Excuse us while we swoon over this Victorian at 85-12 110th Street, in Richmond Hill. The facade looks to be in excellent shape, and who wouldn’t want a house with a wraparound front porch? The interior shows promise but it’s going to need upgrading. Details like hardwood floors, moldings, arches and pocket doors are still there. But we’d imagine a buyer will want to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms. This is asking a total of $720,000 — what do ya think?
Braving the ungodly 80-degree heat (I’m kidding), nearly fifty Forgotten New York fans converged on Richmond Hill for the eightieth Forgotten New Yorktour in a series that goes back to June 1999. New York City, at one time or another, has had three settlements named Richmond Hill. The one in Manhattan, in what is now the West Village, and the one in Staten Island, in what is now Richmondtown, have been pretty much absorbed into new neighborhoods. Queens’ Richmond Hill has been more enduring. In 1869, developers Albon Platt Man and Edward Richmond laid out a new community just west of Jamaica with a post office and railroad station, and Richmond named the area for himself (or, perhaps, a London suburb, Richmond-On-Thames, a favorite royal stomping ground). It became a self-contained community of Queen Anne architecture west of Van Wyck Boulevard (now Expressway) that remains fairly intact to the present day. Journalist/activist Jacob Riis as well as the Marx Brothers were Richmond Hill residents in the early 20th Century.
The early 20th Century William Demuth — S.M. Frank factory (above) is near the corner of Park Lane South and 101st Street. Here briar was turned and polished to manufacture Frank Medico smoking pipes. It was built at “a time when every man could afford a pipe, and conversations centered on which shape burned coolest to the taste.” The intricate brickwork is embellished with stepped corbels under the cornice and basketweave on the center tower. It was converted to condos in the 1990s. The adjacent Rockaway LIRR may have had a siding where goods could be loaded right from the factory. Simple, relatively unembellished brick factory buildings have always been a personal favorite.
Mark you calendars! Q’Stoner and Forgotten New York writer Kevin Walsh is leading a walking tour of Richmond Hill on Saturday, June 28th. As the tour details say, “Queens’ Richmond Hill boasts what may be the borough’s richest collection of high Victorian homes. Walk in Jacob Riis’ footsteps and see architectural highlights such as the Triangle Hotel, a pipe factory that became luxury housing and a 19th Century church building.” The tour begins at noon, on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard. Tickets cost $15 for Greater Astoria Historical Society members, and $20 for everyone else. Check out all the details here.
Yesterday the NYC HPD celebrated the opening of a brand new affordable housing development in Richmond Hill. The development is comprised of two different sections: Richmond Place and the Richmond Hill Senior Living Residence. Richmond Place consists of 117 new affordable units for low-income families. And the Richmond Hill Senior Living Residence has 65 units specifically for older New Yorkers. According to the HPD, “Both were constructed on a Remediated Brownfield Location and are now energy-efficient affordable housing developments.”
The seven-story building has studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units priced between $785 and $1,175 a month. The city broke ground on this development way back in 2011. Click through for more exterior and interior photos of the finished product. GMAP
Don’t bring a black-and-white camera. This Sunday, the 26th Annual Phagwah-Holi Parade will fill the streets of Richmond Hill with color, music and glee. If the weather is good, at least 50,000 revelers will celebrate this Indo-Caribbean-Hindu religious holiday by singing, riding floats and throwing powder, perfume and water at each other in a good-natured fashion. (One popular red dye, called ”abeer,” symbolizes the blood of tyrannical King Kiranya, who was burnt alive by his son to avenge the suffering he had inflicted on his people.) The parade formation will begin at around 10 am in the vicinity of Liberty Avenue and 133rd Street. Participants will then proceed to 125th Street and head to Smokey Oval Park at 92nd Avenue, where music and cultural performances will take place until about 6 pm.
Details: Phagwah Parade, Liberty Avenue, starting at 133rd Street, Richmond Hill, March 16th, 10 am to 6 pm, free.
Richmond Hill residents are launching a new community garden called “Love, Life and Liberty” which is centered around cancer wellness. The 2,075-square-foot parcel, at the corner of 107th Avenue and 124th Street, is city owned and has been vacant for 25 years. Residents are taking over the space with plans to grow anti-cancer herbs, flowers and plants. They also hope to cultivate conversations about cancer wellness, and are designing a community mural with an female artist who has lost her father to cancer.
The group is currently working with GreenThumb and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services with a goal to launch with a fundraising garden party on March 8th, 2014. If you are interested in helping get this community space off the ground, sign up here.
At yesterday’s Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting, the commissioners voted to support the change in use at the Republican Club, a long-empty Richmond Hill landmark. The owners need to secure a special permit to rehabilitate the structure and open it as a catering hall. They also submitted an application to install a fence and gate around the building — the LPC ultimately said a fence could be installed only around the sides of the building and not in front because it would obscure the facade. The Republican Club, constructed in 1908, long served as a political headquarters in Queens but sat empty for years. According to the owner’s plans submitted to the LPC, the catering hall will include a dance floor, seating area, kitchen and large restaurant space. The total occupancy is for 201 people. Click through to see a rendering of the proposed fence, as well as historic photos of the property and photos of its current condition.
“Deepavali” translates into English as “row of lamps.” Often known by it’s shortened form, “Diwali,” it is a five-day Hindu festival of lights — celebrating the triumph of good over evil — that is also observed by some Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal and other countries that have large Hindu populations, such as Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago. This Saturday in Richmond Hill, the Divya Jyoti Association will present Diwali Nagar 2013, a festival beginning with a puja offering ceremony, at 3 pm. At 5 pm, the fun will include cultural booths depicting Hindu gods and goddesses along with food, chanting, henna, face-painting and dance at the Arya Spiritual Center Ground. Then at 6 pm, local artists will sing, dance and perform skits before a sari parade and drum ceremony (above).
Details: Grand Diwali Nagar, Arya Spiritual Center Grounds, 104-20 133rd Street, Richmond Hill, October 26th, 3 pm, free. (more…)
The crumbling Republic Club landmark, on Lefferts Boulevard between Hillside and Jamaica avenues, is heading to the Landmarks Preservation Commission! The owners announced their intent to rehabilitate the long-abandoned building and open it as a catering hall last month. The Landmarks agenda for Tuesday, October 22nd features two items: An application to install a fence and gate around the “Colonial Revival style civic building designed by Henry E. Haugaard and built in 1908,” as well as an application “to request that the Landmarks Preservation Commission issue a report to the City Planning Commission relating to an application for a Modification of Use pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution.” The owners need a special permit under Section 74-711 of the city’s zoning regulations because it allows for a catering hall to operate at a site that includes a landmarked facade. There is no word on the construction timeline for the building restoration.