Tag Archives: Diana Reyna

Onderdonk House raises the roof


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Anthony Giudice

A virtual who’s who of Ridgewood and Bushwick joined the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society (GRHS) in celebrating the completion of the historic Vander Ende-Onderdonk House’s new roof during its Raise the Roof event on Thursday night.

Those in attendance included Councilman Antonio Reynoso, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Vincent Arcuri and Gary Giordano from Queens Community Board 5, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl, Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, among several others.

The push to get a new roof for the Onderdonk House, located at 1820 Flushing Ave., began in 2009 when the GRHS held a fundraiser to help get the project started.

“We were able to raise over $25,000, really pretty impressive for one night, but well short of the working estimate of over $350,000 to restore the roof,” said Linda Monte, president of the GRHS. “That’s when our super women, Diana Reyna and Elizabeth Crowley…sprang into action. They were able to add member items to the New York City Capitol Budget.”

This allowed the Onderdonk House to get the additional funding to repair the roof.

“Although we had a delay in the construction of the work, we finished this past fall, under budget,” Monte added. “Tonight is to thank you, recognize our major donors, officially declare the roof restored and have a great time.”

Guests were allowed inside the Onderdonk House to tour the restored attic to get a look at the wooden shingle gambrel roof.


During the ceremony, the GRHS dedicated a plaque to the major donors who helped fund the Onderdonk House’s brand-new roof.

“It gives me great pleasure to have joined with Council member Elizabeth Crowley to support those landmarkings for historic districts in Ridgewood,” Reyna said. “Historic preservation does not only mean preserving old buildings, it means preserving the entire identity of the neighborhood. The fact that the Onderdonk House exists is a great illustration of what we can accomplish with participation from community and government.”

In lieu of a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, the GRHS gave each of the major donors of the project their very own hammer, which they used to ceremonially hammer in a nail of the newly constructed roof.

The Onderdonk House was built in the late 18th century and is the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City. With the help of federal, state and local funds, it was opened to the public in 1982 and in June of 1996, it was given city landmark status. The house now serves as a museum for a permanent exhibit on the archaeology of the Onderdonk site, as well as having changing exhibits relating to history, the arts and culture.

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Street signs unveiled in Ridgewood North Historic District


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley

New street signs indicate that Ridgewood North is making history.

The area, constructed at the turn of the 20th century, consists of nearly 100 apartment buildings commonly referred to as the Mathews Flats. At the time of their construction, the buildings were seen as a step forward from the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions associated with Manhattan tenement housing.

The apartments are credited with transforming Ridgewood into a middle-class, urban neighborhood, according to Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.

“The Mathews Flats are an important part of the city’s history,” she said. “This historic district designation ensures that the architecture and historical significance of these buildings will be preserved.”

The signs were unveiled on Thursday, April 18 at a ceremony with Crowley, Councilmember Diana Reyna, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Chair Robert Tierney, New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation Chair Christina Davis and community residents. The foundation funded the initiative.

“This is a very exciting day for the community to gather together and celebrate this historic district in their neighborhood,” said Davis.

The district, bound by Forest Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Gates Avenue and Woodbine Street, is the third historic area in Ridgewood. It gained the designation from LPC in September 2009. It was approved by the City Council the following month.

“The historical district designation recognizes the deep cultural legacy that exists in Ridgewood and will preserve this legacy for generations to come,” said Reyna.

The LPC is also considering a proposal to make Central Ridgewood a historic district, The area is bound by Forest Avenue, Fresh Pond Road, Woodbine Street and 71st Avenue. The project would protect about 940 intact brick row houses built by German Americans in the early 1900s.

 

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