Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fort Totten falling apart!

From the Queens Courier:

Fort Totten’s history is slowly fading away.

The historic Bayside park is home to several dilapidated and historic buildings that have been sitting vacant and in need of repair, according to the Bayside Historical Society. The oldest among these is the Willets Farmhouse, built in 1829, making it the oldest building in the area.

Despite the deteriorating conditions none of the buildings will be repaired anytime soon, according to city records.

A Parks Department spokeswoman said that the farmhouse was worked on in 2013 to stabilize it but the area is completely fenced off and no one is allowed inside to check the building’s condition. Abandoned NYC, a website devoted to decaying sites, published a photo tour of some of the buildings in 2012.

The Parks Department is in the planning phase of a $2.1 million restoration project, of the roofs of two historic buildings: the Chapel and the Commander’s House, both of which were built in the early 1900s, a parks spokeswoman said. But construction won’t begin until next year, leaving the two historic buildings exposed to rain and other natural elements that will eat away at the building.

The groundskeeper for the park said that if something isn’t done soon, the buildings would be damaged beyond repair. And as winter approaches, groundskeeper Mac Harris knows that the buildings will suffer.

“The roofs are not being repaired,” Mac Harris said. “The buildings are slowly being decayed.”


Jon Torodash said...

Building 207 is the one which the Center for the Women of NY (a group fixated on having removing Civic Virtue under their crackpot delusion that it was sexist) has been trying to secure after somehow pushing it past then-chief planner Laird's insistence that the center must serve "proper park usage". I find it very interesting that the center claims to have had $1.8 million almost a whole year ago to begin work on the ground floor when now we hear that the roof itself must be stabilized if the clock could be on a ticking toward the point of no return. Is anyone from Parks even asking what's going on?

Anonymous said...

Jon this house is a veritable monument to sexism. Maybe they want to tear it down and replace it with a women's rights house.

Anonymous said...

Historical societies and groups that are trying to build strong communities are starved for funds by the machine in Queens.

This pretty much derails any efforts by the borough's elite to make Queens a cultural destination as well as keeping Queens behind and dependent on the machine as the rest of NYC moves forward.

Those campaigns are only aimed at the naive mid-westerner kid to fill new development.

Anonymous said...

At the Presidio in SF I believe they had a similar situation (abandoned military outpost with lots of little beautiful quant historical buildings). What they ended up doing is setting up a trust that would allow private companies to lease the buildings - they could renovate the insides to their specifications and the outside had to be restored. Today the Presidio is a beautiful little start up factory - and it is self sufficient.

Anonymous said...

$2.1 million for 2 roofs are they nuts ?
It should be no more then $300K - 500K and that's to COMPLETELY restore BOTH buildings !!
These racketeers have to go !!!

Anonymous said...

The city should put this place to good use, restore the place and rent it to people from other cities specially in summer, also it can be rented to the movie industry as long as doesn't conflicts with local visitors to the park.

Anonymous said...

Fort Totten is getting the Brooklyn Navy Yard treatment: A decade or two of neglect, then a finding that the buildings are beyond repair, then a teardown and replacement with crap. Completely foreseeable.

Anonymous said...

Governor's Island is getting plenty of gov love because of its proximity to Manhattan while Fort totten is fort-gotten because it's on the city's edge.

Anonymous said...

The old Willets farmhouse is the saddest of the lot on the fort.

Ms. Tsouris said...

I've maintained over the years that the entire Fort Totten area should be made into a historic preserve, like Old Bethpage, Richmondtown on Staten Island, or Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. What a disgrace that such a wonderfully historic area is just waiting for destruction

Anonymous said...

Those buildings are asbestos traps that endanger those who use them.