Thursday, July 24, 2014

Homeless shelter imperils 125-year old business

From the Queens Courier:

For more than a century, one East Elmhurst family has been helping their neighborhood bloom.

Donhauser Florist, located at 71-01 Astoria Blvd., was established in 1889 by Hans Donhauser, a German florist who immigrated to the United States. While working at a Brooklyn cemetery he heard that St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens was in need of a florist.

He then moved to East Elmhurst and built a greenhouse on 71st Street and Astoria Boulevard. After a few years, 12 more greenhouses were added and a flower shop was built on 49th Street and Astoria Boulevard.

Donhauser’s family worked at the shop, including his sons, daughters and even his great granddaughter Gladys.

“When your parents are in the business, you’re in the business,” said Gladys about working at the shop since she was 12 years old. “It’s all I’ve known.”

Donhauser Florist moved to 71-01 Astoria Blvd. and replaced one existing greenhouse, while the other 12 were later sold to become the Westway Motor Inn.

Gladys, who grew up at the house currently still standing next to the shop, has owned the store since 1977 together with her husband William Gray, who initially started working at the 49th Street shop.

However, the Grays, who have been married for 60 years, say business has been up and down ever since the city’s Department of Homeless Services decided to first use the Westway Motor Inn, located right next door, as a temporary homeless shelter.

“It was once an exquisite hotel with beautiful rooms and a pool,” Gladys said. “Since about a decade ago we started to have problems with it. People were afraid to come around the shop.”

Two weeks ago, the city approved converting the motel into a permanent homeless shelter housing more than 120 families.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

These "family homeless shelters" may as well just be called project houses. The government can't even take care of the housing units (like project houses and other shelters) that they already have up. What makes them think that they will even keep up with the maintenance of this?

Anonymous said...

A lot of things in Queens were once exquisite!

Didn't any of the pols notice that the borough was turning into a slum?

The Bronx was the shit borough when I was a kid. Did the Bronx come up while Queens went down?

Anonymous said...

This, along with 'airport noise' are the two trick ponies of realtor Rose Marie's UCCA (though what they are a United Civic about except for a favored enclave in that corner of Astoria remains a mystery to most of us)

If you go back you will see pretty much the same issues at this building come up every 2 or 3 years for several decades.

yawn

Astoria needs a real civic to fight for the community rather than give politicians a platform to pontificate.

But then again, what do you expect from a 'civic' run by a real estate agent on Community Board 1?

Time for a house cleaning in Astoria.

Anonymous said...

How can you fight the homeless shelters and support the Democratic politicians that create them?

Oh, I see, you get the politicians to be nice to your neighborhood while dumping the shelters in my neighborhood.

asshole.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see, you get the politicians to be nice to your neighborhood while dumping the shelters in my neighborhood.

Bingo!

Anonymous said...

Its only going to get worse. The government is dumping around 6000 border jumpers a week into NYC and not telling anybody till after the fact.
The schools are going to get swamped in September. There is talk of making Spanish speaking American students reading and writing teacher aids and grading them on it as a alternative to math, science and history!!!!
Perhaps the politicians in Washington and NY want a future generation of dopes for the next 200+ years.

Anonymous said...

"Didn't any of the pols notice that the borough was turning into a slum?"

Not when the pols don't live in or spend time in the borough.

Joe said...

"I see, you get the politicians to "be nice to your neighborhood while dumping the shelters in my neighborhood"

That all going to change under Obamas "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing act" This will require citys to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and change, cut funding and sue the ball off anything(or home owner) it deems discriminatory.
They are going to ram this up our ass along with 30 million green cards, bills or "executive orders" regarding rights and services for Central America right after the mid term elections.

See the fine and hard to read .pdf pages of the "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing act"
I worked for NBC and assorted TV and radio stations as a tech, ALL pulling the strings were corrupt (and liberal leaning closet democrats) from the top down.
I recommend people reading Drudge Report and forget about all the TV and major media outlets being held under the gun by the FCC, special interest & big $$ corporate advertisers (in need of cheap labor and customers) they need to keep happy.

Joe said...

Like the NYC mayors office now the white house has a plan to inject "public relations monitors" and "senior administration officials" throughout journalism on a federal level.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/how-white-house-reporters-can-cowboy-up-and-reclaim-their-beat-20140724

Anonymous said...

It's all about getting reliable Democrat voters in Queens.

To hell with the quality of life in Queens. If you want quality of life move to a Virginia suburb like Arlington.

Anonymous said...

This, along with 'airport noise' are the two trick ponies of realtor Rose Marie's UCCA (though what they are a United Civic about except for a favored enclave in that corner of Astoria remains a mystery to most of us)

If you go back you will see pretty much the same issues at this building come up every 2 or 3 years for several decades.

yawn

Astoria needs a real civic to fight for the community rather than give politicians a platform to pontificate.

But then again, what do you expect from a 'civic' run by a real estate agent on Community Board 1?

Time for a house cleaning in Astoria.



AMEN TO THAT!!! Rose Marie is an awful human being
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Anonymous said...

The Westway has been a dumping ground since I was a kid in that neighborhood, and I'm in my mid-40s now. Even if my memory is fuzzy going back to my childhood, I know it was a welfare hotel in the early 90s. I'm positive of that. Why is it just becoming a problem to Donhauser now?

Honestly, I think Donhauser's problem is that they don't look up to date, and they always have a lot of plastic cemetery type stuff on display outside. I know Gladys is a wonderful woman, and they do run a great business - many years ago I worked for a business that used Donhauser for their floral needs, but they need to spruce up their exterior a bit, and just look a little more inviting to someone that wants to bring a bouquet a flowers to a friend, rather than a florist that caters to cemetery business.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous above. This place has been used to house homeless families for years. What's the problem now?

Since Dumblasio is moving to Gracy Mansion, maybe he should give up his shack in Brooklyn for a homeless family to live in. Huh?

Anonymous said...

Western Queens needs a house cleaning big time.

The community boards, 'civics', elected officials and old school newspapers lie to the public.

georgetheatheist said...

Did Hans Donhauser have a WIC card? Back in 1889?