings in the lobby and storefront windows.

The current Corona Avenue condos and stores are separated from the uncovered graves by a thin strip of parking lot. As more graves are suspected to be beneath the property, additional construction has been halted until January 3, 2014 while Saint Mark AME Church of Jackson Heights, the owner of the graves but not the property, investigates the situation." - Lydia Gardner

See previously.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

That is horrid! Those slaves deserve peace! I wonder if this is a cemetery, if they are still allowed to build on that land. Crappy, is it still legal to build on a cemetery if you didn't know it was a cemetery?

Anonymous said...

The chinese probably don't care if they ruin a part of America's history. ...All they care about is money, they can care less who they inconvenience. They only care about chinese history, they have no respect for our history or the American people.

Anonymous said...

They only care about chinese history,
--------------

Not even that. I've been to china. They will bulldoze their own temples to put up vacant towers.

They are like the Ferengi. Profit above all else.

Anonymous said...

According to the site plan filed for the easement at the DOF, there will be a big condominium behind those 10 mixed-use row houses on Corona Avenue using the 16 feet driveway easement as the access to the condominium. I wonder if the sponsor will mention that the condominium is built on top of an burial site in the offering plan.

Joe said...

Its not just the Chinese. The Persian Jewish did the same thing to African slave burial to build a "community Center" on Community Drive & the LIE service road in Great Neck. They also got to tap into Manhasset sewer treatment so those "stupid American goyum" people pay !!!
It appears you can do anything as long as you pay the right people cash $$$.

Anonymous said...

Chinese are ruining NYC and Queens! We need to find different investors, development, construction and contractors before it really is too late.

Joe said...

The problem is any foreigners who invests $500,000 or more gets life long green cards for the whole family.
The Chinese basically all have the same last names. 50 people in China can pool there money become "family" and come here. There is no way a validating who the hell is who, its an honesty system.
In China there are firms that create these big family's, its big $$. The Chinese government don't give a shit about the illegal activity and actually help because they are glad to get rid of people. Now Russia, Mexico and Central America's mafia's are getting into this scam. Its going to be worse and turned a blind eye under DeBlasio.
Queens is SCREWED !!!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how title to a cemetery is transferred without the new owner being responsible for the transfer of the human remains there, if the property is not to continue as a cemetery.

polkadot said...

It's quite obvious on the map above that the cemetery is located in exactly the same location as the development lot. How was that unknown?

K. Damgaard said...

The Chinese have helped make America what it is today as much as any ethnic group. Yet some of the the comments above reflect that truly American trait of disenfranchising, humiliating and marginalizing certain groups that are unwanted by a ruling majority. One would imagine that America would be ready to move beyond this pathetic and malicious tendency by now.

Anonymous said...

And you'd think the Chinese would be ready to move beyond their pathetic and malicious tendency to stripmine neighborhoods and build on top of graveyards.

Anonymous said...

according to Feng Shui principles, it's not good to live anywhere near a cemetery. Not in your view, not near by . and now they are digging up the cemetery so people can live over it?

Anonymous said...

The Chinese that immigrated and contributed to America long ago are not the same generation or immigrants of China contributing today. The new wave look only for money, greed, control and monopolize and cater only to their own kind. In the midst bulldoze and destroy the history and character of neighborhoods!

Anonymous said...

This site must be considered as an important and sacred part of American history and proper homage must be given to those souls who were laid to rest there, perhaps in the form of a permanent Memorial.

Eugene Yeo said...

Damn, ya'll. This is some racist horse shit right here. You should all be ashamed, each and every one of you. Yeesh. You think an American company would treat these graves any better? Research what Wal Mart is doing to Civil War Battlefields. And then hang your racist heads in racist shame, racists.

Anonymous said...

Walmart donated the acres they owned next to a Civil War battlefield to the state of Virginia. As far as I know, there were no bodies there. The land was next to the battlefield, not part of it, but when people protested, they dropped their plan to build.

I suppose, using your Walmart example, we should expect these developers in Corona to do the same thing. But we all know they won't. So now who's racist?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but have to agree with Eugene.

The fault for this lies with Queens top to bottom.

Cemeteries were desecrated in Old Astoria Village and in Elmhurst within the past decade. Look at the on going travesty at Leverich.

When areas were being rezoned the Landmarks Commission even worked with the Planning Commission to mark cemeteries so that developers would be forewarned to take 'special measures' when they acquired property.

BTW, this information was not shared with local preservation organizations.

Mr. 'Headstone' Cogan (who tirelessly told everyone that would listen that he was the defender of cemeteries) knew about this.

They got a lot of press about fighting for cemetaries.

But, as we have come to expect from "officially approved" organizations like Queens Historical, the reality was for every Moore Jackson they got credit for, they looked the other way when dozens of other locations were in the cross hairs of development.

This cemetery is no secret. There are atlases in QHS that clearly show this location. He was told about this - and others.

Instead, they only goes after low hanging fruit that could not be developed like Moore Jackson.

Eugene Yeo said...

Yeah, I'm part Civil War Preservation Trust. The reason Wal Mart "donated" that land is because it was going to be sued in a high-profile case which would destroy their public image.

I'm going to go ahead and say the people who are trashing an entire people based on one corporation, or the guy who is trashing the entire Jewish people for one community center, are in fact racist.

Anonymous said...

The question remains why the Chinese hate blacks so much that they would build on top of their dead bodies. Wal-Mart didn't do that nor did they have plans to do that.

Queens Crapper said...

Well let's blame those who most deserve it. Where is the borough historian? How about the deputy borough president, who is black?

Anonymous said...

It is true, who is to really blame here? And why does everyone in Queens close their eyes to the travesty's that have been happening in recent years. We need people who care and people to fight for what communities want and deserve. So much of this building that is out of character and goes against the community. Building that has no respect for what is surrounding it or what history was there before. When will everyone be happy?...When everything in Queens has rusting balconies, leaking bricks, boxed buildings, a million and one signage on everything and you can't feel the sun. Who will want to live here then??? What type of ghetto/slum will Queens be? Why have politicians in charge and community boards in charge? They might as well not exist because they allow all this construction anyway. They never vote against anything substantial. It might as well be a free for all.
We need to re-evaluate our choices now. This destruction seems to have no end in sight.

Anonymous said...

First of all, are we still using "negro" to refer to black people? That's not nice.

Second, the notion that all Chinese people are somehow greedier than Americans is just ridiculous. Think about all the atrocities that white Americans have committed for money - the exploitation of slave labor for profit, the forced removal of Native Americans for more land, the destruction of countless Native American and slave burial sites, the razing of historic buildings and sites for new development marketed to multimillionaires, the trashing and polluting of the natural environment to put up tasteless malls and gaudy McMansions. The truth is that even without the Chinese realty groups and the Persian Jewish community centers, Americans have done a stunningly good job of screwing up America. The singling out of minority ethnic groups and blaming America's problems on them is just moronic.

Third, the African Methodist Episcopal Church sold the property to a realty group, most likely not knowing that there were grave sites there. It's unlikely that Wing Fung knew, and when they found out, they stopped construction. I don't see any disrespect for American history here.

Don't worry, New York won't really change at its core. It'll still have the same story - arrest the minorities, blame the immigrants, screw the poor and the homeless, and diamond encrusted penthouses for the 1%! That's a good chunk of American history right here - doomed to repeat, again and again....

Queens Crapper said...

Sorry, but when you buy property, it's on you to do your due diligence to research what was there previously. As mentioned, and as shown in this post, the graveyard was not a secret. Hell, do a Google search of the address 90-15 Corona Avenue and this 2005 report comes up.

Negro is the term that was used when the cemetery was active and is not a slur. Think "United Negro College Fund". Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that link, Crapper. So....this was subject to BSA approval, and we're supposed to believe that Wing Fung didn't know about it? Of course they knew about it. They didn't give a flying fuck. Developers never do.

Anonymous said...

I got a theory about this. In 2005, the potential developer commissioned a study which suggested ground penetrating radar be employed. I'm guessing it was and found graves. The proposed developer never acquired the property. Later it was sold to another developer who didn't do his homework, and then finally to the current owner who seems to not give a crap. An argument might be able to be made that full disclosure was not made upon sale of the property. However, I think that a court will ultimate rule that the current owner should have exercised due diligence, as Crapper stated. If the current owner did know, then he's just a greedy jerk who tried to get away with it.

Queens Crapper said...

Why did the LPC designate the Brinckerhoff Cemetery to protect it from development but not this one?