A city proposal to demolish a neo-Tudor home on 74th Street and 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights to make room for a junior high school has riled preservationists, who say the historic mansion should be preserved, according to the New York Daily News. However, parents support the decision to demolish the home to combat overcrowding in schools.
The mansion was built in 1941 and 1942 and later sold to a Korean church. The church sold the property to a developer who then flipped it to the city.
Peter Mariotti, a retired Revlon executive, tried to buy the home in 2007, but failed. “I would dream of living in that house and I came so close,” he said. “If I did, that house would be the shining star of Jackson Heights.”
Simon Bankoff of the Historic Districts Council said it was the first case he could easily remember of the city destroying a historic building.
A spokeswoman for the Landmarks Preservation Commission said the agency decided the home may be worth inclusion in a historic district, but it did not qualify for individual landmark status.
Some preservationists are resigned to the demolition.
“It’s a foregone conclusion,” said Daniel Karatzas of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group. “We would have liked it to be preserved. I’m just being, at this eleventh hour, a little more realistic.” [NYDN]