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Landmark snub riles Broadway−Flushing

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The city Landmarks Preservation Commission said it is not interested in pursuing landmark status for one of the city’s first−planned neighborhoods, but residents of Broadway−Flushing said they are not giving up without a fight.

LPC Chairman Robert Tierney wrote a letter to City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) and residents of Broadway−Flushing last month indicating the commission would not calendar the century−old neighborhood for landmarking because of numerous alterations to homes in the community and because its surveyors deemed the area as “not architecturally significant” — a sentiment Historic Districts Council President Paul Graziano said was “outrageous.”

“I find it unfathomable because anyone that’s been through Broadway−Flushing knows that it’s beautiful and there’s plenty of beautiful architecture there. If the people who 100 years ago built it came back and looked at it, they’d recognize it and there aren’t a lot of historic neighborhoods around the city you can say that about,” Graziano said.

Broadway­Flushing, already listed as a historic district in the state and national registries, is a collection of about 1,300 homes built shortly after 1900 and is bounded by Bayside and 29th Avenues to the north, Northern Boulevard and Crocheron Avenue to the south, 170th Street to the east and 155th Street to the west.

Avella, Graziano and residents of the area are planning to fight Tierney’s ruling, beginning with a rally at Bowne Park scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m.

“If somebody sneezes in Manhattan, that spot becomes a landmark, but for the other boroughs, there’s been this historic neglect,” Avella said. “There are some things worth protecting and we’re going to kick things off with this rally to show that we’re going to fight it.”

Mel Siegel, president of the Broadway−Flushing Civic Association, has been leading the fight to landmark Broadway−Flushing for several years in the hopes of protecting the character of the neighborhood from overdevelopment. He said he was not surprised by the ruling and called the LPC “Manhattan­centric.”

“If you don’t look like Manhattan, you don’t get landmarking,” Siegel said. “We feel this is a significant area. It was the first area that was opened up as a planned community. Anybody that sees this area thinks it’s great, so we’re not going to give up.”

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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Reader Feedback

Life long Flushingite from Murray-Hill Flushing says:
Agree. And what about the same for the Murray-Hill part of North Flushing as well?
May 29, 10:44 am

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