Monday, May 25, 2009

Bowne House in peril

Bowne House Historical Society

Please don't let the city turn its back on America's most cherished symbol of Religious Freedom and the 2nd oldest house in NYC's collection!

After promising a much-needed $604,000 to the Bowne House (circa 1661) restoration project, the city is now trying to cut this commitment right out of its budget. Meanwhile, the Bowne House roof is being protected by nothing but a tarp!

It is essential that the city immediately restore to its budget the $604,000 promised to the Bowne House restoration project.

The city council will be voting on this budget within a matter of days - so we must act fast! Please let the city know you care about NYC's historic sites and structures!

All you have to do to help - is click onthis link& cut & paste & send the message to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today - letting him know that you want the city to immediately restore to its budget the money it promised to the Bowne House restoration project.

Thanks for your help and for supporting historic Bowne House (circa 1661)!

And please be sure to share this email with all your friends & colleagues!

For more information, please visit us at:

or view our Bowne House profile on Facebook.

You can also contact Bowne House at: | Phone: (718) 359-0528

FYI: I received a follow up e-mail from the president of Bowne House, Rosemary Vietor, stating that she did not authorize this e-mail and this is not an official posting by the Bowne House Historical Society. However, the Times Ledger story seems to echo this letter.


Anonymous said...

Another criminal act by the Bloomturd administration!!! Is this what it has come down to? The EDC wants to build mega developments nearby but the city can't keep a promise to preserve a historic treasure. Dump Bloomturd and all of the elected officials whose noses are brown from kissing the fuhrer's asshole!

Anonymous said...

The Bowne House is in Johnny Liu's council district. Do I smell a new Korean church getting ready to take over the property? This has been the norm since Liu has been in office. I would be interested in seeing a map of his district before he took office and what exists currently to get a sense of how much property is being used for "community facilities". Let us not forget that these properties do not pay taxes, increasing the burden on the rest of us citizens.

What a shame since the Bowne House represents religious tolerance and understanding. After seeing what happened to St. Saviour's, should we be concerned?

Anonymous said...

This is not right. They need to preserve that house

Anonymous said...

Give it to the National Parks Service. It's older than most NPS structures.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone turn their back on preserving a house in New York from the 1600s? Please save the Bowne house!!!

Anonymous said...

The place fell into the hands of boro hall - Terry Osborne has a big say in what goes on, and the board an outgrowth of one handpicked by Shulman when a rump faction overturned the board 15 years ago.

Since that time the house and collection has been locked away, the house closed and its condition has deterorated.

The Remonstrance event of two years ago fell flat, and the executive director left.

Wellington Chen is on the board, as well as Barry Grodenchik. They should be able to do some fund raising to put the place on track.

But money aint gonna help this guppy.

When other services (hospitals, firehouses) are closing and cultural institutions with a hell of a bigger audience are hurting, this place is going to have a very difficult time.

Sergey Kadinsky said...

If the colonial-period St. Paul's Church in Mount Vernon (Westchester) can be under NPS control, why not the Bowne House?

I recommend lobbying our borough's Congress members to make Bowne House a National Historic Site.

There is never a shortage of elected officials who talk about the freedom of religion. Here is their chance ot defend it, by protecting the Bowne House.

Anonymous said...

Bowne is still a major printer in New York. I wonder if we could interest the company in making a large donation and publicize the important connection that the founder of this company had with the establishment of religious liberty throughout the land.

Rosemary Vietor said...

The posting "Bowne House in Peril" is not an official posting of the Bowne House Historical Society, and we are disturbed by its content. We have been assured that Historic House Trust is committed to the restoration of the museum, and we are working with them to accomplish this goal. HHT has told us that $600,000 in funding earmarked for the restoration of the 1661 house has been moved forward to the 2013 FY budget. We have been told that our public funding is still intact. Bowne House has retained a consultant who is preparing a nomination for National Historic Landmark status.
We are encouraged, however, that so many of your responses are supportive of Bowne House. We as a Board are doing all we can to ensure that the house is restored and reopened to the public and to secure it for future generations.
Rosemary Vietor

Anonymous said...

Well now we know the problem! When the President of Bowne House (comment above) is told the city is pulling $600,000, that had been promised to Bowne House this year, and she doesn't recognize that that's a huge problem and there is NO guarantee of ever seeing the $ in 2013 - this sacred site is deep trouble!

Anonymous said...

Vietor's statement is another example of how obtuse these alleged historic preservationists really are. There is a blue tarp covering the roof! Are we being led to believe that repairs will have to wait for several more years? How "committed" can they really be? I wonder if Ms. Vietor would care to comment on what is being done NOW to preserve the structure and archival materials within? I realize why you, Ms. Vietor, are disturbed by the post. The truth must hurt! Another good job by Crappy. Keep up the good work. They are feeling the pressure. Of course we support the Bowne House but have great mistrust for those in charge!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing! The President of Bowne House is lobbying against having the money restored to the city budget this year! That's gotta be a first even in Historic Preservation circles!

Anonymous said...

Vietor has been running that place like a private little club. She won't hire n Executive Director and wouldn't know the meaning of the word transparency if it slapped her in the face!
Vietor is putting Bowne House in real jeopardy. Apparently, she thinks it's HER house and doesn't realize it's the PEOPLE'S house!

Anonymous said...

Hey, gteat idea about making Bowne House a part of the National Parks Service. That's what they did with Federal Hall in Manhattan and it looks GREAT!

Anonymous said...

So the President of Bowne House is lobbying AGAINST getting the restoration dollars restored to the city budget? With a friend like her, Bowne House needs no enemies.

Anonymous said...

So, where is Assemblywoman Grace Meng on all of this?

Anonymous said...

So, where is Assemblywoman Grace Meng on all of this?
Or Stashitsky or Liu or Ackerman or well you get the idea!

Anonymous said...

Instead of spending her time denying the obvious & desperate circumstances of Bowne House, as she tries to do above, Rosemary Vietor should be out knocking on the doors of every politician with a pulse to get the promised $604,000 restored to the city budget this year! Who knows who will be in office and in what condition Bowne House will be in 2013?

Vietor needs to move on this TODAY or Bowne House may really become a thing of history - just the memory of a house that once stood in Flushing, NY!

Anonymous said...

NPS is no help.

"Honest Joe" Crowley (of you 'need the owner's approval to landmark fame') looked into designating another historic Queens property in his dristict.

Told the owner he was interested. The papers dutifully covered this interest making him a 'preservationist' (had the feeling it was a bit like that little tinpot dictator in N Korea visiting a farm and being called a 'great helmsman of the agricultural revolution').

After the wait of a year, the report came through. They could not do it because it needed a parking lot.

The property was two blocks from the bus.

Oh yes...left out an important detail: only half the land was developed.

So I guess the point is they can twist out there until every square inch is being put to service of the machine.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the board was overturned 15 years ago because they were looking into a major scandal involving the collections.

After the boro pres's hand picked clique replaced that board elected by membeship, the collections have been locked away....for years.

The people looking into the (ahem) irregularities were not put on the new board.


Perhaps it will be impossible to trace anything after that little stunt.

Perhaps ;)

But then some people have long memories...and full documentation!

Anonymous said...

As I recall, the boro historian and a number of those insider 'experts' quit soon after they were on the board.


What did they find?

What did they 'see'?

Why was the promise of their appointment unfulfilled?

Or was their assignment complete the moment they replaced the board elected by membership?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Rosemary Vietor just wants to be able to tell her pals on the UES that she was the one who transferred the Bowne House into the city's Historic House Trust.

But, where's the glory in that when the city has told Vietor that it's cutting the $604,000 promised to the Bowne House restoration (as part of the transfer deal) from this year's city budget?

Worse yet, the city STILL refuses to guarantee the $ to any future budget for the Bowne House restoration.

With Rosemary Vietor's blessing, the city plans instead to pour buckets of $$$$$ into building a park around Bowne House, while the house itself collapses from neglect!

Anonymous said...

Typical self-serving politician!

The SECOND John Liu decided to run for City Comptroller (a job for which he has to convince city-wide voters that he does NOT spend $), he TURNED HIS BACK on Bowne House, refusing to lobby for the $604,000 to be put back into the city budget THIS YEAR in order to save this ancient home from total collapse!

Now Liu tells it like the $604,000 was always scheduled for 2013.

Since Liu was the one who got the $604,000 in the first place, he knows very well that it was supposed to be available for Bowne House THIS YEAR (when the house needs it!).

If Liu is willing to LIE about PUBLIC FUNDING issues in Queens, god save this city's economy if he ever gets his hands on the Comptroller job - where he can LIE about much, much more than $604,000.