This Monday, the House of Representatives approved legislation to have the National Park Service study the John Bowne House and Old Quaker Meeting House in Flushing for possible incorporation as National Park Service sites. Representative Grace Meng introduced the bill earlier this year. The Daily News spoke with Meng, who said the sites are important because they are connected to the Flushing Remonstrance, a document signed in 1657 by English citizens declaring the need for religious freedom. “Not only would the two facilities become more well-known, but the sites would stand to receive many more visitors each year,” she told the News. “And more tourism translates into more dollars for the Queens economy.”
The John Bowne House dates back to 1661 and is one of the oldest homes in New York City and State. Considered the best preserved example of Anglo-Dutch vernacular architecture in the country, it became a museum in 1947.
On Friday, Queens will demonstrate that it has the cachet to attract three big musical acts on the same night, the top-notch venues to host them, and the appreciative fan base to make it all worthwhile. The hard-working Jason Mraz, who went from the San Diego coffee house circuit to international tours in the world’s biggest stadiums, will perform at the Colden Auditorium at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts. This two-time Grammy winner (and six-time nominee), whose probably best known for “Love Someone,” will jam with the eclectic rock-folk band Raining Jane. Two more concerts and two more photos after jump.
An 18-story, glassy hotel dubbed “Eastern Mirage” is slated for Flushing, at 42-31 Union Street between Franklin and Sanford avenues. New York YIMBY points out the project is “an exceedingly rare instance of a developer asking the city to build less housing and more commercial space than allowed by the zoning code.” The development, which is located in an area rezoned for residential use, will hold 180 hotel rooms, a medical center, and a 300-space public parking garage. The hotel should be an Element by Westin, and the medical space will be called the North Queens Medical Center.
Construction is now underway, with the tower up to its fourth floor. Signage says that it should be ready by the fall of 2015. GMAP
Flushing has kept many of its old street names, not converting them to the numerical grid that is de rigueur in many other sections of the borough. The southern part of the neighborhood features streets in alphabetical order beginning with Ash and ending in Rose. Their presence is not incidental. In the colonial era, Flushing was the home of one of the country’s largest plant nurseries.
Planter William Prince established a commercial plant farm, or nursery, in western Flushing in 1737 along Flushing Bay. He first limited his business to apple, plum, pear and other fruit and flowering trees, and later expanded to shade and ornamental trees. After Prince’s business slumped during the Revolutionary War, he gained ground again and by 1789, President Washington had heard of him, and accompanied by Vice President Adams, paid a visit. According to accounts, though he seemed unimpressed with the gardens, he purchased a fruit tree.
Tomorrow’s the big day. For what, you ask? Queens’ first Nordstrom Rack! It is opening at the Shops at SkyView Center in Flushing, and to celebrate the clothing chain has a whole list of events planned. Beginning at 8 am, the store will have music, coffee and breakfast treats, as well as a raffle for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. There will also be 30 $100 gift cards up for raffle as well. The doors will officially open for shopping at 9 am. The first 1,000 customers who buy something will receive a complimentary Nordstrom Rack tote.
The 39,000-square-foot store will span two stories of the Shops at SkyView. (The clothing chain confirmed it was opening an outlet here back in January.) The regular store hours will be Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 9:30 pm and Sunday 11 am to 7 pm.
Andy Warhol is coming to Queens as part of an exhibition that examines the pop artist’s “photo-aesthetic,” including his use of silkscreens, Polaroid photographs, silver gelatin prints, and black-and-white print media. His pieces will appear with work by a famous Malaysian artist whom he greatly influenced. More information and photos after the jump.
The listing calls this home at 33-80 162nd Street, in Flushing, a “Magnificent Stately English Tudor” and we’d have to agree. The exterior, with a stone and what looks like stucco facade, is exceptionally preserved. Inside there are some nice historical details, especially on the ground floor. But with an ask of $1,599,000, we expect something much more impressive. It’s just looks like some of the interior will need upgrading, especially when it comes to the more modern renovation decisions. (Just a quibble: that pink wallpaper has got to go.) What do you make of this one?
Flushing’s architecture becomes rather drab once you depart from the historic areas along Northern Boulevard or just south of it. Most of the idiosyncrasies and varied elements have been stamped out long ago to make way for boring, doctrinaire high-rise apartment buildings and attached two-family houses. But when you walk along Ash (pictured above), Beech and Cherry Avenues between Bowne Street and Parsons Boulevard, the veil lifts and you are in what seems to be another world.
Waldheim is a Flushing enclave that has so far mostly escaped the clutches of developers who are otherwise turning the rest of the neighborhood into blond-bricked, visible water-meter heaven. Shingle Style, Moorish, Colonial and Classical Revival homes mix with houses that look like early Frank Lloyd Wright. Enormous, 150-year-old trees overhang the blocks, making them cool walks in summer, and the homes are set back a good distance from the sidewalks with many homes displaying well-kept gardens. Widely curved corners on Ash and Beech Avenues where they meet Phlox and Syringa Places allow strollers more of a vista than on normal Queens streets.
A donor has given the Flushing Town Hall a good challenge for the season. If the historic arts venue can raise $35,000 in new donations by February 2015, the donor promises to contribute another $35,000. The challenge takes effect today and applies to any new or increased contributions — not pre-existing financial commitments — from individuals, foundations and businesses. Flushing Town Hall set up a video where Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek describes the challenge, as well as a website. The website is the best place to go if you are interested in making a donation.
The “35″ in “$35,000″ represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, which works on developing and promoting the arts throughout Queens and puts on the art and educational programs at Flushing Town Hall.