Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bowne House funds available again

From the Daily News:

The long-awaited restoration of a 17th-century Flushing home will proceed "full speed ahead" despite funding woes that had threatened to derail rehabilitation, city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said Tuesday.

Plans to construct a visitor's center beside the Bowne House - the oldest structure in Queens and a symbol of religious freedom that was recently donated to the city - are also on target for 2012, Benepe said.

"We probably have a pretty good shot," Benepe said of finishing the restoration and the new visitor's center on time.

The project is funded with $5 million from the city, state and private groups.

Repairs to the Colonial-era home seemed headed for delays when the city announced it was deferring $628,000 allocated by Councilman John Liu until 2013.

But Benepe said the city will "have enough money to do all the pressing work."

He also hailed the stability that comes with the site's transfer from the private Bowne House Historical Society to the city - a move which will be feted today at an 11:30 a.m. ceremony.

"Going under the umbrella of the Historic House Trust will afford all kinds of services and protection and sort of a backstop for bad times," Benepe said.


Anonymous said...

Its about time for step 1.

Now on to restoring the house and restoring its collection.

Steps 2 - 10.

Anonymous said...

They will transfer the house today and as window dressing they will announce the money is magically there.

This is done to get city control and derail a real effort for the private group to keep the property.

Then when the shit hits the fan after Blumturd gets elected, the funding will be cut once more.

Restoring an old house when Queens plunges into a health crisis when another two hospitals close?

Guess where the money will go.

Anonymous said...


After all, it is the birthplace of religious freedom in America!

Instead John Liu, under the guise of saving it, opted to hand it over to NYC and their dumb ass "parkies".

Quite a feather in Liu's cap...another veritable public relation's coup for him and his cronies.

But methinks Liu had something else in mind.

Please follow:

LIU TOOK THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in political campaign contributions from the "SUZUKI CORPORATION" which built an illegal infill development adjacent to the Bowne the front courtyard of the old Lincoln Apartments.

To this day the Suzuki complex has NO CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY!

It violates FDNY fire code. The firefighters cannot gain access in case of a fire.

NO APPARATUS can get in to serve the old buildings in the rear.

The new Suzuki buildings remain unoccupied and are being offered for sale along with the violations.

A prediction:

The city parks dept. at Liu's behest, will eventually chop off 8 feet of Bowne's front lawn and sell it to Suzuki so the fire trucks can get in...thus eliminating all violations to their project.

After all, eventually the Bowne House will need these additional funds that can be had from such a sale.

Anonymous said...

So Liu becomes the savior of the old Quaker meeting house and now the Bowne House as well.

Not bad for the agent of the Chinese agenda!

Anonymous said...

The Bowne House and its surrounding park, including the Kingsland Homestead, should be given to the National Park Service. And the do-nothing historic society inside that house ought to kicked to the curb!

Anonymous said...

Well, you can thank lazy Rosemary Vitor, president of The Bowne House Historical Society, for sitting on her rump and doing as little as possible all these years past!

She and her tea sipping phonies should have been pushing and pushing and pushing for the National Park Service to take it over!

Then there was that interim Bowne House board that did nothing!

Isn't Wellington Chen currently on its board?

H-m-m-m....better watch out!




Anonymous said...

WHERE IS THE TITUS BOWNE COLLECTION...those astounding artifacts that "disappeared" one day when from BH?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Liu hocked them for campaign cash?

Chen/Shulman/Parkside said...

"Drool...slurp...slobber...what an underutilized piece of land"!

Anonymous said...

Adrian Benepe, the head of Parks, was supposed to MC this little party. But, he was a NO SHOW.

Do you suppose he might have wanted to avoid having to answer the important questions: Is the city going to repair the collapsing, leaking roof before winter sets in?

Is the city giving the promised $604,000 back to Bowne House THIS YEAR? (the $ Liu had gotten for the restoration and then failed to fight for once he changed hats - wanting now to look like a fiscal watchdog - more befitting of somebody deseperate to get his hands one of the largest city budgets and pension funds in the US?)

What actual steps will the city take before the end of 2009 to make sure the house does not collapse since the engineers have all testified that the interior of the house is fragile?

Is Parks actually releasing $ for the restoration this year OR does Parks just mean that theoretically it could have the $ to help?

Anonymous said...

So why was Senator Padavan the ONLY one at this lovefest willing to face reality? Is the truth about Bowne House really that difficult for these people to face?

While all the other pols & bureaucrats echoed the Madoffian fiction filtered through the rosey tinted glasses of one Rosemary Schmidt Vietor, Senator Padavan was the lone wolf, the only one showing the maturity to face reality. Padavan said that as an engineer, he knows, by simply walking through Bowne House, that if the city DOES NOT DO SOMETHING FAST and big to stabilize Bowne House and fix the roof, the city will have some "very serious problems on its hands".

Sadly, as of September 30 - the city already does.

Anonymous said...

Coverage of the Bowne House transfer in The NY Times and The Daily News is pure fiction.

There is no plan to fix the roof this year (note: a tarp by any other name is still a "tarp") and the city has NOT agreed to give back the $604,000 on which it reneged the minute the ink dried (what a surprise).

benepe, Vietor, Vagnone and all the pols so eager to take credit for anything they can spin have forgotten the most important thing: this is about an historic house, it's NOT about them!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the bell has finally tolled on journalism, at least in NYC. The only thing that has been reported on this is exactly what reporters have been spoon-fed, nothing more, nothing less.

It's PR for Bloomberg and the Parks Department. They want to beat their chests and sing their own praises when they have not given anything to Bowne House: they have only taken (the house and property!).

Now, Benepe plans to create a Park and enable a Visitors Center while doing NOTHING to restore the historic house.

Isn't Bowne House the excuse for spending ALL that public money on creating a Park and building a visitors center?

This is just a boondoggle for city employees who are allowing the house to crumble while they plant trees.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the architect who sits on the Board of Bowne House is the one driving the train to get the Visitors Center built first (before the HOUSE is restored!)?

If so, no wonder he could care less about restoring John Bowne's home just as long as his buddies are fully employed building the Vistors Center.

In the face of the city's current fiscal crisis, Bloomberg needs to put the Vistors Center and Benepe's grand master plan for an enormous new park compound on the back burner and take care of first things first: RESTORE Bowne House NOW, all the rest can be done later. But Bowne House can NOT wait.

If the city doesn't restore Bowne House FIRST and make the physical integrity of John Bowne's home its PRIORITY, there will be NO HOUSE left to visit (have you looked at the roof lately?).

And the people of Queens and Americans across this nation who care about history and liberty will loudly rue the day this sacred home fell into the hands of city hacks and politicians desperate for sunshine headlines.

Anonymous said...

According to recent reports, the public funding that Bowne House was supposed to receive from the city, in exchange for transfer of ownership to the City's Historic House Trust, has now been HALVED ($375,000 - less the 20% the Parks Department takes for "Administrative costs" - leaving behind less than half of the original $604,000 Bowne House was supposed to have received upon transfer in 2009) and even that fractional amount has NOW been pushed forward to the city's 2014 budget.

Meanwhile, the Bowne House, one of the most important sites in our national collection of historic structures, has neither been structurally stabilized, nor has the roof been fixed.

With that sort of gross neglect, what are the odds that John Bowne's home will even be standing in 2014? Instead of taking a bow for successfully sheparding the house through a vital restoration, apparently Rosemary Vietor is preparing to give it last rites.

Anonymous said...

Rosemary Schmidt Vietor's total mismanagement of Bowne House is criminal.

Anonymous said...

When asked about the reneged funding to Bowne House then CM John Liu lied through his teeth pretending that the promised $$$ would be given to Bowne House as planned. We said it then: If he was willing to lie about funding for a historic house, why would anybody ever think he wouldn't lie about the city's finances?
So now that the NY Times has exposed what look like major irregularities in Liu's own campaign finances, is anybody really Surprised?
We think not. Read more on John Liu cooking the books of his Comptroller campaign:

Anonymous said...

As the man with his hand on the city's till, John Liu's recently exposed manipulations of his own campaign finances should send voters to City Hall screaming: RECALL!!!
The fact that these illegal campaign fund raising tactics occurred serially, sheds a bright light on Liu's capacity for deception and duplicity which is apparently only outsized by his appetite for power: