Friday, March 23, 2007

Old folks at home

Senior housing in Astoria-LIC has been a hot topic in the papers lately:

New Senior Housing To Open In Astoria

Seniors find affordable living in LIC building

1938 Berenice Abbott photo of St. George's Parsonage (R.I.P.) from Museum of the City of New York (


Anonymous said...

They need affordable housing so they can continue to feed the slots in A.C.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny, a 180 year old building that was a legacy of the Astors, yes THE Astors for whom Astoria was named.

Any mention?

Why, those people in Astoria are a bunch of Neanderthals, they do not know any better and besides, as they are ignorant immigrants even if someone made an effort to tell them they would think the removal of the building as an inprovement.

Now they can see the city from their homes.

So goes the thinking of their leadership, the media, and the preservation community.

Taking advantage of people like that makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

I remember when a local group tried to bring this vandalism to the community by local officials they are hooted off the page.

Their flyer attacked 'Callous Carolyn' Maloney stating quite correctly that if this was in Maloney's Manhattan district it would be a gem, but as it was in Queens, well, it was so much kindling.

Needless to say the LPC rejected it (not up to the standards of landmarking)and other nameless city wide preservation groups did not even go through the motion of concern.

Anonymous said...

Lets take a look at D& F Development group, part owner of this structure.

Principal Leonard T. D'Amico, who was president of the Queens Borough Public Library's governing body, its 19-member board of trustees. was first appointed as a library trustee by then Borough President Claire Shulman in 1998 and had served as board treasurer and secretary.

Born and raised in Astoria, D'Amico’s firm, The D & F Development Group, is a real estate development, construction and management firm based in Whitestone and specializing in the creation of affordable senior and family housing. A previous large senior project was built on the playground of the Variety Boys and Girls Club.

Leonard has served for the last 12 years as a community and legislative liaison to state Senator George Onorato. In addition to his appointment as a library trustee, he was named to several committees and task forces by Shulman, including the Fresh Kills Landfill Closure Task Force and the Prevention Subcommittee on Illegal Conversions.

Leonard is the son of Gloria D’Amico, who started her political career at the Taminent Regular Democratic Club 40 years ago. She became a Democratic District Leader in 1970, teaming up first with the late Ralph De Marco as co-leader and later with state Senator George Onorato.

Gloria D’Amico headed the Queens Board of Elections from 1972 to 1991, when she resigned as District Leader to become the Queens County Clerk. She was succeeded as District Leader by Gloria De Marco Aloise.

Comments please...

Anonymous said...

Mary O'Hara, Mary O'Hara, where did we hear that name?

Oh, yes, a number of years ago she tried to landmark Boulevard Gardens and got nowhere.

Those were cruel pre-Crappie days where one person fought against the machine and when they sought support from the Manhattan crowd were told 'now first thing you do is write a letter ...'

Since then she has become a sensible lady. Joined the Astoria Civic and now, well you can see quite the civic leader, well, more correctly, Astoria style civic leader.

Anonymous said...

I think I remember the D'Amicos get their start running a beer distributor.

Whaddia expect?

Anonymous said...

Took away a children's playground? I believe the library did that for a branch they built in Ravenswood. Well now we know where they got the idea.

Taking away playgrounds are certainly a unique way to raise kids. Making them go to school in shifts because they do not have enough classrooms is certainly another.

Maybe they can take the kids down to this building and talk about civic leadership and what is being left for their generation.

But not to worry, their parents would never complain. They just go home to their basement apartments from their below minimum wage job. And maybe, just maybe, if they are lucky they can get a break and go to Flushing park to unwind.

Welcome to the brave new Queens, where, we are always breathlessly told, you can find tomorrow today.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? If you people in Astoria don't want to make things better for yourselves, don't cry in everyone's cup.

Remember last summer's blackout? The TV cameras panned over little more than empty seats. What message did your community broadcast to the world then?

If you want to sit in the middle of the road and take a whipping like some ox, that's your problem.

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree.

Everyone in NY now has to pay higher rates to Con Ed because those people did not have the backbone to stand up as their neighborhood was getting overloaded. Now millions are being poured in to patch together a grid that is at this point almost certainly fatally compromised.

And to make things worse, their politicians are acting as broken cash machines egging on demands for higher and higher cash payouts - money that comes from utility bills from every one of us from around the city.

Remember the fiasco of the Steinway houses back in the 70s? That little stunt put the entire borough of Queens behind landmark designation for 30 years - and they are still playing catch up.

Astoria is a festering laboratory for every development ill in the city.

We all pay the price for this.

Anonymous said...

Well I at least hope the cow is giving good milk!


Anonymous said...

The thing that strikes me about the two articles is the breezily acceptance of this travesty.

Not a mention. Not a hint.

Not a flicker of shame.

Anonymous said...

There is that name On-o-ra-to again! The bane of Sunnyside and the buddy of Dutch Kills.

Thank heavens for Crap. Like the boys getting together in the clubhouse now we can compare notes, too.

Anonymous said...

Is this the one where they built right up next to the church and in a graveyard? It's a mess!

Anonymous said...

This parsonage was a legacy of the Astors and was not saved? They get excited over Astor horse stables in Manhattan...

Anonymous said...

I find it difficult to believe that organizations, as the Sacred Sites program of the Landmarks Conservancy, or Historic Districts Council, or City Lore did not get involved in helping the folks in Old Astoria.

Certainly that neighborhood is one of the most important unprotected districts in the city, even in its degraded state. They should expect some help from the broader community.

Anonymous said...

Well, if an LPC application was submitted, and rejected, that would be enough in my mind to send up a red signal that there are serious issues with the system. There is no doubt this building, which dated from the 1820s and was a legacy of John Jacob Astor, and the reason the community renamed itself Astoria, should have been saved, no matter what the beer distributor's son tried to do.

I do not see the current frenzy(which has something to do with LPC commissioner appointments), forced on everyone as the great solution to LPC's ills by the Manhattan clique, will do anything to change crimes like this.

How many other examples are out there of discrimination in working class places like Richmond Hill, St Saviour's, or found in the other boroughs, that we are not aware?

No point in reading about this in city wide preservation publications. They soft pedal this.



Anonymous said...

Sacred Sites: invite Crap to do a posting giving a breakdown by borough on your programs.

Historic Districts Council: take a look at the issues faced in St Saviour's, Sunnyside Gardens and Old Astoria, and take a look at the themes of their last conference and form your own conclusions.

City Lore: just did a big piece on all those hookah smoking places on Steinway Street, the district where all the older tenants are being pushed out because their homes smell of cancerous smoke 24/7.

The point here is do not go after the people of Queens being anti-preservation: they are hopelessly worn down. They are treated as little more than background wallpaper in their own communities.

This attitude shows up in the way the preservation community treats them, mimicing the style of their local leadership, where the locals are something in the shadows, only given access to cameras and microphones for carefully scripted sound bites that echo the party line.

Anonymous said...

Lenny D'Amico and family live in the posh Broadway Flushing area....perhaps....soon to be landmarked.

What interest could he have in saving a potential landmark of old Astoria....far away from home?

Anonymous said...

I am both surprised and saddened that you posted this and reopened an old wound.

I think this reveals that for all intents and purposes that the landmarks law is already repealed throughout vast parts of the city.

We are denied equal protection under this law, certainly we are second-class citizens when it comes to having the same level of both interest and protection that people with access or money have.

I think the silence by the preservation community about this building reinforces a feeling by a growing number of people across the city that no one really gives a damn or cares about them.

They are further getting the unsettling feeling that the areas already enjoying landmark designation are not only aware of this, but are unwilling to lift a finger to do anything about this.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone anonymous?