Most of the big news about landmarked sites comes from Brooklyn and Manhattan. There isn’t much in Queens that makes headlines; for example, only two of the 26 sites designated from the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s 95-item backlog were in Queens County. Today, however, we have news about a landmarked park in Jamaica.
Earlier this year, the city paid $53 million to acquire the property at 1 North 12th Street, located between North 12th and 14th streets along Kent Avenue on the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, with plans to convert the site into public park space. The city has now agreed to pay $160 million for the 11-acre CitiStorage site, located between North 10th and 12th streets at 5 North 11th Street, Crain’s reported.
A groundbreaking ceremony has been held for the $3 million renovation of Martin Luther King Park, located along Malcolm X Boulevard between West 113th and 114th streets in the southern end of Harlem. The park will get entirely new basketball courts, playgrounds, a water play area, and a turf area. Other upgrades include an outdoor fitness center, as well as new vegetation and a comfort station. Quennell Rothschild & Partners is the landscape architect. The project is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Community Park Initiative, where a total of 56 existing parks around the city will see renovations.
There is some good news for bus riders on the Upper West Side and in Morningside Heights. More accessible bus stops are in the works for Riverside Drive.
The American Museum of Natural History, located between West 77th and 81st streets on the Upper West Side, has filed plans with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for their expansion project, the Wall Street Journal reported. Since the museum board approved the Studio Gang Architects-designed project late last year, the proposed expansion has grown from 218,000 square feet to 235,000 square feet. Also, the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation — a ground-up six-story structure near 79th Street — has been altered to cut into only a quarter of an acre of Theodore Roosevelt Park, down from half an acre. Changes to the 2015 plans include reducing the number of trees removed from nine to seven, and demolishing three existing structures. Extensive reconfiguration work and upgrades to park space remain key elements of the project. In addition to the LPC, the Parks Department must also approve the project. Completion is tentatively expected in 2020.