This rendering popped up for 115-02 Jamaica Avenue, a new commercial building planned for the corner of 115th Street in Jamaica. New York YIMBY reports that the three-story, 30,000-square-foot building will wrap construction later this year. The design is by Aufgang Architects.
This parcel was previously home to a prewar bank building. When the new commercial space opens, the ground floor will hold a Dollar Tree and Crunch Fitness will occupy the top two floors.
There’s an empty lot in Jamaica at 107th Avenue and 164th Street now being used as a basketball court by local kids. It’s severely rundown, and residents have tried to work with the city to turn it into a useable basketball court. The city’s response? There are plans to develop affordable housing on the lot in question (owned by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development), although there are no details or even a timeframe for construction. The city made no promises to upkeep the space in the meantime.
Now the land access organization 596 Acres is organizing around the lot. They released some details in a recent email newsletter: “Since this is land owned by HPD, in order for this crucial playspace to see an improvement, a local organization will need to become its steward and then get the resources to fix it up. We bet a grant from the NYC Citizens’ Committee would do it. Do you know a local organization that wants to do this?” 596 Acres started a conversation with HPD in regards to the proposal, but it’s going to need more of a push. If you’re interested in organizing around this potential public space, leave a comment for 546 Acres or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
History repeats itself in Queens this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the King Manor Museum — the former home of Rufus King, a signer of the United States Constitution, a senator from New York, and an ambassador to Great Britain – will host Craftsmen Days. With help from artisans dressed in time costumes, visitors will learn about 19th century crafts like broom-making, tin-smithing, and wood-turning, while also enjoying music featuring instruments such as a hammered dulcimer, fiddle, and banjo. On Sunday, the Vander-Ende Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City, will open Picnic Days. Visitors will be able to enjoy the beautiful architecture, gardens and picnic area, and take tours.
More information and three additional photos are on the jump page.
Market-rate development is coming for Jamaica, in a neighborhood that has seen a lot of new affordable housing development. New York YIMBY snagged the above rendering of 190-11 Hillside Avenue, off of 191st Street. It’s a 21-unit, seven-story building developed by TCX, who are based in Great Neck. The architect is De Fonseca Architects. The design is interesting indeed, with both protruding and recessed balconies and a large column of windows. We don’t hate it!
Construction already started up last December and it’s expected to finish in early 2015. Once finished, the building will boast a total of 15,000 square feet. The development will hold one and two bedrooms, with a one bedroom renting for around $1,600 a month. The developer hopes the units will appeal to St. John’s University students nearby.
Here’s what P.S./I.S. 314, the new school planned for Jamaica, is going to look like. The School Construction Authority is currently building the structure on the corner of 164th Street and Hillside Avenue and plans to open it for the September 2015 school year. Queens Courier reports that it’ll be four stories and approximately 113,092 square feet. It will hold more than 830 students from pre-K through the eighth-grade. The architect, Gruzen Samton, breaks down the layout of the L-shaped building at its website:
The school is organized into two main components. A four story Academic Wing will be constructed along the west edge of the site, encompassing instructional spaces, offices, Cafeteria and Library. A three story Public Assembly Wing will be located at the northeast corner of 164th Street and Hillside Avenue, comprising the Gymnasium and multi-use “Gymatorium”. A two story glass-enclosed Lobby/Gallery joins these two wings to provide for the school’s main entrance and connect the major internal public spaces to facilitate their use by the community after school hours.
Check out more renderings — including ones of the interior — after the jump.
NY1 filed a report on the lot at 107th Avenue and 164th Street in Jamaica — it’s now used as a basketball court by neighborhood kids. It’s severely rundown and residents reached out to the city in hopes to fix it up, but hadn’t made headway. NY1 found out that the Department of Housing Preservation and Development actually owns the parcel, with plans to turn it into an affordable housing development.
There are no details on the design or a construction timeline; HPD says the project has been delayed. (The lot is about 4,000 square feet, according to PropertyShark.) Meanwhile, the agency cannot fix up the basketball court, telling NY1 that it is not within their budget.
As of the summer of 2014, Queens is in the unusual position of boasting two classic architectural treasures that were once home to the same now-shuttered high school. One, of course, was the classic Jamaica High School, a Georgian Revival masterpiece built in 1927 at Gothic Drive and 168th Street, noted on this recent Brownstoner Queens piece. The other is this forbidding Gothic Revival brick number on Haillside Avenue and 162nd Street.
When Jamaica High School was founded in 1892, students went to class in the now-demolished Jamaica Public High School, 161st Street just off Jamaica Avenue, which was still Fulton Street; 161st was then Herriman Avenue. That venue quickly became too crowded, and a new school in the Gothic Revival style was commissioned with prominent Brooklyn architect William Tubby (whose most prominent buildings still stand in Clinton Hill, including the Pratt University library building) at the helm of the project. (more…)
Thirty-five years ago, Vincent and Patricia Chin relocated their business, VP Records, from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, Queens. It was a good move as VP quickly grew to become the largest reggae company in the world. This Sunday, VP will add spice to the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival New York with a storyboard installation featuring a detailed map exploring reggae’s impact in every continent and an illustrative timeline covering each era. This seems like the perfect addition to this fourth annual event, which is now the biggest Caribbean food festival in the world, attracting roughly 20,000 visitors last year. They come for the tremendous cuisine, live music acts, shopping, and even a cultural stage, which will host folk dances, poetry readings, storytelling and creative fashions. Meanwhile, chefs will compete to win cash, bragging rights as the “Jerk Champion” and the coveted Dutch Pot Trophy as decided by a panel of distinguished judges.
More information and five additional photos appear on the jump page.
Last week, 122-year old Jamaica High School, 168th Street and Gothic Drive, graduated its last class, in a phase-out that began in 2011 when the school ended admissions. As recently as 1985 the school was considered the best secondary school in America in 1985 by the U.S. Department of Education.
Dear Old Jamaica High, by Harwood Hoadley:
There is a certain High School out in old Jamaica Town
Of all the schools we’ve ever known she most deserves renown
Her boys are strong and manly and her girls are beyond compare
And Royal Red and Loyal Blue are the colors that they wear
In gym, on track, on diamond her honor we maintain
In oratory and debate for her fresh laurels gain
Her fame’s upheld by song and play, for loyal each and all
We rally to defend her name and gather at her call
Then cheer for old Jamaica High, the school without a peer
We’ll cherish long the memory of the days we’re spending here
Prosperity be always hers, courageous purpose high
And loyal love attend her and fame that shall not die
That’s from The Beaver Book, a fascinating history of Jamaica High School from 1892-1927. The book took its name from the now-filled-in Beaver Pond, just south of downtown Jamaica. The school mascot was also a beaver.