The post office at 16-14 Madison Street, purchased this fall for $4,700,000, is now slated for demolition. Wyckoff Heights spotted a demo application for the building, although it is unclear the specifics of what will replace it. It looks like you can count on a residential build, at the very least — a recent Brownfield Cleanup Program application for the site states “The current use of the site is for Commercial and the intended use of the site is for Residential and Unrestricted use.” The post office, built here in 1936, is sandwiched right between Myrtle and Wyckoff avenues.
The streets of Long Island City, Ridgewood and to a lesser degree, Woodside, are occasionally lined with blond bricked Matthews Model Flats, each unit produced for $8,000 beginning in 1915 by Gustave X. Mathews, who is virtually unknown today but responsible for much classic residential architecture in Queens. The distinctive yellow bricks were produced in the kilns of Balthazar Kreischer’s brick works in the far reaches of Staten Island. (The Kriescher and Long Island City stalwarts, the Steinways, were linked by marriage.)
These handsome light brown brick homes on Grand Avenue, 82nd Street and Ankener Avenue in eastern Maspeth were the final Mathews Flats built in New York City and were executed by architect Louis Allmendinger in 1930.
Morscher’s Pork Store, at Catalpa and Woodward avenues, recently replaced its old-school neon sign with a bland new model, but thankfully, they’ve kept the whimsical little drawing at left with a German title. Ridgewood in the past was dominated by German immigrants; one by one, German restaurants and delis have been disappearing from Ridgewood and Glendale, but Morscher’s soldiers on. (more…)
Narratively, a website publishing wonderful long-form features, turns its gaze toward Ridgewood for its latest story. A Kingdom in Queens is about Gottscheer Hall, a beer hall that caters to the Gottschee community. Gottscheers arrived in the country in the 1880s from a German settlement in what is now Slovenia. After World War Two, thousands moved to Ridgewood. Gottscheer Hall opened in 1924 and still serves Hofbrau and Krainerwurst to this day. Recommended reading for the weekend!
We have word via Twitter that construction started up at the Ridgewood plaza at the the intersection of 71st Avenue at Stephen Street and Myrtle Avenue. The Department of Transportation announced that it would transform the temporary plaza into a permanent space over the summer. The permanent plaza will feature stone block seating, expanded planting areas, new concrete, a drinking fountain, two permanent chess tables, bike racks and a rain garden. (Check out the DOT’s entire proposal here.) No word on how long construction will last.
According to both Wyckoff Heights and Grub Street a brick oven pizza restaurant named Houdini just opened at 1563 Decatur Street. The owners were also behind the Miss Williamsburg diner, which closed years ago. They designed a space with exposed brick walls and an open kitchen, as well as a menu with six pizzas, two salads and three desserts. (Check it out here.) There are plans to expand the menu in the near future and eventually open a bar in restaurant’s basement.
This two-family brick house in Ridgewood, at 68-17 64th Place, is asking $675,000. A very nice price indeed, but the home needs work. From the few pictures available, we can tell things aren’t falling apart but it’ll take a renovation that costs a decent amount of cash. Compared to Brooklyn prices for a two-family home in a similar condition, this is still looking pretty good…
The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a site in Ridgewood for Superfund status, reports the Times. The location in question is the former Wolff-Alport Chemical Company facility at 1127-1129 Irving Avenue, now home to an auto repair shop, a construction firm, a warehouse and a deli. The Wolff-Alport Chemical Company supplied rare earth metals and dumped thorium and uranium into the sewer system until 1947. A comprehensive study here in 2012 found radiation levels high enough to cause an elevated risk of cancer for those who frequent the site. Right now, the EPA is installing lead and steel plates to block radiation beaming from the ground; they submitted a letter to nominate the site for Superfund status in August. If it is selected, this will be the city’s third Superfund site, after Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal. And it would only be the city’s second radioactive Superfund site — the first was also located in Queens, in Woodside.
Yesterday afternoon NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica White, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Assembly Member Rafael Espinal, and members of Queens and Brooklyn cut the ribbon on renovated paths through Highland Park and around the park’s Ridgewood Reservoir. The newly improved park opened to the public in late September. The $6.92 million project includes new lighting, restored pathways, wheelchair-accessible entry points, and new fencing. According to a press release, “Parks is currently working with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation on plans to decommission the reservoir’s dam, required as a result of new safety regulations instituted Hurricane Katrina.” Parks is also working on a larger conceptual master plan for further improvements to park infrastructure, including possible locations for pedestrian networks, active and passive recreation, playgrounds, and educational opportunities. Check out a photo of the current park after the jump.