January 2018
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MAS Position on Douglaston Historic District Extension, Queens

The Municipal Art Society fully supports this designation, which furthers the work of the community and the Commission work to protect the special and irreplaceable character of the Douglaston neighborhood.

The Douglaston neighborhood represents the suburban planning ideals of the mid-nineteenth century, with tree-lined, curving streets. Today, the area showcases a variety of remarkably-intact residences, built in an array of architectural-revival styles situated on 200-ft-deep-lots in a park-like setting. The expanded district would include several significant buildings, such as the Colonial Revival style Community Church, which was built in 1923-24; the church’s complementary annex Public School building, built in 1953 and also designed in the Colonial revival style; and a Tudor-revival co-op. Of note are also a number of immaculately well-preserved 1850s farmhouses that were built to once support the original Douglas Manor.

Like the other two Douglaston districts, this extension would protect this important part of suburban Queens. Moreover, districts like the two already designated in Douglaston and the more-recently designated district in Fieldston have shown that the regulations of the Commission can be fairly and appropriately applied to single-family, detached, suburban-style homes. Without historic district designation, the cohesiveness, unique history, and social fabric of the this neighborhood remains at risk. I urge the Commission to move forward with the designation of this district and ensure that these buildings are protected like their neighbors in Douglaston.