Nearly 20 ForgottenFans enjoyed Forgotten New York’s Little Neck-Douglaston tour this past weekend. Unusually for recent tours, this time the weather was threatening, but rain only started falling as the tour was ending. Little Neck and Douglaston are far richer in Colonial history and artifacts than many would immediately expect, and this tour mined that history, shining a light on several hidden artifacts.
Above is shown Zion Church, whose grounds are entered via a lengthy path from Northern Boulevard just east of Douglaston Parkway.
This week, the Department of Transportation posted the above photo of signage going up at the new Douglaston Station Plaza, making the public space official. The plaza, on the corner of 235th Street and 41st Avenue, is about 3,000 square feet. It holds umbrellas, tables, chairs and planters. Residents have hopes that the public space will bring some new commercial options to the neighborhood, which now has many empty storefronts.
Zion Church, on Northern Boulevard east of Douglaston Parkway, was first completed in 1830 on plans from Trinity Church architect Richard Upjohn. Wynant Van Zandt, one of Douglaston’s first prominent landowners in the early 1800s, is interred in the family vault beneath the cemetery; Van Zandt had held local services in his home before the church was built. Bloodgood Cutter, the famed landowner/poet who Mark Twain called “The Poet Lariat,” is also buried in the churchyard. In the last century, the church has endured two devastating fires, the worse in 1924. The present building is a faithful representation of the original.
In 1931, workers excavated the north side of Northern Boulevard just west of Little Neck Parkway. The boulevard, formerly known as Broadway and also as the Flushing and North Hempstead Turnpike, was being widened to its present condition as the Automobile Age was in full flower. However, a cemetery containing remains of Matinecoc Indian families, longstanding in this region of Queens, was in the way.
The Matinecoc Indians, a branch of the Algonquin group, had occupied the lands of eastern Queens for centuries before Europeans arrived. While the Matinecoc tribes gradually sold off their holdings to the Dutch and British in other parts of Long Island, giving the lands a peaceful transfer, Thomas Hicks (of the Hicks family that settled Hicksville) forcibly evicted the Matinecocks in Little Neck. Decades after Hicks, and well after American independence, some Matinecoc remained. Members of the Waters family, prominent among the tribe, still live in homes along Little Neck Parkway north of Northern Boulevard.
Q’Stoner writer and the man behind Forgotten New York Kevin Walsh just announced a guided walking tour of Little Neck and Douglaston. It’s happening on Saturday, September 13th, beginning at noon at the Little Neck Long Island Railroad station and lasting for about three hours. (It ends in the same place.) Some details on the tour: “Here are some of Queens’ most outstanding vistas and some of its most beautiful and historic architecture in the neighborhood Forgotten NY’s Kevin Walsh calls home. Also included are gorgeous tree-lined streets, bayside vistas, hidden alleys and historic churches and cemeteries in this surprisingly historic region.” Tickets cost $15 for Greater Astoria Historical Society members and $20 for the public. Interested in attending? Just email email@example.com.
This Colonial home is on the market in Douglaston, located at 46-37 Douglaston Parkway. It’s a beautiful property, with well kept historical details and a big grassy backyard. It’s hard to tell without a floor plan, but the ground floor looks quite open. And the only major renovation we think the place needs is in the kitchen. The asking price comes in at $948,888, think that sounds about right?
Today’s Listing of the Day takes us way out to Douglaston, with a one bedroom, one bathroom co-op from 38-30 Douglaston Parkway. This top-floor unit is definitely unique, with slanted ceilings, huge arched entryways and large windows (one of which has stained glass). It looks like the kitchen and bathroom suffer under the slanted ceilings — both spaces look cramped. Otherwise it’s a lovely, well-kept space with some quirky details. Do you think it’s worth its ask of $229,000?
Douglaston, the sleepy suburban neighborhood of northeastern Queens, is getting a little more livelier. The Wall Street Journal reports that last month, Community Board 11 approved DOT’s plans for a new station plaza on the corner of 235th Street and 41st Avenue. According to the WSJ, “Construction will begin this month to extend parts of the sidewalk, adding about 3,000 square feet of public space. The plaza will be equipped with umbrellas, tables and chairs and decorated with plants.” The DOT hopes to serve both commuter traffic and the surrounding community; the plaza is located just across the street from PS 98 and a newly opened wine bar.
Residents hope the plaza will also bring new commercial options for the neighborhood, which has many vacant storefronts and high turnover rates. There’s also talk to turn the Douglaston LIRR station building, unused since 2009, into a coffee kiosk, or to paint a mural inside the underground passageway connecting the north and south sides of the station.