Friday, September 2, 2016

Watching Elmhurst history slowly get destroyed

"Dear Crappy,

This home, built in the 1700's which the neighborhood of Elmhurst tried to save from demo, was denied by the LPC from being declared a landmark. The home last year right after Labor Day had two suspicious fires, and seemed destined for demo. A couple of weeks ago a fence went up around it. Right after most of it came down, the house would have been saved had a stop work order came in time due to the improper removal of asbestos inside. Thanks." - Elmhurst Resident

"It looks like the developers have intentions of building a multi family homes instead of preserving Queens historic home.

They purchased all surrounding homes are knocking them down.

It's sad." - Another Elmhurst Resident


Anonymous said...

We really need someone to run for mayor next year that will stop the destruction of our communities and ban developers from knocking down one and two family houses to build crap and overcrowd our community

Anonymous said...

According to city records on ACRIS, the ownership has recently changed hands, from one LLC to another LLC. Original sale was $2million and was transferred for $1.9 million - why lose $100,000 in less than a year? Sounds suspicious!

Anonymous said...

I see one home among these lots which still has the owners still living there. I hope they stay and fight! Just like the home in the past on the corner of Queen Blvd and 55th Ave (where HSBC Bank is). They held out and the whole neighborhood loved them?

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to work with the Community Board and the local politicians to down-zone the residential areas of Elmhurst to prevent the destruction of this historic neighborhood! These type of developments overload the infrastructure - overcrowded schools, overtaxed sewers, lack of parking, crowded subways, extremely heavy traffic (due to proximity to the Queens Mall), etc. etc.

(sarc) said...

It is sad that all of the people complaining about this never took their own money to purchase, restore and receive MINIMAL,if any, profit from all the money, navigation of government regulations, and investment to bring this old shack back to a livable condition.

Why is it you all look for the BEST return on your 401k, retirement accounts, and general investments?

BUT your neighbor is Not allowed to make a good return on their real estate investment???

Anonymous said...

Many of the Elmhurst residents have tried to contact Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. So far not even an acknowledgement. Why? Isn't the effort to preserve Queens history important enough??? Let's all of Queens (and NYC) contact her to at least consider some involvement!!! Isn't that part of her job?

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem in preservation in Queens is the local people whom are far too polite, cannot bring themselves to take their electeds to task, have other do-gooders that second guess them and undercut what they do, and, with this resume, are regarded as 'hands off' but the city wide preservation community.

I doesn't help that the boro historian says loopy things about preservation and in good Queens style no one says anything when he does.

Anonymous said...

But, of course!
The LPC are the lazy partners in crime of the developers of NYC.
Then you have the other accomplices.
Usually they are your council members.
We can make some room for some of Queens' shifty community boards here too.
From CB1....aptly known as "the community board from hell" ....onward further east to CB7 "the rubber stamp board"....
they have skunked many of us, while pretending to be representing us.
I have little use for CBs and their demagogue leaders playing toy roles.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the same house that had a fire a week after it was sold last year? And people commented on this blog how that was suspicious?

To correct the posting: the house was a 20th century construct, not an 18th century one.

It was a homestead but nothing remained other than the property itself.

It's time to let this one go.

Anonymous said...

I think preserving the last few old building would be great but no one wants to pay to maintain these buildings and rehab them.

If you have the money then by all means go ahead and do it.

Anonymous said...

The purchase of this property was suspicious and questionable from the very beginning. The fire that broke out right after the takeover. The expedited application for full demolition immediately after the fire (at the same time the petition was created to landmark one of the historic houses (see past Queens Crap article). The expedited applications for re-zoning of the lots, What can we do to prevent this destruction of the neighborhood and more importantly, our history?

Anonymous said...

"To correct the posting: the house was a 20th century construct, not an 18th century one."

The house dates back to 1862 with parts of it believed to be older.

Anonymous said...

this is too sad. A sweet old house with all that yard/garden.

Anonymous said...

'It dates back to 1862 according to a registered deed, but it is rumored to have a wing that may date back to the 1700s.

Read more: Queens Ledger - Rescuing A Treasure Bernardus Bloom Farmhouse '

That is different from the house being from 1862. We can see from the St. James building in Elmhurst that the building may be 'intact' but have had extensive rebuilding and renovations to make it not able to be landmarked.

That being said, if that is the case, why did it take a resale in 2015 to all of a sudden decide this was a landmark that had to be preserved? Cases like this give the landmark groups a bad name. They are trying to stick themselves into someone else's business and the person buying the land all of a sudden has a headache. Even if they began the campaign to landmark the property a year before it was sold I might have some respect for them, but as it is being done, with a fawning article with a lot of 'maybe' and 'rumoured's. I don't agree with trying to landmark it with questionable history.

I do appreciate that the people who commented on that article have actual names and are not a bunch of (myself included) anonymous posters.

Bernardus Bloom? Wasn't he Judy Bloom's grandfather?

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make about anything destroyed in Queens anymore, when the entire borough is now officially a toxic, raw sewage plant of political corruption that is so completely entrenched, that it devalues honesty itself?? The whole borough is now 'The Fourth World!'

Hence, only peasants and immigrants live here (except for the mostly white and somewhat black politicians--with a few Asians and Latinos thrown in for the illusion of diversity), all of whom are required by law to reside in the heaping, endless filth, corruption, graft and endless greed that they themselves created--and, then they leave an even greater disparity in their wake of vile, political worthlessness!

Christina Wilkinson said...

It doesn't need to have historical significance to be landmarked. The architecture and age alone make it worthy.

P.S. the LPC is reconsidering its rejection of the St. James Church

Anonymous said...

Very sad indeed! Goes to show you the developers or builders of this city will continue to get away with not taking all measures of action and safety when building, demolishing etc. They want to profit as much as possible and not adhere to rules and regulations. Another violation is that construction fence is not completely painted green. What happened they ran out of paint? Two weeks ago someone got hurt when demolishing this house as well, an ambulance was called. Hmm seems like this historical land and house doesn't want to leave. By the way any of you criticizing this house and its significance should pick up an old map and can clearly trace this house's existence from 1700. It may have been severely altered and added on but that was in 1862, is still had parts of its foundation that bears the same stones as the Old St. James Church on Broadway. Other parts of the foundation was rubble and the newer being brick. Imagine what artifacts could be unearthed as well. Oh well another loss for Queens. The Newtown Civic is proud to say we tried and too bad we didn't start the initiated earlier as plans were discussed in Spring of 2015 to research this house and try to preserve it. Thanks for our useless LPC and thank you for BP Katz who doesn't reply back to her constituents. -NCA

Anonymous said...

I like the headline to this one:

'Watching Elmhurst History Slowly Get Destroyed'

Have you driven through that third world ghetto recently?

There is nothing left of old Elmhurst. It is all concrete/brick/signs in languages other than English/trash in the streets, no parking, streets clogged with people and cars.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, putting a stop-work order now that the house is a half demolished eye-sore.

>That being said, if that is the case, why did it take a resale in 2015 to all of a sudden decide this was a landmark that had to be preserved? Cases like this give the landmark groups a bad name. They are trying to stick themselves into someone else's business and the person buying the land all of a sudden has a headache. Even if they began the campaign to landmark the property a year before it was sold I might have some respect for them, but as it is being done, with a fawning article with a lot of 'maybe' and 'rumoured's. I don't agree with trying to landmark it with questionable history.

This is a good point. Perhaps one public service Crappy's readers can do is suggest and propose lovely old homes and buildings for Landmark status now, so that when hungry developers come along, the process is already under way.

Anonymous said...

This is still what I don't understand:

If this place is such a tremendous example of whatever kind of architecture or some hugely significant parcel owned by some Revolutionary War postmaster, why did it take its sale in 2015 to have anyone start a process to landmark?????

To me that just seems phony.

Are there other properties with such histories just waiting to be sold to someone who wants to develop the land and cares nothing for the history? How about you start the landmarking process now before it is sold and you are just a wet blanket to someone else's plans.

Queens Crapper said...

How many times will you ask the same damn thing?

Anonymous said...

These animals aren't even saving some of the real wood, mantels, moldings, doors, frames. You cant get that stuff anymore and its insane expensive to re-create. All in the dumpster what a shame.
Now a box full of immigrants packed in like tuna fish will take its place.
This is criminal contempt and arson not progress!!!

Anonymous said...

Probably ignorant developer a**holes or real estate trolls posting on here or Chinese developers/investors posting the same questions. Haha go run away and look at what other things you guys can buy and demolish that's what your good at. Hope that makes you go to bed with a smile!

Anonymous said...

1. Not all of those were me.

2. I still didn't get an answer. How come properties magically become 'landmarks' just before/after they are sold?

3. My apologies, and I guarantee that was the last time.

Marjorie Melikian said...
The subtitle to the above article is "The Problem with New York City's Landmark Laws". Landmarking can be very costly to the owner of private property. NY Landmarks can rule on what a building must do or fix- but in most cases they don't help pay for what they require. That's why many buildings which could deserve the name "Landmark" choose not to be one. Including the 1895 fifth building of The First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, founded 1652 in Elmhurst, with an amazing history, founded under Dutch rule and the first permanent settlement of western Queens. I did however successfully get it onto The National Register of Historic Places and listed as a NY State Landmarks Sacred Site. My only problem with them is they are more interested in architecture than history. They have however, already given us one grant, to repair rotting 1895 wooden doors. We were however required to raise about 60% of the funds first before we were given the grant. I may need to apply for another grant soon, since our 1895 bell tower looks to perhaps be in danger of collapse. It did not help that the entire building was moved across the street on log rollers in 1924, for the widening of Queens Blvd. .....But as to the house in question above, a Bernardus Bloom DID own the land originally; he was an early Dutch settler of the area. I have heard there is a stone cellar which is older than the present house, which is from the mid to later 1800s, shown by its French style Mansard roof. Whether that cellar was a foundation originally for the Bloom house is unknown, but quite possible. NY Landmarks also does not consider history, but architecture. It does not like changes to an original building. By the time they looked at it, it had been set on fire by squatters. It was a lovely old house, a beloved landmark in the neighborhood- but Landmarks would not have paid to fix it up. There was not enough to meet their criteria. And who could have afforded to fix it up? The fire did make it easier for the new owners to tear down, even if it were an accident.

Jerry Rofondi, preservationist said...

I've, unfortunately, become jaded after many decades of fighting to preserve history (i.e. Keith's Flushing Theater).
I have not yet lost hope.

Sadly, this is par for Queens. Too many of its voter residents have eagerly drunk the Kool Aid that their local politicians have handed them.
Almost all of your elected representatives and officials get campaign donations or perks from the real estate developers of New York.
It is expensive to get elected and are-elected. Where else can they find the money?

Now, as far as many of the borough's historical societies, they are powerless. They depend too much on money from borough hall to survive.

This is the same hall that once housed the corrupt suicide Donald Manes.
Manes once said, "Queens has nothing but land to offer, and I intend to build on it"!

Has the credo of the hall changed since?
Only the type of lip service that has been given to make you believe that they care about history.

So, Melinda Katz springs for painting the towers of the NYS Pavillion. Meanwhile she whitewashes her image as an uncaring...except for climbing up the political ladder....anti preservation stances throughout her borough.

Do not be fooled. This avaricious climber is no different than Donald Manes. The Manes play book is still being followed.

How come that Katz could not find enough money for the restoration of Civic Virtue, slightly to the left of borough hall?
It is now in a Brooklyn cemetery and a ring of Perunias , no doubt, will be planted in its place.

If you've got to put something in its place, then I suggest a new statue depicting corruption....most appropriate for borough hall!

artist-sculptor said...

Right on, Jerry!
Replace the stolen "Civic Virtue" with a new "Public Corruption"!
I'll contribute $100 towards its design!
And, no, I don't want this commission!
LOL! Give it to Audrey Flack, whose failed Queen Catherine colossus got dumped.
She's the perfect choice.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding, most of Queens has gone down the shithole for years, its white working class residents fled to Long Island, New Jersey, and other parts of the country many years ago and never returned. Its been replaced by masses of third world immigrants. For a while, Eastern Queens neighborhoods of Bayside, Little Neck, and Douglaston have resisted the trend of turning into poverty stricken crime ridden neighborhoods, but that is changing as well.
Its no big deal that the city denied landmark status for an old building so that developers can build a new crowded apartment block.
Anyone with a three digit IQ who wants a good quality of life knows its a good idea to just get the fuck out of New York and the Northeast.

Anonymous said...

Are there any elms left in Elmhurst. In the 1950s there still were farms there.