Tag Archive: Newton Creek Historical Society

May 07 2012

Civic Leaders to Politicians: Show Us The Money!

Photo By Christina Wilkinson

Photo By Christina Wilkinson, President, Newtown Creek Historical Society.

Civic leaders are banding together to save Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows and they are making a lot of noise.

The groups are calling on a cadre of local elected officials to allocate proper funding to purchase the land from a private owner that expressed interest in developing the hallowed grounds.

Now the cemetery is one step closer to oblivion. But hope is not lost.

The real heros of preservation were there too. They are the unpaid and unsung civic leaders from organizations like the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Association and the Newtown and Queens historical societies that called attention to the matter and have spearheaded an initiative to raise the money to purchase the cemetery and return ownership to the City.

A public hearing is scheduled for May 15th. For full details read the release below.

PRESS RELEASE: The Newtown Historical Society stands with the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association and other civic and preservation organizations across the borough in opposition of the proposed de-calendaring of the Brinckerhoff Cemetery by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  The cemetery holds the remains of some of the earliest settlers of Queens and, as an important historical reminder of our borough’s past, should be designated an official NYC landmark.  However, designation is not enough to ensure preservation.

Therefore, NHS calls on the elected officials representing the Fresh Meadows area, the Queens Borough President and Queens delegation of the City Council, to allocate funding toward purchase of the property and return ownership to the City.  The property cost $100,000 to purchase in 2000, but that opportunity was unfortunately not capitalized upon.  Over the course of the following 10 years, no funding was allocated for this purpose, although elected officials went on record during that time to claim that they supported public ownership of the land as a park or historic site. 

The property was sold in 2010 for $105,000 – an increase in price of only $5,000 after 10 years.  Surely, most – if not all – of this funding can be raised during the City’s upcoming June budget cycle to purchase the property from the current owner and assure that this land is forever saved from the threat of development.  The Queens delegation recently allocated a lump sum of $3M toward purchase of a schoolyard in Jackson Heights for part-time use as a park.  It is time for Queens’ elected officials to step up to the plate and put their money where their mouths are so we will not need any more hearings or rallies to push for a solution which should have come to pass decades ago.

Brinckerhoff Cemetery was also once known as “Black Stump Cemetery” and is located at 69-65 182nd Street in Fresh Meadows, Queens.


Rally photos:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/nutrichris/sets/72157629982556325/

Rally videos:  http://www.youtube.com/user/nutrichris/videos?query=brinckerhoff

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/save-brinckerhoff-cemetery-funding/

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