Saturday, March 31, 2012
Developer violated Quaker burial ground
From the Queens Chronicle:
Quakers are known to be peaceful people, but a construction job gone awry has the Flushing contingent furious.
Construction workers for a planned apartment building at 136-33 37 Ave. behind the Quaker Meeting House and burial ground, erected a temporary fence and a utility pole onto the historic property.
Linda Shirley, a meeting house trustee, said work was carried out by Pinnacle Engineering without members’ knowledge or permission and without conducting the necessary archeological tests or obtaining the required permits from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Workers tore back the Quakers’ chain-link fence and erected a plywood construction barrier about four feet onto the property. That is the location of the group’s graveyard that dates back more than 300 years.
Any construction work at or near a historic graveyard in the city must be approved by the LPC. It usually involves archeological testings to ascertain that remains are there.
Shirley, and members of the Committee with a Concern for the Cemetery, James Cleary and Cheshire Frager, wrote to the LPC, the Department of Buildings and the developer for help.
After receiving photos of the site from the Queens Chronicle last week, the LPC instructed the contractor to take down the pole. It was supposed to have been taken down Friday, but was finally removed Monday afternoon.
Lisi de Bourbon, spokeswoman for the LPC, said the contractor responded immediately after her agency informed him that a failure to remove the pole could lead to a violation and fines. “We are very pleased we were able to help resolve this matter quickly given the historic importance of the site,” de Bourbon said.