Tag Archives: Quaker

Rep. Meng wants Flushing gems added to National Park Service


| editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Federal park officials are supporting a bill by Congressmember Grace Meng that would make historic Flushing sites part of the National Park Service, the legislator said.

The measure would require the Secretary of the Interior, who oversees federal parkland, to look into whether sites connected to the Flushing Remonstrance could be included in the national park system.

The Remonstrance, a historic 1657 petition, was signed by Peter Stuyvesant and 30 citizens to protest a policy that banned Quakers from practicing their religion in the colony of New Netherland.

Other sites mentioned in the bill are Flushing’s John Bowne House, where the Quakers held meetings, and the Old Quaker Meetinghouse, which was built in 1694 by Bowne and other Quakers.

“The story of the Flushing Remonstrance is not for New Yorkers alone,” Meng said. “It was an early struggle to establish the fundamental right to practice one’s religion.”

National Park Service Associate Director Victor Knox said the Department of the Interior supports the bill during a recent hearing held in Washington, according to Meng.

 

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Bowne House restoration breaks ground


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Parks Department

Officials broke ground last week on a $3.2 million project to preserve a historic Flushing gem.

A 17th century symbol of religious freedom, the Bowne House will get a new roof, gutters, pipes, wood wall shingles and steel columns, among other exterior restorations.

“The Bowne House helped to shape our history and now it is time for us to take care of its future for a new generation,” said Borough President Helen Marshall, who helped secure part of its funding.

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said the site is a symbol of tolerance and diversity.

It was built in the 1660s by John Bowne and used for Quaker meetings when religious diversity was forbidden by law.

The city-landmarked house closed for restoration this spring.

“The house is both historically and architecturally significant,” said Historic House Trust executive director Franklin Vagnone, “and this restoration will ensure it is preserved for the thousands of visitors and school children who will visit the house each year.”

Renovations are expected to be complete by the end of the year, a Parks spokesperson said.

However, officials are yet to determine the time frame for interior construction including strengthening the first-floor framing.

 

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