BY YVETTE BROWN
The Landmarks Preservation Commission turned down the request for the former Elks Lodge building in Court Square to become a landmark.
The agency reviewed 21-42 44th Drive in February 2015, and Damaris Olivo, a spokesperson for LPC, said, “they determined that it does not rise to the level of other designated early-20th-century clubhouses and Masonic buildings, such as the Elks Lodge in Elmhurst, Mecca Temple, or the main Masonic Lodge in the Ladies Mile Historic District and, therefore, does not merit landmark designation. In light of community interest, the agency re-reviewed the property in March 2016, and reached the same determination.”
According to reports, the buildings’ owners had began illegally tearing down parts of the property last month, causing outraged locals to believe that it was an attempt by the developers to prevent their landmark attempts.
The building was built in 1908 and was renovated by a renowned architect by the name of Harold Van Buren Magonigle in 1914. It was one of the original clubhouses for the Queens Elks Lodge Number 878, a local chapter of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. It was also home to the Knights of Columbus, according to DNAinfo.
“I am disappointed by the decision of the NYC Landmarks Commission to not landmark the Elks lodge. This building is truly a unique structure and its history deserves to be saved so that future generations of residents of Long Island City and Queens can continue to enjoy it,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “We are a city of neighborhoods and we must continue to preserve the character of our community that we have fought so hard to protect.”
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext.128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.