Local politicians are turning up the pressure on the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to have much of the historic Broadway-Flushing neighborhood recognized as a city landmark district.
The Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association held a rally Saturday in Flushing’s Bowne Park to draw attention to their renewed fight to have their area recognized by the LPC.
A previous attempt to get the neighborhood recognized only resulted in an offer to designate a few homes with landmark status, a compromise that was not accepted by residents.
The community is renewing its efforts due to a change in leadership at the LPC last year.
State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein were in attendance during the Sept. 12 rally, along with multiple civic groups including the Auburndale Improvement Association, Queens Civic Congress, North Flushing Civic, Northeast Flushing Civic, Bay Terrace Alliance, We Love Whitestone civic and the Bayside Historical Society.
Borough President Melinda Katz was unable to attend, but in a statement said the effort to designate Broadway-Flushing as a historical district has her support. She applauded everyone who has shown commitment to protecting the character of the area.
“The architecture and residential atmosphere found in this part of Queens makes it a special place to live and raise a family. It has also created a shared sense of community,” Katz said. “It would be a shame if we missed the opportunity to protect and preserve this wonderful community for future generations.”
Avella charged that it was unfortunate that the LPC had yet to recognize the threat of Broadway-Flushing losing its distinctive qualities.
“Broadway-Flushing is one of the only remaining New York City bastions of single-family homes on wide avenues and quiet residential landscapes,” Avella said. “We must act now to preserve it, or risk leaving nothing left to save.”
Richard Hourahan of the Queens Historical Society previously told The Courier that the Broadway-Flushing area was developed in the first two decades of the 20th century. The introduction of the Long Island Rail Road pushed the local character from a rural landscape to a suburban community.
Although the area is listed on State and National Registers of Historic Places, residents are seeking landmark status because this would give the structures within its boundary protection against overdevelopment under New York City Landmarks Law.
Meanwhile, Councilman Paul Vallone showed his support for the efforts to landmark the neighborhood earlier in the week, taking a walking tour of Broadway-Flushing with LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan last Thursday.
“No one can deny the unique and historical qualities of the homes that have been meticulously maintained and preserved by the proud homeowners in Broadway-Flushing,” Vallone said.