Richmond Hill Historical Society Pushes Petition for City and National Historic District Designations

Richmond Hill Historical Society Pushes Petition for City and National Historic District Designations

Photo Courtesy of the Richmond Hill Historical Society

The RHHS has called historic district designation a “win-win” for Richmond Hill.

By Michael V. Cusenza

The Richmond Hill Historical Society on Friday released an email promoting its proposal for a Richmond Hill Historic District via an online petition.

“In an effort to protect and preserve Richmond Hill’s Victorian character, the Richmond Hill Historical Society will be applying for both a New York City Historic District and a National Register District,” the RHHS wrote on, petitioning the City Landmarks Preservation Commission and the State Historic Preservation Office for the designations.

A New York City Historic District is overseen by the LPC and protects the character of the district through Landmarks Law. A National Register District is administered through the NYS Historic Preservation Office.

According to the RHHS, the “boundaries we have proposed and the properties selected have been carefully considered for their contribution to creating a sense of time and place reminiscent of Queens at the turn-of-the-century. Richly textured Victorian, Queen Anne, Greek Revival, Dutch Colonial, and Tudor Revival are some of the featured architectural styles within Richmond Hill. Although our proposed historic district map will be submitted to both the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, the final boundaries, should Richmond Hill be approved, would be determined by each of those governmental bodies.”

The Society also characterized historic designation as “a win-win for Richmond Hill. By promoting a Historic District we strengthen community awareness of Richmond Hill’s place in history in the development of New York City. More importantly, establishment of such a district would celebrate and protect Richmond Hill so that future generations can marvel at its charm as we do today. In addition to the preservation benefits, there are many economic benefits as well, such as a likely increase in property values, the attraction of new businesses to the community, and an improved quality of life for all of our residents.”

Dominick Pistone, a Richmond Hill resident who supports the historic district designations, wrote that, if the community’s architecture “is not preserved, it will be destroyed and replaced with mediocre boxes or lookalike McMansions. I only regret that we can’t get the same thing going in Kew Gardens.”

The RHHS set up the petition at last month. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had garnered 466 signatures.

Additionally, the Society has organized “Living in a Historic District: What Would it Mean for You?” – a presentation and forum “to learn what living in a historic district is all about. What are the rules? Are there costs? What are the benefits? And why might it offer protection to your home and neighborhood?”

The event is scheduled for May 1, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at Msgr. Murray Auditorium, 111-02 86th Ave., Richmond Hill.


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