Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Those in historic districts think restrictions are worth it

From the Times Ledger:

Manhattan and Brooklyn, with their dense housing stock, have about 30 and 50 historic districts, respectively. But Queens was a harder sell, according to Wolfe, and has 10 historic districts, the second-fewest of the five boroughs.

In the late 1980s, Douglaston Manor residents began arguing their case before the city Landmarks Preservation Committee, a body in charge of conferring historical status.

A decade later, the historical society finally won them over. Regulations ensured that new development conformed with the historical aesthetics of the landmarked buildings. Meanwhile, in other century-old neighborhoods, urban development continued unfettered.

“If we didn’t have designation 15 years ago, this neighborhood would look like Malba,” [Architect Kevin] Wolfe said, referring to an area near College Point that is home to expensive waterfront property and historic homes of its own, but is also known for its “McMansions,” a derogatory term for palatial houses built as cheaply as possible to the limit of zoning regulations, often in a Mediterranean style replete with turrets and open-air balconies.

“It’s not about taste. It’s about greed,” he said.

Wolfe prefers to see architecture as a physical reminder of history.

“It’s what makes life rich. It’s a connection to your past that continues to change and grow,” Wolfe contended. “Historic districts are not places that are frozen in amber.”

The homes can be modernized in an organic way that allows them to age into the 21st century.

“You can do that in a graceful way or you can do it like a barbarian,” he said.


Anonymous said...

If your councilman is against landmarking no one will listen to you or give you any help.

They need his vote for their district so the unwritten rule is hands off his district no matter what you do.

a BFHA member said...

That's very true!

As long as we're stuck with Dan Halloran,
Broadway-Flushing won't get any help from his office regarding us seeking municipal landmark status.

Our deserving neighborhood has already attained both state and federal historic district status.

Councilman Halloran is on record for opposing landmarking in the city council.

He has consistently supported developers over his constituents desires.

Do you trust this oddball going to Congress?

I don't...and I'm a registered Republican!
As much as I dislike Grace Meng...she's getting my vote. That's the smarter choice in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Halloran tried to screw Broadway by supporting Marino's Market expansion plans.
This would have involved knocking down 2 homes and securing a BSA variance. The vehicular traffic situation would have been horrendous!

Halloran did the same in Whitestone...by lending his overwhelming support to Joey Franco... who intended on converting his White House Restaurant into a huge catering hall.

Councilman Halloran is a treacherous lying cur and we need to remove him from the political stage.

Let him return to his law practice in Mineola and leave our neighborhoods alone.

This man is a loose cannon and so is his friend Concannon!

Anonymous said...

Sure, if you're not worth anything, pretend your nabe is.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing that Dan Halloran wasn't their councilman when Douglas Manor sought historic district status.

He would have sandbagged their efforts...just like he recently did with the Douglaston Hills Historic District extension.

Halloran is your typical bloated boss Tweed era 19th century politician...full of beer and blather and little else!

This lying swaggering braggart will never deliver for his constituents...but he's at the beck and call of the developers who own him...365-24-7 !

Anonymous said...

I'll bet that a few hard boiled Broadway Republicans are boiling over all of this Halloran criticism.

Anonymous said...

Halloran is a blustering lard ass, with a mouth full of lies that's even even bigger!

Anonymous said...

Great job Kevin!

And to that fat fuck Halloran .... the pigs are coming home to root!
All the civics are gonna' dump your lying, self-serving ass and vote for Meng and then once again, anyone-but-you in the next Council race.
We won't forget how you've ignored anything that's come from the civic community.
What an ignorant fool you are and an utter disappointment.