|Daniel Eldridge House, Photo by Landmarks Preservation Commission|
As Chairman, I am speaking today on behalf of the Queens Preservation Council, a consortium of historical societies, civic and neighborhood groups that advocate for the protection and preservation of traditional neighborhood character.
The Queens Preservation Council is pleased to see the Landmarks Preservation Commission considering a house in Richmond Hill, one of Queens' most historical communities, yet sorely lacking in Landmark protections. Although the community boasts many historical houses of significance, the Daniel Eldridge House is an extremely rare surviving example of the mid-19th century Italianate style. In addition to its scale and form, the four ornate bracketed oriel windows, bracketed door hood and low-pitched roof with prominent cupola together make it architecturally impressive.
Daniel Eldridge of the infamous Tweed Ring, purchased the land from Charles Paulson for $600 in 1867, and had the 40' by 60' house built. A clerk in the Water Department, he was arrested on the property and charged with embezzlement. The story goes that after the hearing, the police were on their way to arrest him, and with no place left to hide, he simply sat up in the cupola and watched with binoculars as they came to arrest him.
The Queens Preservation Council, in memory of the indefatigable champion of Richmond Hill, Nancy Cataldi, urges the Landmarks Preservation Commission to continue to focus its attention on this historical community, and do more designations in the near future.
- Testimony delivered by Mitchell Grubler, Chair of Queens Preservation Council on June 28, 2011. Endorsed by Rego-Forest Preservation Council & posted online by RFPC Chair Michael Perlman.