Today’s news:

City may not fund Bowne House until 2013

The Bowne House Historical Society said the city may push public funding for the renovation of the 17th century home back to as late as 2013, which could delay the completion of the long−needed project.

The Bowne House, the historic home of freedom of religion trailblazer John Bowne at 37−01 Bowne St., and the surrounding parkland, which includes Weeping Beech Park in Flushing, are about to undergo an expansive restoration project which will restore the house itself, build a new visitors center adjacent to it and revamp four acres of greenspace in the area.

But although she said the city is considering altering its plan to provide $604,000 for the project, Bowne House Historical Society President Rosemarie Vietor said the plans for the house itself remain unchanged.

“As far as we know, the funding is intact,” she said, adding that it may be delayed. “That’s what the [city] Parks Department and the Historic Houses Trust told me, so I have to take them at their word.”

Vietor said the Bowne House Historical Society has already raised more than $700,000 in private funding for the project and is ready to begin renovations, but work cannot begin until the Parks Department takes control of the property, which has been slow to happen.

“We’ve met every goal the city has set for us,” she said. “Now we’re just waiting for the transfer to occur.”

The Parks Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

Once the property transfer occurs, Vietor said work could begin on renovating the house itself and a new visitors center.

The first phase of the Weeping Beech Park renovation, meanwhile, is expected to begin early next year, which will add green space to the largely asphalt park.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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