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Hi Jeffrey! Thank you very much for your help!!!
Does anyone have a phone number or e-mail address for the Rock Community Church, which is housed in the Elmwood Theatre? Please post or e-mail
Sadly, everything revolves around money and politics. This is a horrendous shame!!! They have so much $$$, why couldn’t they have restored/rebuilt the facade in its entirety, & incorporated that into the project? I admire the interior space, but what good is it without the facade? IT’S A HEAD WITH AN EXTRACTED BRAIN!!!!!!!
It is purely ironic as to how society of today supposed to be soooo technologically advanced, but in the meantime, they can’t build with much attention to intricate detail & precision. Today the motto for most buildings is “I’ll throw up a bunch of bricks, glass, steel, and what-not, & build my CONCRETE JUNGLE even higher than the Joneses!”
I’ve attended several local preservation gatherings & other events, where Borough Pres. Helen Marshall strolls in during the middle, poses for the media (or for the record), and then leaves as quickly as she came, like a pop-up. This proves that it’s only about politics. She would save a lot of time if she “posed behind the glass curtain,” as you stated in a corresponding posting.
My ultimate point is that besides a few board members and politicians, leave land use and landmarking issues up to the people. They are the majority. They numerously trace their footsteps. And for the newcomers, a lesson in history wouldn’t hurt. WE THE PEOPLE!!! Flushing certainly needs more congestion and over-development to eradicate our priceless history! SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!
SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My friend, Michael Manchiso, I love your “People who pretend to care about landmarks” analogy. Perhaps THEY will be Chuck’s idea of a landmark in generations to come. Nothing reminiscent about a glass curtain!
Hi Ed! To answer your question, landmarking would automatically apply to the exterior of the Elmwood, unless the interior was emphasized in a Request For Evaluation (RFE) form.
Enjoying my trip down memory lane!!!
Hi Jeffrey (& other Cinema Treasures fans)! Thank you very much for a great contribution. What a treasure! It is remarkable as to how little the facade has changed over the past 3 decades. Recently, the new owners removed aluminum siding to reveal the original facade on the first story. After I finish pursuing my Committee To Save The Trylon Theater preservation effort, I will try to assist the owners of the Elmwood in the restoration of the exterior & nomination for the Nat'l Register of Historical Places, which may assist them with grants & tax credits. The NY Landmarks Conservancy has some worthwhile programs as well. At some point, I hope to convince the LPC to designate this unique gem!!! My fellow members should encourage the same.
Letters to the editor of the Queens Tribune concerning the Trylon (Week of 11/17):
To The Editor:
In response to Jeff Feinmanâ€™s article, entitled â€œBukharians Plan To Preserve Trylon,â€ that was published on the week of Nov. 3-9, the committee would like to voice their opinion.
It is very shocking, frustrating, and wrongful of Education Center for Russian Jewry director, Nahum Kaziev, to accuse The Committee To Save The Trylon Theater of a â€œhate movement.â€ On Oct. 23rd, NYC residents, historical societies, and community groups, gathered in solidarity for a lawful and peaceful expression of their concerns. Our points were as follows:
The Trylon is a rare surviving Art Deco treasure that is worthy of preservation and official landmark status, and should be restored. This refers to the presently intact facade and glass block projection tower (which once illuminated Queens Boulevard), and calls for a restoration of all facade elements, including the marquee and mosaic-tiled entrance pavilion;
That the proposed use for the property is commendable, and through creative planning, the Trylon can accommodate it without the sacrifice of its architectural beauty;
The Education Center for Russian Jewry is a much-needed center for the growing Bukharian community, but they should be willing to work with us, hand in hand, and listen to our concerns;
That the broad coalition of support for saving the Trylon should be recognized and not ignored;
That New Yorkâ€™s Art Deco architecture and art, once disparaged, is truly a major part of our 20th century heritage and deserves to be treated with respect.
How does encouraging landmarking, preservation, restoration, and adaptive re-use, come anywhere near discrimination?
Addressing Mr. Kaziev, the reason â€œno backlash ensued when treasured theaters such as the Elmwood and Valencia were converted into churches,â€ was because the new owners preserved and restored their facades.
The title of the article is also very misleading. The Education Center for Russian Jewry plans to preserve very few elements of the theater (stage, balcony, and air-conditioning system). How does saving the 5-year old air-conditioning system bear any significance towards preserving an architectural, cultural, and historical gem?
As much as we are in favor of having some interior aspects preserved and/or donated to a local museum for safekeeping, we are ultimately in favor of having the exterior preserved and landmarked, since it represents a major part of our 20th century heritage. It pays homage to the 1939 Worldâ€™s Fair, and is responsible for the transition which led to a new wave of immigrants to set foot in America. Why canâ€™t the Trylon be an educational resource for the Russian Jewry, and a prime example of how we can assimilate our cultures and values?
Our request for a meeting with the project team has been completely blocked, making it impossible for any dialogue between the Education Center for Russian Jewry and the community. If we canâ€™t work hand-in-hand with this public facility now, does this foreshadow their bond with the community once it opens?
Committee To Save The Trylon Theater
Irony appears in different ways: The Trylon Theater in Forest Hills, a legacy of the 1939 Worldâ€™s Fair and an architectural treasure, has been the focus of citizens concerned about the preservation of the theater as part of Queens history as well as architectural history.
Enter irony: The Bukharan Jewish Community is currently dismantling the Trylon for a youth center. Bukharan spokesman Nokhim Kozio referred to the preservation efforts of the Trylon as a â€œhate movement.â€
To justify destruction of a significant historical structure along racist lines is offensive, misguided and shocking.
The following article has relevance towards saving our treasures, including the Trylon Theater & several other theaters. It’s entitled “CM Perkins Seeks To Amend Landmarks Law.” City-wide preservation advocates met on Mon, Nov 15th to testify in City Hall, & discuss their point of view on Perkins' proposed Landmarks Hearing Bill. Most were in favor of the new legislation. A Queens Ledger article can be accessed as follows:
The following is my reaction to the bill & the hearing:
It is true that the LPC might have as half as many commissioners in 2005, and they may lack adequate funding to grant every landmark worthy structure a hearing. Rather than the city allocating an excessive amount of funds towards demolition, why can’t preservation-oriented funds exceed that rate, to safeguard priceless structures? A landmark is in the eyes of the majority, and it is of utmost importance for the LPC to hold fair hearings on worthy buildings, determined by the bulk of citywide preservationists' consent. In addition, buildings on the Nat'l Register should be granted a hearing. True Democracy ensures that the people would have a say in government. It is inexcusable and unforgivable for the LPC to ignore the public. At this point, too much power lies in the LPC, which terminates in the demolition of our buildings & BELOVED THEATERS!!! If this “denial of a hearing” trend continues, slowly but surely, a rather large percentage of our heritage will be eradicated, like chalk from a blackboard. The Trylon Theater in Forest Hills, paints a picture of the ‘39 World’s Fair and 66 years of sentiments. The Trylon Theater clearly qualifies under all conditions (architecturally, historically, culturally), and the majority’s consent, as an official landmark.
Check out some superb coverage of the Sun, Oct 23rd “Rally To Save The Trylon Theater!” The article is entitled “Residents Rally To Save A Controversial Movie House: Last Art Deco Theater In Queens.” It is featured in the Times NewsWeekly (Week of Oct. 27th), written by Robert Pozarycki, & can be accessed as follows. This is the UPDATED link:
Hi! I have tried contacting many celebrities, informing them about the Committee To Save The Trylon Theater’s endeavors. However, most of the time, I only reach a secretary, who doesn’t relay the message. Can you please give me some other tips? Do you know of anyone who might have some connections? Thank you!
Interesting story, Ed! Thank you for sharing it!!! It will be great to find out what they unearth while attempting to restore the Elmwood to its original Queensboro design. I will try to assist them in the near future, after my Committee To Save The Trylon Theater’s endeavors. The Elmwood is a local landmark, but technically speaking, every building is especially endangered in Queens, without official landmark status. My committee will encourage it to be designated!!!
Check out some superb coverage of the Sun, Oct 23rd “Rally To Save The Trylon Theater!” The article is entitled “Residents Rally To Save A Controversial Movie House: Last Art Deco Theater In Queens.” It is featured in the Times NewsWeekly (Week of Oct. 27th), written by Robert Pozarycki, & can be accessed as follows:
The article says 15 people attended, but those were actually the participants who posed for the photo. At least 50 people participated throughout the hour. Rather than having a second rally, we hope to negotiate at a sit-down meeting. If no compromise is reached, we are committed to take further action. We will continue to encourage landmarking for this rare surviving cultural icon!!!
Why should a significant part of our 20th century heritage be eliminated, eradicated, & exterminated with the jackhammer, & be tossed in the wastebasket??? The LPC needs to act more independently, since a politician’s approval for a hearing is not an official law, and the politicians should stop using an area with so much history, as their “ECONOMIC WASTELAND!”
An easier link to access the Trylon rally article in the Preservation (online) NTHP publication:
An article entitled “Preservationists March To Save The Trylon Theater” with subtitle “Protestors blast Katz!” came out in the FH Ledger: View link
(For copyright issues, I can’t post the article here. You have to register to view it. It’s free.) Photos aren’t visible online.
The following is in the Queens Chronicle: View link
Other articles that came out were in the Qns Courier (Page 8) & the FH Times/Qns Ledger/Examiner/Leader Observer, and the Times NewsWeekly.
CONTACTS UPDATE: SAVE THE ‘39 TRYLON THEATER!!! – HOW YOU CAN HELP DESIGNATE IT A LANDMARK
You can help by sending certified letters &/or e-mails to BOTH:
Councilwoman Melinda Katz
104-01 Metropolitan Ave
Forest Hills, N.Y. 11375-6735
Mr. Robert Tierney, Chairman
c/o NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre St, 9th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007
Key points that should be addressed:
Trylon Theater historical significance
Personal insight (including Melinda Katz’s views on landmarking. There’s also a still active stop work order)
The fact in which you’re not opposed to the Education Center’s occupancy, but the Trylon’s historical integrity MUST be respected (20th century heritage building).
Halt further demolition, restore what was lost during the dismantling of entrance pavilion, etc, and ensure preservation of this truly rare icon, by designating the Trylon Theater a LANDMARK!
For additional background info:
The Art Deco/Moderne 1939 Trylon Theater (98-81 Queens Blvd. Forest Hills, N.Y.) is currently under heavy alteration, as it is being converted into an Education Center for the Russian Jewry. It
is one of the last standing structures which has a strong architectural, cultural, & historical significance to the 1939 World’s Fair, with its “Trylon & Perisphere” monuments. The Landmarks Preservation Commission was in favor of designating the Trylon Theater a landmark, but when Councilwoman Melinda Katz opposed, the Landmarks Preservation Commission was reluctant to designate it. Now, in a 10/6 Newsday article, Melinda Katz said she is “powerless when it comes to landmarking decisions.” Also, in a 9/29 Queens Chronicle article, Katz said that “any issues regarding the Trylon’s landmarking, should be taken up with the LPC, which is
where the process begins.” Another dilemma is a construction violation & a stop work order as of April 11, 2005. Even though the stop work order is still active, demolition men ignored the order, &
on July 26, 2005, they gutted the interior and the entrance pavilion. It featured hand-painted cloth murals, an inlaid mosaic floor & ticket booth with the Trylon monument memorialized. As of now, October 2005, the only fairly intact features are: the marquee, the Art Deco facade, & the glass block projection tower, which once illuminated Queens Blvd.
RALLY COVERAGE: We landed a great article on October 24th in “Preservation (Online),” published by the National Trust For Historic Preservation. The story is by Meghan Hogan, & it’s entitled “Supporters of Queens Theater (Trylon) Hold Rally”: (Put in Trylon in general search if the page moves or the current link becomes inactive)
Reporter Nicholas Hirshon of the Daily News also composed a wonderful article on October 25th, entitled “Battle To Save A Legend: Protest Seeks Landmark Status For Trylon Theater.” It can be accessed as follows:
It made the front page of the Queens section, but the photo isn’t visible online. The photo shows participants marching with signs stating the following:
-Trylon Trashed: Restore What Was Lost!
-66 Years Standing Proud!
-Now Playing: “Gone With The Jackhammer” at the Trylon Theater!!!
-Now Playing: “Nightmare on Queens Boulevard!"
-A Queens Landmark To Be Cherished…NOT demolished!
-Last standing ‘39 World’s Fair Art Deco treasure!
-LPC: Grant the Trylon a fair hearing (This is a democracy!)
-Councilwoman Katz: Meet with your constituents now!!!
…& many more!!!!!!!
The Oct 23rd RALLY TO SAVE THE 1939 TRYLON THEATER had a succesful turnout. It featured community residents (including the Rego Park Group), good semaritans from neighboring boroughs, as well as historical societies, & media coverage.
Speeches were delivered by the following: Michael, Mr. Trylon/founder of “The Committee To Save The Trylon,” & my co-founder, Sonia. Also, Glen Leiner, Executive Director of the Art Deco Society of N.Y., & Mitchell Grubler, Executive Director of the Queens Historical Society. The Theater Historical Society of America also supported our effort, as well as the Four Boroughs Preservation Alliance, the Historic Districts Council, & Nancy Cataldi, President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society. I would also like to thank David Oats & his wife, World’s Fair historians. Media coverage: NY Post, Daily News, Times NewsWeekly, Queens Chronicle, Queens Ledger/FH Times/Queens Examiner. Check it out this week!
WE ALL ACHIEVED A GREAT EFFORT TOWARDS PRESERVATION. THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. We will continue, since the Trylon (& other significant structures which paint a picture of the history of Queens & NYC) deserves some JUSTICE! As I stated earlier, the LPC (Chairman Robert Tierney) not granting a fair & adequate hearing, & Councilwoman Melinda Katz ignoring the requests of her community/constituents, violates our Democratic rights. WE MUST WORK IN UNISON TO PRESERVE OUR 20TH CENTURY HERITAGE. WE MUST ALL REMEMBER: VICTORY IS DETERMINATION!!!
WRITE LETTERS TO LPC CHAIRMAN TIERNEY, COUNCILWOMAN MELINDA KATZ, & MAYOR BLOOMBERG ASAP to support landmarking of this highly endangered, rare iconic gem of a theater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The demolition men jackhammered the mosaic tiles on the ticket booth & inlaid floor, both which depicted the Trylon monument. They could have at the very least, left it intact, donated it to a museum, or installed the ticket booth/floor in another theater. The marquee is mostly intact, but decaying daily, since leaks are never repaired. Shame on them for erasing a history that pays tribute to a national treasure!!!
The hand-painted cloth murals were located on both sides of the Trylon Theater’s stage. Holes were puched through murals! Councilwoman Melinda Katz said that many of the theater’s historical features would be donated to museums & historical societies, but no institution or society that I’m working with received anything. The theater’s inlaid mosaic tiles could have at least been salvaged or donated to a local museum as well.
Getting back to the murals, triumphant figures were hand-painted, to illustrate the theme of the 1939 World’s Fair, “The World of Tomorrow.” Exhibits were intended to emphasize how technology would improve life for all cultures in years to come. It totally did NOT predict vandalism of artwork, committed by the workers at the site! Destruction of something iconic as this is an outcry for preservationists, & all concerned residents, & “crimes against culture (20th century heritage) certainly wasn’t a prediction either.
Come to the RALLY TO SAVE & LANDMARK THE TRYLON THEATER on Sunday, October 23rd from 2 PM to 3 PM. It will be at 98-81 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills. Compared to now, the Trylon was fairly intact when it closed in 1999. A preservation-minded re-se strategy can be achieved, & we’re confident that the site can be adapted for the Educational Center For Russian Jewry, the current owner!
Thank you for the photo links, Warren! If you look on page 21 of the Oct 17th NY Post, you will see an article entitled “Paradise Regained,” with a GRAND photo of the restored interior of Bronx’s Loew’s Paradise Theatre. http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/55515.htm Hot off the press & a theatergoer’s/history enthusiast’s splendor!!!! Loew’s Paradise has already been restored, & a victory is achieved!!!
Carpooling & attending the October 29th gala is a superb idea, but I wouldn’t be able to. I’m sure it will attract a decent crowd. I have no official memories of Loew’s Paradise, but my father always speaks highly of it, & from photos, it’s a delightful PARADISE!!!
URGENT: TRYLON THEATER RALLY
DATE: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23rd
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Trylon Theater; 98-81 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, N.Y.
**Points of the rally:
1. LANDMARK the ‘39 Trylon Theater; a last standing structure which bears strong significance to the 1939 World’s Fair.
2. PRESERVE the presently intact Art Deco facade, glass block projection tower (which once illuminated Queens Blvd.), & the marquee.
3. RESTORE what was lost during a summer 2005 conversion, despite an active construction violation & stop work order since April 2005.
4. ADAPT the site for the Education Center For Russian Jewry, with a preservation-minded re-use strategy, rather than demolition.
Participants: Historians, preservationists, community residents, as well as residents of neighboring boroughs, politicians, possible FH celebrities, the media, & members of The Committee To Save The Trylon Theater.
For Trylon Theater then & now visuals, please follow these 2 links: http://cinematreasures.org/news/13577_0_1_0_C/
To sign the Trylon Theater petition, click or paste the following: www.PetitionOnline.com/Trylon/petition.html
FOR MORE RALLY INFO, CONTACT: (212) 679-DECO or
Thank you, Maureen. Good luck to you too!!! (Some people are either so clueless as to what bonds the generations, or they’re just greedy.) Wishing you all the best with your preservation endeavors! ;–)
DATE: Sunday, October 23rd
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Trylon Theater; 98-81 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, N.Y.
Greetings Trylon fans!
The latest article that came out was today’s, Oct 6th article in Newsday, entitled “Theater Reeling In Controversy.” It can be accessed as follows:
My take is as follows:
*Please pay close attention to the wording of the article, & the complexity of the Trylon issue on various levels (Katz, Kaziev, DOB, LPC). In a Queens Chronicle & FH Ledger article last week, spokeswoman Jennifer Givner of the DOB stated that the April 2005 stop work order & construction violations were “probably” lifted already. Now, for this aticle, she states that the “order will likely be lifted soon.” Can’t she make up her mind??? Kaziev said not much was salvageable & the Trylon was vandalized. (The demolition men of course made it look vandalized, since prior to their work in July, all the mosaic tiles & significant features were almost intact from ‘39. I pass it everyday!) Notice how Kaziev also said the theater is being “RESTORED to its former glory.” Who’s he kidding? When it’s too late & they manipulate the now intact facade prior to Dec 10th (when the bizarre permit expires)??? Other articles said the facade will undergo a complete reconstruction shortly. Notice how on Katz’s level, she tries defending herself in regard to the Trylon’s landmarking issue, by saying that she “was trying to push the LPC for years to designate Richmond Hill & 10 blocks in Kew Gardens, but they designated the Ralph Bunche House instead. Why change the subject? Hmm… (In regard to the Ralph Bunche House, she made it difficult for the LPC to designate, but they did anyway). After all, M. Katz said she’s "powerless,” when it comes to landmarking decisions. Then why won’t the LPC grant any designations without the approval or “blessings of a councilmember” as the LPC stated in the NY Times article? M. Katz sure is integral regarding the Trylon landmarking scenario, & that’s a major burden (we have all the proof)!!! The LPC should have a mind of its own!