Coalition Calls For An End to Discrimination Against Queens Landmarks by the LPC - JuniperCivic.com
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Coalition Calls For An End to Discrimination Against Queens Landmarks by the LPC

Monday, April 3, 2006

Fraunces Tavern – altered 'beyond recognition'

The Juniper Park Civic Association, Committee to Save the Trylon Theater and the Greater Astoria Historical Society are demanding an end to the discrimination against Queens by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

As of 2004, the LPC had designated 586 Manhattan landmarks but only 51 Queens landmarks. The LPC obviously lacks interest in the history or people of Queens. The Landmarks Law should apply throughout all boroughs, not just to Manhattan. As that has failed to happen since the inception of the LPC in 1965, the law needs to be changed to ensure equal protection under the law for all New York City residents and landmarks.

St. Saviour's Church, built in 1847 in Maspeth, Queens, by members of the Clinton, Van Cott and Maurice families, and designed by the renowned architect of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Richard Upjohn, was recently denied landmark status by the LPC for a third time. Photos taken prior to the 1970 fire and after its 1972 renovation show that the original character of the church was well preserved. However, LPC's reason for failing to designate this piece of Queens history was that "the original fabric of the complex had been altered beyond recognition."

Perhaps the LPC can explain why one of their first landmark designations was Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan, a building that by the LPC's own admission truly was 'altered beyond recognition,' burned down three times, and rebuilt in 1905 based on speculation and conjecture. It is obvious that the LPC only uses the alteration excuse to avoid designating worthy Queens properties in order to spend the majority of its landmarks budget in Manhattan.