Tag Archives: renovation

College Point historical site gets renovation funds, hopes for revival


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

The historic Poppenhusen Institute‘s foundation sits on sand and its façade deteriorates with age. After 30 years of weathering wind from the bay, the College Point cultural center is going to be restored.

The city granted funds to the historical landmark building in order to complete overdue repairs to its exterior and to also build an elevator for the three upper floors, according to city documents. The last time the building’s exterior was working was in 1980s.

Executive Director Susan Brustmann believes the repairs and construction will cost $10 million but the city has only approved $5 million. The two major jobs will begin in early 2015 and will last for at least a year, according to Brustmann.

At a time when the nineteenth century building is in danger of closing down, the city grant is a welcome relief, according to Brustmann.

“We’re facing the most challenging time in our history,” she said. “So we’re very grateful that the city has given us money. The construction will be a great thing once it’s done.”

When the repairs are completed, Brustmann hopes to attract new revenue sources like getting the HBO show “Boardwalk Empire” to come back and film another scene in the building’s party hall.

Poppenhusen was built in 1868 with funds from Conrad Poppenhusen, a German immigrant. Since opening, the building has taken on various roles, from holding the first kindergarten class in America to housing German Singing Societies to being a court room and a sheriff’s office with two jail cells that still stand today.

Brustmann hopes to bring some of that diversity back by not only offering its historic rooms to film crews  but by also hosting a coffee shop on the third floor, overlooking the water.

In 2008 the Institute lost its state funding and now relies on city grants and donations. For now, its plan is to hold on until the construction is finished.

“College Point is off the beaten path but we’re fighting to get people in here and stay relevant,” Brustmann said. “We’re not giving up.”

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Queens College plans $1.5M TV studio renovation


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Queens College is planning to give its outdated TV studio a $1.5 million facelift, officials said.

It will be the studio’s first major renovation in more than 50 years, when the campus’s King Hall building was first constructed.

“Everything in there is going to be new. Everything that you see or touch in there is going to be replaced. That’s our goal,” said Dave Gosine, the college’s director of facilities, design, construction and management.

About 260 media study students currently use the space to get hands-on training in directing and producing television shows, and creating plays and productions.

But the oldest equipment dates back to the 1980s, according to Gosine and Youwei Sun, the studio’s chief engineer.

The school has even donated three outdated pieces to the Museum of Moving Image, Sun said.

The project will make the 3,200-square-foot studio a handicapped-accessible, state-of-the-art facility, with updated digital technology and a new lighting system, comparable to “just about any TV studio out there,” Gosine said.

“This is a teaching facility. We’re making it more functional, more useable,” he said, adding that there is currently a lot of unused space. “You could have bigger sets, do bigger scenes.”

And it will all be managed by the hands of students.

“The real purpose of this project is to position our students to walk out of here and be marketable from day one,” Gosine said. “At the end of the day, we want them to get employed and go on to have great careers.”

The estimated $1.5 million project will be paid for by city and state funds. It is currently in its bidding phase and is expected to be completed in fall 2015.

 

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