Letters to the Editor
(Readers are encouraged to submit letters by e-mailing us at: Contact@Kewgardenscivic.org or by mail to KGCA, 105 82nd Road, Kew Gardens, NY 11415-1422)
SAVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD NOW!
7/26/2009
To Whom it May Concern,
    My name is Santiago Preciado. I am 15 years old. I have lived in Kew Gardens for much of my life, and as a person who loves architecture, I am deeply saddened by the new and architecturally unsound buildings that are going up in our neighborhood. These new buildings and developments do not go well with the architecture of our neighborhood, and I feel that as more residents sell off their properties, more of these type of developments will rise. For example, there is a newly finished building on 116th street near Metropolitan Avenue (just behind the Dunkin' Donuts) that I see every day. This building is highly disturbing, mostly since it is so close to beautiful houses (especially Nobel Prize winner Ralph Bunche's house at 115-24 Grosvenor Road). The building does not even fit with the surrounding architecture. It has a large wall facing Metropolitan Avenue which is distressing to the eye. Another example of these sort of developments that are going up is one on Cuthbert Road (84-03 Cuthbert Road), right next to the Homestead Building, one of the few symbols left of Kew Gardens' prized architecture. This building, similar to the one on 116th street, is architecturally unsound, and is equally distressing to the eye. I was wondering how we all, as residents of this beautiful neighborhood, could do something to prevent such new developments from being constructed. I feel Kew Gardens should stay the garden community that it was meant to be, and should not be damaged just because of its proximity to various transportation facilities. Please respond to this concern of mine. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Santiago Preciado,
Distressed resident

Dear Mr. Preciado,
    Your sentiments are shared by much of the community, and the Civic Association has long expressed its sentiments on the subject. It is indeed deplorable that people who are attracted to Kew Gardens -- presumably by its trees and architecture -- then proceed to mangle the community with the kinds of development you describe. Since New York City has no prohibition or filter on the design of new or altered structures, except for declaring a building or area a Landmark, property owners are free to do as they wish within the rules of the Zoning Resolution.
    Our request to have portions of Kew Gardens to be considered for Landmarking has been so far rejected by the City's Landmarks Preservation Commission. If you read the reports on the KGCA website of some of the Annual Meetings, you will get the idea of what has been going on. In any case, we certainly appreciate your interest and expression of concern and wish that more property owners felt the same way.
---Murray H. Berger, Executive Chairman, Kew Gardens Civic Association, Inc. 7/27/2009