Sunday, June 29, 2008

Building crap on the graves of our forefathers

A Florida man who owns a weed-strewn Colonial-era cemetery in Queens wants a judge to declare the graveyard abandoned - and let a developer build houses where Dutch settlers buried their dead.

A lawyer for Ralph DeDomenico contended the bodies interred at Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows disintegrated long ago - and dared the city to exhume them to prove him wrong.

DeDomenico, 59, wants to sell a developer the irregularly shaped 85-by-110-foot swath of land for the construction of two homes.

State law forbids building on a cemetery.

"Why can't you get it in your head? This ain't a cemetery anymore," argued Gerald Chiariello, DeDomenico's Forest Hills-based lawyer. "It's a dump."

Not everyone agrees.

Lawyer Paul Kerson, representing the Queens Historical Society and a local civic association, has written to Chiariello threatening "appropriate legal action" if anyone builds on the 182nd St. plots.

Kerson's letter also noted that the city put the cemetery under consideration as a potential landmark in 2000, outlawing construction through the designation process.

Lisi de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the city Landmarks Preservation Commission, confirmed the graveyard is still on the commission's calendar, but legal issues have hampered action.

Fighting to keep builder off Colonial graves at Brinckerhoff Cemetery


Anonymous said...

A new low for a developer.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting, the developer will get his way with blessing from the Mayor.

What left likely resembles mulch, bones look like damp broken tee twigs. They will throw it all in the dumpster and wood chipper when the land is cleared of all trees just like the Maspeth Woods or old slave cemetery in Manhasset.

(Now a Synagogue-Jewish center at Communiety Drive and the LIE).

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is with QHS. Instead of running around digging up landfill and calling it Arbirtration Rock, and doing similiar useful things like that, they should have gone after ALL the cemetaries of Queens for protection.

Instead they go after something, let it drop, go after something, let it drop.

Hmmm. Nice way to stay in the headlines.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I recall talk about the Leverich Cemetary about once every 10 years or so.

Last time I went there the local kids set up an entire clubhouse (down to the sofas) on the site.

Anonymous said...

I have a story.

Years ago the Burroughs Cemetary was cut in two by Alstine Ave in Corona. The lower part, on Corona Ave was built upon about 15 years ago (with nary a shout from Mr Headstone Stanley Cogan)

When he was reminded that the other half remained as a double lot and could easily be built upon



I guess Queens Historical does not regard Corona as a good place to harvest membership?

Anonymous said...

How about their purchase of the Moore Jackson cemetary.

The place remains an overgrown dump.

Which is ok. The politicians would love to throw money at them for something like wacking weeds rather than real community presevation.

Its a win win situation.

QHS has a presence outside of Flushing (bolstering their self proclaimed borough wide influence) and the machine can say it supports preservation with money thrown at garbage pickup and sidewalks - while 100-150 year old buildings are torn down by the score.

Anonymous said...

What detestable ghouls. Who would want to associate with him and that lawyer?

Oh! Oh! Oh. Commissar Death and Taxes will. The Soviet will find that a cemetery is an ideal spot to destroy some more land, and desecrate the dead.

Dead men tell no tales. They don't pay taxes either.

Anonymous said...

Where are the descendants of the Brinckerhoffs? Why are they silent about the fate of their ancestors?

Anonymous said...

I believe the descendents of the Brinkerhoff’s live in North Hempstead, they are killing each other over subdividing and 18 acres in Kings Point.
Was in Newsday this morning,0,910690.story
Newsday and the younger offspring describes the property as “a dilapidated 1850s mansion on the grounds of the family's 18-acre estate”

....I guess its ok to bump the living off as well when it comes to land within 2 miles of the LIRR's Port Washingon line.

I think this property (Kings Point)is formally known as West Egg.
....What sick bastards !

Anonymous said...

The Binkerhoffs are around all 12+ of them however the Bloomberg appointed judge only gave them and the group 14 days to come up with $100,000 and + jump through all these hoops and red tape to buy it as a cematary.

Anonymous said...

Queens is a tough place to be a preservationist, but at least we have Ben Franklin on our side.

Anonymous said...

From the colonial days until the early 20th century, the property maps of Queens had plenty of Brinckerhoffs, Rapelyes, and Suydams. Today's Queens phone book contains none.

How quickly these colonial "pioneer" families disappeared from our local landscape. I suppose their descendants don't care about preserving history. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

All of NYC was a cemetary at one point.

If no decendents are around to protest, then build on that land!

Anonymous said...

by your logic, George Washington's grave would also be gone, because he had no natural children.

Anonymous said...

Have been passing that "empty" lot for a long time. Just recently learned that it was a colonial era cemetery.QHS--keep fighting to get the Brinkerhoff cemetery landmarked! We need to preserve history. What legacy will we leave our children and grandchildren if we destroy our past? We need to get this in the news again.