Last weekend, vandals broke into the New York State Pavilion at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park. The Daily News reports that they set fire to a stolen van. They also set fire to the tarp that covers the terrazzo map of New York State, embedded into the floor of the Tent of Tomorrow. Finally, they took a cinderblock to smash one side of the map, which is already worse for wear.
Preservationists fighting for the reuse of the iconic World’s Fair structure were devastated, especially considering that the movement for preservation is at an all-time high. (This bad news comes right after Borough President Katz allocated $5,806,000 for improvements for the structure.) Volunteers are considering ways to increase safety at the site and will possibly install an alarm. Pictured above, that’s John Piro of the New York State Pavilion Paint Project and Park Supervisor Vincent Musillo considering the damage to one of the map panels.
More bad news for the Maspeth residents working to landmark the 1914 firehouse at 56-29 68th Street. The community wrote to the Landmarks Preservation Commission once Bill de Blasio stepped in as the new mayor, but the LPC research team said this month that the building was not eligible for landmarking. The LPC under Mayor Bloomberg also denied requests for designation.
The residents argue that the historic significance, the importance of the station during September 11th, and the firehouse’s centennial this year are solid reasons for landmarking. The LPC previously stated that they do not cite the Maspeth structure as a priority based on architectural significance, and they cannot count the events on September 11th as historically significant since the LPC calls for a 30-year minimum regarding historic relevance. The most recent rejection stated that “…to be eligible for consideration, a site must be greater than 30 years old, and the 9/11 Monument does not meet this criteria.” Steve Fischer, who is spearheading the landmark campaign, said this in an email: “We are frankly confounded by [the LPC's] repeated reference to a monument and we certainly question why the “30-year rule” has any bearing at all on our case. We have written a response to this latest LPC letter in which we try to clarify once again what the subject of our application entails and why it is worthy of consideration by the full Commission.” The neighborhood of Maspeth, despite being home to a number of historic buildings, does not have any landmarked structures.
After the jump, read the full letter just sent to the LPC in defense of the firehouse.
The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex at Grand Central Terminal is opening a new exhibit that examines the futuristic visions of transportation at the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. It’s a collection of postcards, photos, video, ephemera and souvenirs that show how transportation was a symbol for the future. The ’39 Fair showcased airplane and railroad displays, as well as a Futurama exhibit showing a model of 1960s America dominated by cars. And the ’64 Fair exhibited the launch of the Ford Mustang and Ford’s Magic Skyway, which took visitors on an automobile ride through the past, present and future of transportation. Even the famous mosaic map at the New York State Pavilion’s Tent of Tomorrow was marked with every Texaco service station.
The free exhibition opens on Saturday, July 26th and runs through November 2nd, 2014. Hours at the gallery annex are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.
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.
Yesterday, the folks behind the restaurant Mundo posted the above photo to their Facebook account. It’s a very promising glimpse of their new space at the Paper Factory Hotel; the popular restaurant is relocating from Astoria. The blog We Heart LIC has tracked the opening with anticipation, and posted this video interview with the owners back in May.
The restaurant should open in the hotel this summer. Here are some details about the food, from the website: “Mundo’s menu highlights the best of earthy Mediterranean and unique global flavors with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients from local vendors and farms, and homemade dishes.” Mundo is especially known for its Red Sonja, a Turkish dish made from red lentil and bulgur wheat served on lettuce with fresh lemon. Can’t wait!
Kiefer Sutherland, Andre the Giant, Molly Ringwald, and a great white shark are coming to Queens this summer. So are some surfing penguins, college-educated monsters, and an evil hairless Sphinx cat. With support from local businesses and the NYC & Co. Foundation, the Rockaway Civic Association is hosting Beach Flix 2014, a series of free movies screened at different spots along the Rockaway peninsula. The flicks start around dusk, and the venues run from Beach 73rd Street to Beach 126th Street.
It must be Classics Week, as Shakespeare, the Beatles, Godzilla, The Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof, and a multi-day Latin cultural festival come to town. Fun-seekers can also enjoy outdoor movies, concerts and festivals and indoor lectures on such topics as feral cats, the environment, and the Holocaust. Here’s the rundown, broken down into arts, music, outdoors, educational and food events.
This Forest Hills Gardens home, at 216 Greenway North, has one hell of a property. It’s a grassy, gardened .26 acres, which also includes a separately deeded and buildable adjacent lot. The house itself, which has three bedrooms and 2,814 square feet, is an sprawling English cottage that looks like it’s been altered over the years. The interior’s fully modernized and while it certainly looks nice, we were expecting more grandeur. Seems like none of the historic elements are left. The ask? A whooping $2,885,000.
In 1885, Lewis H. Latimer began working for his old company’s rival, Thomas Edison. He first became a member of the engineering department at the company’s Manhattan headquarters at 42 Broad Street. He worked in this capacity until 1890. He was out, front and center in the department, doing what he did best, drawing the devices and electrical systems that would make Edison the leader in electricity. But while he was all about the work, some of the workmen still couldn’t believe they were seeing a black man in his position. For more on this remarkable man’s early life, please see Part One and Part Two of our story.
He had to take the time to prove himself to almost every new workman and new hire in the company. Some just couldn’t believe he could do the work, and didn’t want him near their projects. They couldn’t believe a “colored man” would be in his position, and he had to patiently prove to them that he was an expert in his field. One by one, he won them over by his expertise, and they soon realized that not only was he good, his abilities were far ahead of almost anyone else in the field, period. (more…)