Kew Gardens residents call for landmark protection

(Credit: Urbanite)

The overall neighborhood of Kew Gardens is not protected. (Photo by Phil S. Kropoth)

Despite its historic significance, Kew Gardens lacks landmark protection -- an issue that frustrates local residents and preservationists.

"Kew Gardens is definitely one of the planned communities in Queens that is very significant and hasn't gotten its due in terms of preservation," says Frampton Tolbert, deputy director of the Historic Districts Council, which has Kew Gardens on its endangered list. "Only in recent years do people have a better appreciation for these neighborhoods.

By that time it might be too late. Residents have on eye on Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens' sister neighborhood, and fear that the insensitive development there might soon encroach upon their turf. Requests for rulings before the Landmark Preservation Commission have gone unheeded, but civic leaders aren't ready to give up.

"It's the attrition battle--who's going to give in first," says Crawford. "We're not going to give in. This is really an important neighborhood, a real demonstration of smart community development. I think we have to understand rational development.

"In the meantime, you just do your local battle to prevent as much damage as possible."

-- Lana Bortolot

Read more about life in Kew Gardens here.

Tags: kew gardens , preservation , landmarking , architecture , queens , neighborhoods , endangered nyc , development

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