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A historic building in Astoria that looks like a shrunken-down version of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building recently got a face-lift in time for the holidays.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said the New Hampshire owners of the building, at 18-23 Astoria Blvd., have painted and refurbished their property at the councilman’s request, making a familiar sight in the area a little brighter.
“We worked together and we eventually got it done,” Vallone said.
The councilman, a longtime resident of the neighborhood, said he still recalls the impression the triangle-shaped building made on him when he was young.
“I remember passing by it since I was little and always thinking how beautiful it was,” Vallone said, “and as I got older I realized it was Astoria’s version of the Flatiron building.”
Vallone had noticed the building was not looking so great and tried to contact the owners, whom Vallone declined to name, to refurbish it.
“The owners were very receptive but did not have the money at the moment,” he said.
The councilman said he worked with the 114th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol in the summer to clean the building of all the graffiti that had been sprayed on it. Then the owners got some money for the project recently and they were able to give the mini-Flatiron a brand new coat of paint.
“It looks much more like it did when I was a kid,” Vallone said.
The building is zoned as a mixed-use residential and commercial spot, according to information from the website NYC Oasis. It has four floors, two commercial units and three residential units. It sits on the intersection of Astoria Boulevard, 21st Street and 27th Avenue, known as Astoria Square.
Robert Singleton, executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, said the 18-23 Astoria Blvd. building was once a high-end furniture store known as Gally. In the 1970s, the national furniture chain Ethan Allen had a store there. He said a similar building to Gally had once stood on the other side of the street.
“It is a prominent building that really would warrant landmark designation,” Singleton said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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