Historic House Tour Comes To Flushing

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

This December, you will have the chance to learn about the Borough’s most historic houses.

The Queens Historical Society will hold the 26th iteration of its annual Holiday Historic House Tour on Dec. 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. The event will take attendees to seven historic sites throughout Flushing, educating them about each location and its unique history.

Attendees will visit the sites on two trolleys, one which will loop around all seven destinations and one which will take people back and forth between the Louis Armstrong House Museum, which is in Corona, and Flushing Town Hall.

According to Rob MacKay, director of the Queens Tourism Council, more than 100 tickets have already been sold.
“This tour is a perfect example of holiday magic. Plus, it’s a great way to learn about our borough’s past,” MacKay said. “This tour defines the word ‘enrichment,’ and I can’t wait to bring my daughters.”

The tour will begin at Kingsland Homestead, the home of the Queens Historical Society. The house was occupied by the same family from 1785 until the 1930s. There will be musical performances and a holiday gift shop sale throughout the day.

The Voelker Orth Museum dates back to 1891 and is known as the home to three generations of one Queens family. Piano performances will take place all afternoon. The Lewis H. Latimer House Museum was home to the African-American inventor of the same name. It will have an open house and traditional holiday refreshments for the tour. The Friends Meeting House, built in 1694, is the first house of worship in Flushing and the City’s oldest structure in continuous use for religious purposes. The band, John Scardina & Friends, will play at the site.

Flushing Town Hall, built in 1862, has been a cultural and political touchstone in Flushing since its origin. It has seen visits from presidents and Frederick Douglass, held murder trials and been a performance space for operas. The Bowne House is known as a key site in the struggle for religious freedom. At 1:30 p.m., it will hold a talk on traditional American Christmas customs. The Louis Armstrong House Museum became the permanent home of the jazz musician, starting in 1943. Rare audio clips of Armstrong’s personal recordings will be played for visitors.

“Satchmo loved celebrating Christmas, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum is thrilled to be a part of the tour for the first time in the 26-year history of this holiday program,” Armstrong House marketing director Jennifer Walden said.

Tickets can be ordered in advance for $10 at holidayhousetour2013.eventbrite.com. General admission on the day of the tour is also available for $12 at any of the sites being visited. The tour is free for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult.

For more information, call the Queens Historical Society at (718) 939-0647, ext. 17.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.