Here we have a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo unit at the Kew Gardens complex 83-09 Talbot Street. It’s a grand total of 1,421 square feet. It’s in a prewar building but this unit is pretty much modernized, with plenty of recessed lighting to go around. There’s a large, beautiful kitchen, although the actual bedrooms look cozy — there’s no floor plan to check the sizes. The building also boasts a nice interior courtyard. The asking price is $715,000.
Very often we move to cities, towns and neighborhoods that we know nothing about. If we are curious, we often walk around and come up on a building that makes us pause, for one reason or another. It may be sheer beauty or craftsmanship that stops us in our tracks, or the opposite – a building so ugly we can’t believe someone allowed it to be built. But more often than not, we see what is, and wonder who built it, who lived or worked in it, and sometimes we just have to wonder what in the world happened to it. What were they thinking?
Kew Gardens, like many of Queens’ residential enclaves, was the grand idea of a developer. (more…)
Suburban oasis, anyone? This home at 84-16 121st Street, in Kew Gardens, looks better suited for upstate. It’s a beautiful, well-maintained property with great interior detailing like a fireplace and hardwood floors throughout. Here are the numbers, from the listing: “6 Br And 3 Bathrooms, 4 Levels, 2 Car Garage, Private Driveway, Huge Backyard, And An Option Of Using It As A One Or Two Fam Home.” Our only complaint is that the kitchen needs a gut. Other than that — very, very nice. The ask is $899,000.
This co-op unit at the Windsor Court, in Kew Gardens, is up for rent. It’s a beautiful two-bedroom corner apartment, with wood floors, moldings, archways, and a well-renovated kitchen. It’s just a block from Forest Park, although not particularly close to subway lines. (The Kew Gardens LIRR stop is closer.) It is asking $2,200 a month. Your thoughts?
Earlier this month, a newly-formed task force announced its initiative to bring the Triumph of Civic Virtue Statue back to Queens from it’s present location in Green-Wood Cemetery. In a press release the group stated that it was working to secure the support of Borough President Melinda Katz. But in this followup article by the Queens Tribune, it doesn’t look like that’s happening:
When asked about the issue and the meeting, a spokesperson for Katz said the Borough President’s position on what to do with the vacant area remains unchanged from what she said earlier this year: she prefers that the site be converted to a plaza that honors women of Queens and outside the City for the work they have done. This was an idea first mentioned by her predecessor, Helen Marshall.
The task force stated that they had no knowledge of Katz’s position regarding the statue prior to their meeting with Katz’s staffers in April of this year, where they got the impression she would consider bringing the statue back. The task force wants the Triumph of Civic Virtue returned to its plaza in front of Borough Hall (pictured above), as well as the surrounding area restored. Since the statue left, the plaza has remained a vacant eyesore. But it seems like Green-Wood Cemetery isn’t willing to give the sculpture up, with the Tribune reporting that the cemetery spent more than $200,000 in the transportation and restoration of the work. (The task force has countered that much of the restoration money came from tax payers dollars.) And as a cemetery spokesperson said, “This magnificent work of art has been meticulously restored and now has a place of honor on our grounds, where it is seen every year by tens of thousands of visitors, including students on school trips, tour groups, art aficionados, nature lovers and others.”
The drama regarding the Triumph of Civic Virtue Statue, previously located in Kew Gardens outside Borough Hall (pictured above), now at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, goes on. Late last week, the Triumph of Civic Virtue Task Force announced its initiative to bring the 22-ton monument back to Queens. They are also calling for the statue’s fountain base, which has become an empty eyesore since the statue left, to be repaired and the fountain to be turned on as an accessory to the restored statue.
Since the statue left for Green-Wood last year, it has been cleaned and restored. In a press release send out by the Task Force, they refute the assumption that the statue had to go to Green-Wood to be restored — the restoration actually came out of taxpayer’s money. The task force also opposes a new sign installed on the statue by Green-Wood, which states that “the City of New York ‘could not afford to conserve’ Civic Virtue and was ‘without the funds to do so’; and that the City could not afford the conservation expense because Civic Virtue ‘lacked the support of local officials’.” According to the Task Force, “Those statements only promulgate the self-serving, false narrative that Green-Wood has concocted around Civic Virtue, and they could not be further from the truth,” considering that many elected officials and the public wanted to keep Civic Virtue on Queens Boulevard.
The Task Force reached out to the borough president’s office in the effort to bring it back to Queens. It is also expected to be a topic of discussion at tonight’s Community Board 9 meeting, which will take place at 7:45 pm at 88-03 101 Avenue in Ozone Park. Activist Richard Iritano puts it this way: “Now that this public art has been restored at taxpayer expense, it needs to be put back on display on Queens Boulevard so the public can enjoy what our tax dollars have accomplished – not banished to a graveyard among the dead.”
The Forest Hills Long Island Rail Road station, newly polished and refurbished, looks like no other station in the railroad’s voluminous list of stations, with its distictive Tudor-style ticket offices with shaped glass and unique luminaires. Its position overlooking Burns Street seems perfect to give a speech, and that’s exactly what former President Teddy Roosevelt did here in 1917. The platform overlooks a country-village type setting at the heart of Forest Hills Gardens; one practically expects to see Patrick McGoohan, in his black “Number Six” suit he wore in the classic British 1967 science-fiction show The Prisoner, running away from “The Village’s” robot weather balloons that served as the village’s guardians.
The station’s design goes back to 1911 and, as it was built in tandem with Forest Hills Gardens, it was always meant to be the perfect complement to the neighborhood. It continues to be directly connected to the development via ornamental walkways.
The Forest Hills station’s lighting and signage are marvelously detailed, from the “dashing Dan” on the lamp to the stylized “FH” on the wrought iron signposts.
For rail architecture buffs, the Forest Hills station is a destination in itself. The design is English tudor accented with red brick, red tile windows, casement-style windows and benches and platform lighting unique to the station. Some of these highlights were installed after a late-1990s renovation.
The station is not a major one and many trains deadhead past it. If the LIRR put this much effort into stations like Nostrand Avenue and East New York, well, that’d be a way to run a railroad.
Further down the LIRR, at Lefferts Boulevard between Austin and Grenfell Streets, is the 1909 Kew Gardens station building. The station house is a handsome, venerable ridge-roofed building, but of even greater interest is the span that takes Lefferts over the tracks: it’s lined on both sides with commercial buildings. A complicated engineering solution encompasses three separate bridges on Lefferts: one for the roadway, and two on each side that support the buildings. According to Kew Gardens: Urban Village in the Big City author and PBS-TV host Barry Lewis, the store’s bridges actually run through the buildings’ roofs, with the storefronts hung from the bridges like a curtain on a rod. The engineering principle is similar to that of the circa-1565 Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) in Florence, Italy. The Lefferts Blvd. bridge had assumed its present condition by 1930.
It was in the vicinity of the station that the infamous Kitty Genovese murder – in which 38 witnesses by some accounts failed to step in — was committed in 1964.