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City eyes hospital for landmark

The city announced that it is looking into the possibility of designating Mary Immaculate Hospital as an official city landmark. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

The president of the Central Queens Historical Association said southeast Queens has been lucky to have several of its buildings and neighborhoods recognized by the city as official landmarks and there are still more places that deserve recognition, including Mary Immaculate Hospital.

Jeff Gottlieb updated Community Board 12 last week during its monthly meeting in St. Albans about his group’s efforts to put the neighborhood on the historical map.

Gottlieb revealed that the city Landmarks Preservation Commission is in the early stages of considering Mary Immaculate, which has been closed since 2009, as an official city landmark after the panel received many letters from the community about saving the 109-year-old building.

City approval would go a long way for the community, the historical group president said, because it would ensure that any developer could not change the defunct property to a building that did not have a medical use.

Lisi de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the LPC, confirmed the agency is reviewing the proposal for landmarking the hospital but said there are no recent developments.

“We are considering it, but we have not set a timeline for it,” she said.

The hospital, at 152-11 89th Ave., closed two years ago after its parent group Caritas filed for bankruptcy and has not been in use despite being sold last year.

Gottlieb said last year was a good year for southeast Queens because three buildings in Jamaica were landmarked and Addisleigh Park became the first neighborhood in the area to be official designated as a landmarked neighborhood.

Addisleigh Park was home to many prominent black celebrities during the 1950s and ’60s, including actress Lena Horne, baseball player Jackie Robinson and singer Ella Fitzgerald.

“There are many beautiful areas here,” Gottlieb said.

The president said his group is working on adding more to the list of landmarked sites, which now total 16, and previewed the locations that are being seriously reviewed.

PS 48 at 155-02 108th Ave. has been in the community for 81 years and is being looked at, according to Gottlieb, and he is working with City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) to see if the LPC would consider it as a landmark.

Another site is the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station at Sutphin Boulevard.

Not only has the station been a major conduit for most of the trains that go into Long Island for nearly 100 years, but it is historically significant because it was built on the backs of hardworking Queens members, according to Gottlieb.

“It is a stunning achievement for the Long Island Rail Road,” he said. “It was done by our own engineering and architecture firms.”

A spokesman for the MTA said the agency has received no indication from the LPC about a landmarking designation

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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