Author Topic: The development threat facing Jackson Heights is greater than we thought  (Read 2852 times)

Offline abcdefghijk

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I guess I am simply not frightened by high rise like other folks are.

Don't think we're frightened by high-rises, just don't want them sweeping through Jackson Heights, a unique mix of private homes and apartment buildings that contains an unusual amount of green space around the housing. That uniqueness is what got the core of this planned community designated a NYC Historic Landmark in 1993 and the larger area listed on the National Historic Register. Why would anyone want to see that damaged, especially since we already are one of the densest neighborhoods in New York City (Zip Code 11372)... and the nation for that matter?   

Quick question abcdefghijk,
You didn't explain what was disingenuous about the postcard photos, or why you described the photo as featuring Tudor mansions, or how it has anything to do with fake news?

And thank you for the info, Tom Lowenhaupt. Please wish Patti a Happy Mothers Day from Barbara and me. Roosevelt Parc? Swanky, though I like Interstate Vue - still French sounding.


All the best.

We in Jackson Heights are in a position of power.  As opposed to being reactionary, my point is use that power to force the developers of the new high rises to incorporate public space (gardens) in their design.  Otherwise they don't get approved.

It's a question of taste.  I am a modernist in my aesthetic and so not averse to well constructed contemporary high rise.
Some are attractive.

By not being reactionary....that is black and white, good compromises can be reached (win/win) benefiting the community and the developers.

It's a pragmatic approach.

With a balanced and open mind, much can be achieved. Incorporating modern design.

Your postcard shows an area that is outside the Historic District that is already zoned for highrise and implies the historic district will look like that.

But in truth, what are the new boundaries of the Historic District that you are suggesting?

And why not show a jpeg of a mini Chrysler Building?

With bargaining power, instead of being reactionary, we could even make developers build that!

(I am being hyperbolic...to make my point...) 






















Offline JK resident

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The NYC planning commission is the body that controls zoning, parking, how high you can build, how much garden you need to have. You have to get Dromm to get them to down zone Jackson Heights. This will eliminate all these big towers. This whole landmark the entire neighborhood is just silly.

Offline CaptainFlannel

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There are no mansions in Jackson Heights. While many of the homes are lovely, by no stretch of the imagination could they be described as mansions. Some of the nicer homes are attached or semi-attached, which seems rather contrary to the idea of what a mansion is.

Google can be very helpful when you're trying to find information. I'm not sure if this is the proposed expansion of the historic district, or even outlines the historic district correctly, but given what I've heard about the interest in expanding the historic district, this may be it:
http://architecturaltrust.org/~architec/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Map_Jackson_Heights.jpg


Offline CaptainFlannel

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^what a pretty house! Where is this located?

My parents thought the semi-attached homes in JH that looked like this were single family homes until I pointed out the two doors. (I did too until I noticed the garages on each end.).

Offline Alfster

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Isn’t this on 77th Street?

http://stmedia.stimg.co/1506112861_01004581346+18LeMond092217.online+182750.JPG?w=2000

Wow!  How many illegal rooms could fit into a basement of a house that size?  LOL (j/k)

Offline JHResident

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Where exactly has this happened?

75th Street and 76th Street between Roosevelt and 37th Avenue.  Look at the buildings and parking lot along 75th St if you want to know how the rest of the neighborhood will look without landmark status.  Random building heights and dense housing, more curb cuts, more businesses with garish signs.

Offline JK resident

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That area is zoned R5 but most of the houses have been converted to Doctors offices which is allowed under zoning laws. Same as a church. That has been like that for thirty years. The parking lot is only allowed by special permit which is backed by Dromm (and predecessors) who has his office next door. I don’t agree that it should be allowed. It is a commercial use in a R5 zone. Those houses have already been converted so it is too late.


Offline Lilybell

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^what a pretty house! Where is this located?

It's Greg LeMond's mansion in Minnesota (he was selling it for under 5M). (i'm no expert on MN real estate; I did a reverse image search)

Offline Simka

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The problem with increased development, especially residential development, is that neighborhoods don't always have the infrastructure to accommodate more people.  For years we had schools holding classes in old closets and bathrooms.  There were just not enough schools.  To its credit, the city went on a school building spree in our community, but they were entirely public and intermediate schools.  Where will these children go to high school.  And can our schools handle a new wave of children?

The same with transportation.  People have mentioned Williamsburg, but the subway infrastructure there was never designed to handle the new population.  And when all those new buildings in LIC start to fill up our subway lines will become even more crowded.

My point is, planning should include more than just increasing residential capacity.   

That is the point that I have tried to make when this subject has come up before. There are always people who try to ignore it or argue it away. But I have friends who live in Williamsburg and have had a pretty close-up view of what they've experienced there. And I have seen it in other places too.

We're lucky in Jackson Heights to have a lot of different trains coming through here, but even those are pretty crowded. It would be a shame if big buildings start going up and thousands more people move into the neighborhood without any consideration about the effects on the subways, schools, and other services.

And about NIMBYism—give me a break! I haven't liked seeing all of this overdevelopment wherever it's occurred. Mostly for the reason stated above, but also because the new housing is for higher-income people (unless the developer has one of those deals where a few apartments need to be set aside for lower-income residents, in exchange for being allowed to build a taller building or get some other break). And having taller buildings go up creates massive construction that can seriously damage surrounding properties (I saw this not just in Williamsburg, where my friends and the developer who built an apartment building next to theirs have been locked in legal battles for years now, but also in Park Slope). After which the people in nearby low-rise buildings have their views and sunlight blocked.

Offline lmaniace

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Hello all,

I've attached a map showing the bounds of the proposed extensions of the Jackson Heights Historic District. The extensions contain the diagonal lines. The outermost line marks the area listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The dark gray area is the existing district. As you can see the proposed areas avoid new construction and buildings of "lesser architectural quality" that so concerned several.

Speaking of lesser quality, I'm not sure how legible the map's details are because of the 128 KB limit on images here. You can see the higher res version here - www.facebook.com/JacksonHeightsHistoric/ .

BTW, you can help preserve one of NYC's highest density neighborhoods in a form that doesn't feel crowded by contacting the Landmark Preservation Commission's Executive Director Sarah Carroll at scarroll@lpc.nyc.gov

This will take one minute, pretty much regardless of your computer skills


Please put Expand the Jackson Heights Historic District in the subject line. You may want to say something along the following lines below. Key points: 1) the expanded district's proposed buildings are just as high quality as the current district. 2) these distinct buildings and their generous open space are endangered by development. 

I urge the Landmarks Preservation Commission to extend
the Jackson Heights Historic District. Our goal is to
preserve the buildings developed contemporaneously
with the landmarked central core of Jackson Heights.
These buildings were built to the same planning and
architectural standards, and they complement the scale
and character of the existing Historic District. This new
designation is urgently needed, as a series of large, out-of-character
developments have recently been proposed in or near the proposed extension.

And thank you all for the great discussion and support. Now it's your turn to make it happen

Offline JK resident

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I really don’t have any vehement opposition to the expansion but I did notice some odd things. That whole appendix looking thing around 73rd Street includes the old converted movie theater which has just been modified. There is nothing worthwhile to save at that location.  Also a funny inclusion is Apna Bazzar. That building is garbage.


Offline Alfster

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Quote
By the way, there was green space in Jackson Heights years ago (before 1950) near where Travers Park and the Garden School are, but the golf course was replaced with apartment buildings and the smaller park and school

And the area by the Duane Reade was a big archery field! That sounds like fun.

Archery?  Don't we have enough problems with weapons?  :-/

Offline rosie

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I support expanding the boundaries of this LPC-designated historic district, but also know it's not the only tool in our toolbox. Landmarking is a difficult (but not unattainable! just difficult) route for a few reasons. Firstly, the current chair of the LPC has given notice, so the department is going to be going through a period of adjustment for who knows how long while a long-term replacement is found. Obviously the staffers will continue to do their jobs, but it does change the overall attitude and tone of the LPC as a whole. Secondly, while I love every little historic wood-frame building in our neighborhood and (personally) wish we could save them all forever, many of them don't have enough historic significance to be protected by the LPC. Trust me, I work in the field, and you would be amazed at the beautiful buildings the LPC deems "not worthy" and allows developers to demolish.

That all being said, I will support any effort to expand the JH historic district, but think other approaches have merit as well. The best tool to fight out-of-context development (like that ginormous building going up at 72nd) is to change the zoning. The current zoning for JH can be found here http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/zoning/zoning-maps/map9d.pdf and information on what that all means is here http://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/zoning/zoning-maps.page. I'm not an expert at reading those things, but I hope this might be helpful to JHBG and other concerned neighbors.

Jackson Heights Life