Brinckerhoff Cemetery gets landmark hearing

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The city Landmarks Preservation Commission plans a public hearing to consider landmark status for Brinckerhoff Cemetery on 182nd Street near 73rd Avenue.

"We've calendared it, which means the commissioners voted to schedule a hearing on the proposed designation, but that date has not been set yet," said Terri Rosen Deutsch, chief of staff for the commission. She added that the owner, Joseph DeDomenico, has been notified of the hearing.

Rosen Deutsch said the commission was thankful to state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and others for bringing the historical cemetery to their attention.

City Council - through Councilman John Sabini (D-Jackson Heights), the Landmark subcommittee chairman - and Community Board 8 earlier recommended in writing that the Brinckerhoff Cemetery receive landmark status, the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association said in its newsletter.

DeDomenico's law firm, Chiariello and Chiariello, wrote the judge in charge of the case, Queens County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Polizzi, reminding him that his client was under the impression a court decision was being delayed pending purchase of the property.

In a settlement arranged by Polizzi in February, the plaintiffs in the case, including the Queens Historical Society and FMHCA, agreed the community could buy the property for $100,000 by March 28. Though the deadline was later extended to May 9, and again to July 30, the community has not raised the money.

DeDomenico told the court he planned to sell the land if the community could not raise the $100,000 in the time allotted. He said at least one buyer expressed interest.

The legal path the case may take now will depend upon whether the commission designates the cemetery as a landmark.

If it does, the property's sale to the DeDomenico family would have to be nullified, creating more legal complications.

The Brinckerhoff family cemetery dates back to 1730. To become a landmark, a site must be at least 30 years old and have historical significance, according to the landmarks commission.

The cemetery, holding the remains of 77 family members, occupies two lots between two houses. The lots are neglected and overgrown with trees and brush. No grave stones are visible.


Reach reporter Daniel Arimborgo by e-mail at or call 229-0300 ext. 141.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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