Friday, August 26, 2011


To all New Yorkers: Please check for information related to Hurricane Irene on the Office of Emergency Management website. Let's pray everyone will be safe, & the hurricane will "take a swim & drown!"

NYC OEM plans for and responds to emergencies in New York City. For more info, visit For emergency assistance, call 911. For service requests, call 311.

This is an important e-mail from Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi:

Take steps to prepare for Hurricane Irene‏

Dear Neighbor:

By now, it is likely that you have received news that New York City may be hit by Hurricane Irene this weekend, likely Saturday evening into Sunday. While this hurricane has the capacity to cause a significant amount of damage, there are steps you can take to ensure that your homes and loved ones are protected.

The first step you should take in preparing is finding out if you live in an evacuation zone. Click here to see evacuation zones throughout New York City. If you live in one of these zones, when instructed, you should follow these evacuation instructions.

I am strongly urging residents in our communities to take every precaution possible and prepare for the worst-case scenario. Please gather ample amounts of water, non-perishable food, and batteries for flashlights. Secure loose items on your property, consider boarding up vulnerable windows, and bring in any trash lying on your curbs. Do the best you can to prepare for up to 2 weeks of power and utility outages. To report outages to Con Edison, have your account number ready and call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633). You can keep up to date on the city’s storm monitoring and response by clicking here or by calling 311. In case of a life threatening emergency, always call 911.

Please review the following links:
  • You can view updates from the New York City Office of Emergency Management by clicking here.
  • The Red Cross has put together a Hurricane Safety Checklist, available in English, Spanish and Chinese
If the storm hits, the greatest impact is expected to be felt on Sunday. Please use this time to prepare for the storm by stocking up on resources and reviewing evacuation plans if they apply to your neighborhood. As always, if you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 911.

-Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi
28 A.D. 

More important tips:

* Examine the Office of Emergency Management link above, & see if you are required to evacuate.
* Stock up on food & water for at least 3 days' supply
* Buy flashlights
* Buy batteries & battery-powered radios (in case of power outages)
* Steer clear of windows & consider buying plywood to board them up
* Take all street furniture indoors, since objects can fly & be fatal
* Brace trees
* Contact family, friends, & neighbors proactively to ensure their safety, & SPREAD THE WORD!
Measuring the storm, The Saffir-Simpson Scale (Credit: CBS & AP)


Friday, August 5, 2011

Forest Hills Post Office History Recognized in Queens Chronicle

test4A post office deemed risque 1
The Forest Hills post office under construction in September 1938 and completed in 1940. The topless female sculpture above the door was criticized at the time. The building behind the facility is labeled “Forest Hills Fireproof Storage.” Courtesy of Ron Marzlock, Queens Chronicle Historian
test4A post office deemed risque 2
Forest Hills Post Office in September 1938 - Courtesy of Ron Marzlock, Queens Chronicle Historian
2007 photo courtesy of Greg Godfrey
The Forest Hills Post Office is currently the only building in Forest Hills on the State & National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for federal tax credits and state-matching grants for preservation-friendly upgrades & restoration work. Rego-Forest Preservation Council is currently documenting the Forest Hills Post Office's history and authentic features for a good cause, so imagine how we felt when we discovered the building in the 8/4 edition of the Queens Chronicle's "I Have Often Walked" column, written by Historian Ron Marzlock:

Queens Chronicle: A Post Office Deemed Risque

In the 1930s, most post offices in Queens were little candy store-type buildings housing only a few letter carrier routes in a leased building.

In June 1936, the Emergency Construction Program Act was passed. Politically strong Forest Hills was able to arrange the construction of a federal building to house a post office, at 106-28 Queens Blvd.

The new building was to be a showpiece of the area, topped off with a sculpture called “The Spirit of Communication.” The Art Deco-style work, a bare-breasted woman holding a clock and dove, was denounced by conservative 1938 Forest Hills as bad art in bad taste. But sculptor Sten Jacobson’s creation was valued at more than $150,000 in 1990, and is protected today and cared for by the General Services Administration.

Most other buildings of the era put up by the Works Progress Administration got a painting for artwork. Forest Hills got real sculpture. The other fortunate areas of Queens to secure WPA buildings for a post office were Jackson Heights, Woodhaven, Far Rockaway and Flushing. All of them are protected by landmark status.

Today, the fine 71-year-old structure facing MacDonald Park is dwarfed by the highly-concentrated apartment houses which have since engulfed so much of Forest Hills. At least it’s not one of the five post offices in Queens the United States Postal Service is considering closing.

"The Spirit of Communication" adorns the terra-cotta facade. Recent photos courtesy of Michael Perlman, Chair of Rego-Forest Preservation Council

Polished brass doors bear Art Deco handles

The Forest Hills Post Office made the grade on the 10th annual walking tour of Downtown Forest Hills in September 2010 by Historian Jeff Gottlieb, President of the Central Queens Historical Association.

Admiring the verticals and cubism of an International Style/Art Moderne Federal building. Most other post offices designed in the 1930s & prior were of (Georgian) Colonial design in Queens. This design would be found in a 1939 World's Fair pavilion, but this predated it! A patriotic mark is made upon Queens Boulevard!

WSTC Issues Request For Proposals For Storied Forest Hills Tennis Stadium - RFPC Seeks Preservation-Friendly Partners For WSTC

On 8/1/11, the West Side Tennis Club issued a Request For Proposals, appealing to developers on potential ideas for redevelopment of our iconic Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. Since Cord Meyer's condo plan was rejected in Oct 2010 by a majority of voting-eligible members, there is now a greater opportunity to preserve & reuse the stadium. Nevertheless, we learned that Cord Meyer Development is once again interested in the stadium and plans to respondto the Request For Proposals. A tour for potential suitors will be on August 15th. 
It is the hope of Rego-Forest Preservation Council and citizens alike, that Cord Meyer will not submit any proposal to alter or demolish our internationally-recognized stadium. Not only would that obliterate a site of historic firsts, but crush an opportunity to landmark, restore, and creatively reuse it as a mixed-use 21st century venue that could be use for tennis, subdued concerts, music & art festivals, charity events, weddings, graduations, school trips, etc. We need to safeguard historic character, boost jobs, and help our local business corridors, and not hinder it. Yes to a destination... No to typical condos. The Stadium Committee of the WSTC will review new proposals in early Oct 2011. 
On August 3rd, Journalist Dawn Wotapka of the Wall Street Journal covered this issue, which features an interview with Chairman Michael Perlman of Rego-Forest Preservation Council: