Monday, November 26, 2007

Lion's Club of Rego Park?

In this week's Forest Hills Ledger, it was reported that the 72nd Townhouses were sold to the Lion's Club of Rego Park. The mortgage is signed by Tchtchachivili of Vector Land Services, as are all the other documents, and the official owner is 72nd Ave. LLC. So who knows who owns what. We do know that at $4 million, they're good as gone.

In more important news, the LPC (the city agency that quickly denied landmark status to the 72nd Ave townhouses) is pushing to get these East Villiage properties landmarked. Among the buildings proposed:

* Webster Hall, 119 E. 11th St., once home to Bohemian balls, labor rallies and a recording studio where Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra performed. It continues today as a dance club and live music venue.

* Eleventh Street Public Bath, 583 E. 11th St., built in 1903 as the city attempted to improve hygiene among the poor and lower classes. It was converted into a photo studio by Eddie Adams.

* Elizabeth Home for Girls, 307 E. 12th St., built in 1891 by the Children's Aid Society as a shelter for young women. It now has 13 co-op apartments.

* Beth Hamredash, 242 E. Seventh St., built in 1908 as a synagogue for Hungarian immigrants. Converted to residential use.

* The Public National Bank, 106 Avenue C, built in the early 1920s to serve primarily immigrant customers. Converted to apartments in the 1980s.

* Wheatsworth Factory, 444 E. 10th St., built in 1927 as a biscuit factory and the last remaining factory building in the neighborhood. Now a storage facility.

Scattered across the community are buildings that played key roles in the lives of immigrants dating back to the 19th century, said Robert Tierney, chairman of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

"These were important buildings," Tierney said of the structures that were selected in a block-by-block study of the neighborhood

Co-ops and storage facilities. It'd be easier to get a coffee cart landmarked in Manhattan than a historic row house in Queens.

The Ledger article says that residents (aka Michael Perlman) are fighting for a rezone rather than a landmark which was already rejected by storage-facility enthusiast Robert Tierny. A rezone says that any new structure will be in line with the rest of the block which is other historic townhouses. And it will be rejected too.