Jan 17, By Christian Murray
The controversial plan to develop a former playground site within the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District was rejected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission this week, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
The proposal, which called for the construction of eight residential units—behind an architecturally significant aluminaire house–on the corner of 39th Avenue and 50th Street was voted down this week.
“The decision was a complete rejection of the aluminaire house,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “It was very clear that it was not a good fit … to plop down that house in this neighborhood.”
Landmarks also had some issues with the construction of the eight housing units, although the details were not known at publication.”They could technically respond [to the housing component] but the aluminaire house is not happening,” Van Bramer said.
The aluminaire house– which was built in 1931 as a prototype for affordable housing– would have occupied a portion of the playground site and would have essentially been an architectural museum piece. The adjacent residential units would have been clad with terracotta-colored panels, with a brick pattern.
The developer’s plans, presented by Michael Schwarting, an architect with Campani and Schwarting Architects, were criticized from the moment they were announced last summer.
“Victories like this one cannot be understated,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris. This is particularly the case, he said, since “We seek to preserve the character of our neighborhoods as more and more people flock to western Queens.”