There it sits at Metropolitan Avenue and 69th Street in Middle Village, across the street from All-Faiths Cemetery, a showcase of stone carving with the name Frank T. Lang positioned prominently on the chamfered corner, guarded by prehensile tailed creatures of no known genus or species. Its proximity to the cemetery is no accident, as Lang was a prominent stone carver as well as mausoleum architect in the early 20th century and his work can be found both in All-Faiths and in nearby St. John’s Cemetery.
How cute is this cozy house in Middle Village, at 62-05 78th Street? We love the fence, front yard and back patio. Inside, you’ve only got two bedrooms and two bathrooms, but the house looks like it has great bones and it’s well renovated (especially the modest kitchen/dining area). For this small single-family, do you think an ask of $625,000 is on point?
Though western Queens is well-known for its vast cemeteries, there are also a number of very small ones. A small section of Juniper Valley Park at Juniper Boulevard North and 81st Street in Middle Village is given over to the Pullis Farm Cemetery, once the property of farmer Thomas Pullis, who purchased 32 acres in the area in 1822. Pullis prohibited the sale of the cemetery in his will, and it continues to be marked and protected. A memorial marker has replaced the cemetery’s old tombstones.
Prior to the 1990s, this small patch had descended into obscurity and ruin. Fundraising efforts, led by Ed Shusterich, founder and president of the Pullis Farm Cemetery Historical Landmark and a Middle Village resident, resulted in the construction of a small memorial and a fence surrounding the cemetery plot. Much of Juniper Valley Park was located on what was the Pullis farm: the family cemetery contained five graves with three markers. By the turn of the century the plot was weed-choked and just one broken marker remained.
Juniper Valley Park itself dates only to the 1940s, when NYC acquired 100-acre Juniper Valley Swamp to settle a $225,000 claim in back taxes against gangster Arnold Rothstein, who, it’s believed, had the Chicago White Sox in his back pocket in 1919 when the Sox threw the World Series against Cincinnati. The old swamp is now one of Queens’ most beautiful parks. (more…)
Demolition is coming for six small businesses along Woodhaven Boulevard, making way for a residential build. One of those businesses is the Joe Abbracciamento Restaurant, which shuttered earlier this year. Other businesses include, according to Queens Chronicle, a family-owned dog grooming shop, Classic Designers salon, a balloon shop and a spa. The only biz still open is Community Physical Therapy, at 62-84 Woodhaven Boulevard.
The Criterion Group paid $9,000,000 for the entire block and will replace everything with a seven-story, 120-unit residential development. The DOB has not yet issued demolition permits, but a Criterion rep expects it to happen within the next two month. Construction on the development will last around two years.
Photo by Christopher Barca
This afternoon, Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, Borough President Melinda Katz, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, and members of Queens Community Board 5 celebrated the opening of renovated, expanded bocce courts at Juniper Valley Park. The courts are located on the corner of Juniper Boulevard North and 79th Street, in Middle Village. There are now three courts, one of which was created new as part of the renovation. For the existing courts, the Parks Department repaired and resurfaced to improve play and comfort. They added new shade canopies made from recycled material at the ends of each court. There’s also a new sitting area between the courts, more comfortable benches, new fencing and additional trees and greenery. The renovation was funded with $800,000 allocated by the Borough President and $50,000 allocated by Council Member Crowley.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Commissioner Lewandowski accepted a set of bocce balls donated to the court in memory of a bocce player who raised his family near Juniper Valley Park.
Photo via Twitter
It’s officially summer now, a time when an afternoon in the park is just the thing to cool off body and soul. Because of history and geography, Queens can rightly boast of having some of the most unique parkland in the city, with parks ranging from the concrete and steel of Gantry Plaza State Park to the wide open sand dunes of Fort Tilden. While most of our city’s parks can boast of meadows and trees, Queen’s Juniper Valley Park, in Middle Village, is probably the only one that can boast of having a peat bog.
The park started out as a swamp. Tens of thousands of years ago, the glacier that created Long Island left behind a lot of water that collected in a swamp here. Much of that swamp eventually became a peat bog, as tons of vegetable material rotted and decomposed in the water and was turned into peat. Scientists in 1934 figured that the peat bog measured 10 acres in area, 16 feet in depth, and 390,000 cubic yards in volume.
The bog was called Juniper Swamp, due to the thick forest in and around the swamp filled with juniper and white cedar trees. During the Revolutionary War, the British occupying army camped out in the Middle Village area. Over the course of the war they decimated the forests in the area, cutting down trees for shelters, firewood and shipbuilding. They discovered the peat bog, and began cutting peat for fuel as well, a task also taken up by local residents, as the British had left little wood for anyone else. (more…)