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LPC must landmark Brinckerhoff

TimesLedger Newspapers

An open letter to Robert Tierney, chairman of the city Landmarks Preservation Commission:

On behalf of the board of directors of the Bayside Historical Society, I am writing to express our desire that the LPC designate the historic Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows as an official city landmark.

This cemetery should have been landmarked long ago. It is the final resting place of scores of early Dutch colonials, with some burials dating back to the 1600s. It is a rare historical artifact and precious to the integrity of our community.

The current attempt to de-calendar the Brinckerhoff Cemetery and develop two homes on the property is an absolute disgrace. To desecrate the graves of those who are interred there is an abomination of all that is good and decent. Civic groups and leaders from around the area and Queens are up in arms about the current situation and demand action to have the site protected and preserved.

It has been calendared for 12 years. Not only is it time to reject any attempts to de-calendar, but it is time to commit to grant full landmark status. The BHS occupies one of the most beautiful and iconic landmarks in the city: the Officers Club at Fort Totten. We are also caretakers of the Lawrence Cemetery, which, like the Officers Club, is a city landmark.

The Lawrence Cemetery had a similar mishap in its history. It was mistakenly claimed and subsequently sold by the city. Only through the diligent work of the Bayside civic community was this horrendous action reversed and the burial site of more than 100 early residents of Bayside saved from desecration and destruction.

Similarly, the city should move to fix its mistake by purchasing the Brinckerhoff Cemetery property, which would be spearheaded through capital funding via local elected officials, thus making sure it is protected forever.

Paul DiBenedetto

President

Bayside Historical Society

Bayside

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Benny Wong from Fresh Meadows says:
I am a vice president of the West Cunningham Park Civic Association. I was at the hearing and requested the Brinkerhoff cemetery be landmark. It has taken too long to have a historic cemetery landmark. Those that are buried there need to have their final resting place landmarked so that they can rest in peace.
June 3, 2012, 9:03 pm

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