Today’s news:

Ahles House hearing to be held this month

The city will hold a public hearing this month to determine whether a Bayside home built in the 1870s should be landmarked following a seven−year initiative by City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) to get the property designated.

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a hearing June 25 in its public meeting room in Manhattan to discuss landmark status for the historic Ahles House at 39−24 213th St. in Bayside. Avella first began advocating for the building’s designation in 2002 and made a formal proposal three years later.

“I have fought to have this historic mansion protected since the day I took office in 2002 and I am thrilled that the LPC is taking the next step to designate this Empire−style building,” Avella said. “The building is one of the oldest in Bayside and must be protected from falling prey to future real estate development.”

The home’s owner could not be reached for comment.

But the property’s owner, who has lived at the site for 25 years, has said that he opposes the landmarking of the building.

Avella said a landmark status for the building would require its owner to not alter its facade and would not prevent work on its interior.

“It has unique architecture,” Avella said. “It should be saved.”

He said he has not spoken with the home’s owner.

The house was constructed in the early 1870s by Robert Bell, nephew of Bayside founder Abraham Bell, for his daughter, Lillie, and her husband, John William Ahles, as a wedding gift. Ahles was a prominent grain merchant.

Avella said most of the mansion’s original architectural features are still intact, including mansion−style windows that reach to the floor.

Landmarks will make a decision on whether to designate the property at a later date following the hearing, Avella said. If the commission approves the designation, the proposal would then go before the Department of City Planning and the Council.

If landmarked, the Ahles House could be the second home in the community to obtain the designation in recent years following the landmarking of the historic Stone House on 36th Avenue and Bell Boulevard in 2006.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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