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.
This afternoon Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Assembly Member Michael DenDekker, representatives from the School Construction Authority, the Department of Education, Community Education Council 30 and other community leaders broke ground on a new elementary school for Woodside, PS 339. The new school — located on the corner of 58th Street and 39th Avenue — addresses school overcrowding in Woodside, particularly at PS 11. It’ll add roughly 470 extra seats to the district. According to DNAinfo, the building will house classrooms for children from Pre-K to 5th grade, a small gym, and art, science and music classrooms. The Department of Education also decided to add an annex to PS 11, which is only a few blocks away from the construction site. That will add another 300 seats to the school. Construction of the annex will finish sometime after 2015, PS 339 is scheduled to be up and running by 2016.
Yesterday Senator Michael Gianaris, the American Red Cross, the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns and Senator Toby Ann Stavisky gathered at the Bayanihan Filipino Community Center in Woodside to discuss helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Gianaris has worked with the Filipino community in finding loved ones back home and organizing relief efforts; yesterday’s forum was used to share information on how all New Yorkers can help those affected by the disaster. Gianaris set up his office in Astoria as a drop-off point for donations and supplies — anyone looking to donate can drop off at 31-19 Newtown Avenue, Suite 402. The National Alliance of Filipino Concerns teamed up with unions, churches, and elected leaders to send relief and aid. And the American Red Cross is helping those trying to locate loved ones in the Philippines through a call center, which you can access by calling (877) 733-2767.
“As New Yorkers, we take pride in the diversity of our neighborhoods, and we take pride in the thriving Filipino community in Woodside,” Senator Gianaris stated in a press release. “In times of disaster we come together to recover and I am proud to see the recovery efforts already underway here in Queens. I will continue to work with NAFCON and the Red Cross to spearhead recovery efforts in our neighborhood, and I urge everyone to do what they can to help.”
The Second Annual Partnerships for Parks Conference is coming up on November 16th, and the daylong event will conclude with an awards ceremony honoring parks groups from all five boroughs. Two such groups from Queens will be recognized — Briarwood Action Network (BAN) and the Woodside Neighborhood Association. BAN works on garbage collection, commuter transportation, traffic safety and crime prevention mostly focused around Hoover Park. They also host Briarwood Blooms, an event to plant daffodils as a memorial to September 11th. The Woodside Neighborhood Association works on greening and tree care volunteer activities throughout Woodside. Since beginning in 2012, the group helped plant over 192 new trees in the neighborhood. If you’re interested in attending the event, which also features workshops, networking and discussions, go here.
Greiner Maltz Investment Properties just announced the sale of a large commercial property in Woodside, 50-01 Queens Boulevard and 50-18 Roosevelt Avenue. The buyer picked it up in an all-cash transaction coming in at $5,275,000. The site, an irregular lot that’s 28,400 square feet, consists of single-story buildings containing around 9,330 square feet. (The sale price comes out to $562 per square foot.) The buildings are both occupied, by Boston Market and a laundromat, so it doesn’t look like a big new development is coming anytime soon. According to Greiner Maltz President, Swain Weiner: “We received numerous offers on this property. However, the owners were very specific in the terms of the transaction. We were able to find the correct purchaser.” GMAP
This afternoon, Woodside residents and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer erected a community-made stop sign at the intersection of 47th Avenue and 60th Street, in response to the Department of Transportation’s inaction in the neighborhood. The Council Member requested to introduce traffic calming measures along 47th Avenue between 59th and 61st Streets, which is immediately adjacent to two of the Big Six Tower co-op buildings and the Towers Play and Learn nursery school. So far, the Department of Transportation has refused to bring safety changes to the intersection, hence the resident’s brand new stop sign. GMAP
It’s scary how many Halloween-related festivals will take place in Queens over the next 10 days. On tap are everything from costume contests (for humans and dogs, of course), haunted houses, enchanted walks and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Here is a list of some of the free or low-cost fun.
The Department of Transportation will install two Neighborhood Slow Zones in Queens by 2014, one in Sunnyside Gardens and Woodside and another in Sunnyside south of Queens Boulevard (map pictured above). A press release by Council Member Van Bramer, who requested the slow zones, says “The ultimate goal of the Neighborhood Slow Zone program is to lower the incidence and severity of crashes. Slow zones also seek to enhance quality of life for local residents by reducing cut-through traffic and traffic noise in residential areas.” The slow zones will be marked by high-visibility blue gateway signs at all streets entering the area, with special signage noting the 20 mph speed limit in the zone. The DOT will also install speed bumps and road stenciling of “20 MPH” to make it clear motorists are in a reduced speed area. The DOT selected these particular locations because of schools and daycare centers in the area, a significant number of crashes, and community support. Check out a map of the Sunnyside Gardens and Woodside zone after the jump.
Yesterday morning, theblogs caught wind of a new Banksy art piece up in Woodside, at 69th Street and 38th Avenue. The famous street artist has put up a number of pieces around New York City as of late. Here’s a description of the work, from Banksy’s website: “Some people criticize me for using sources that are a bit low brow (this quote is from ‘Gladiator’) but you know what? ‘I’m just going to use that hostility to make me stronger, not weaker’ as Kelly Rowland said on the X Factor.” By late last night, Gothamist noted that a rival graffiti artist known as “Problem Child” covered up the piece. You can see a video of the act after the jump. GMAP