BY LUIS GRONDA
The brother-sister duo that has led the push to landmark the Maspeth firehouse appears to have given up the cause.
For the past year and a half, Steve and Maxine Fisher have been pushing for the Landmark Preservation Commission to consider the Maspeth firehouse, located at 59-29 68th St., as an official City landmark.
The reasoning for the consideration, according to Steve, is two-fold: the firehouse has long been a staple in the community, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and because of the historical significance the firehouse has on the tragic events of 9/11. Nineteen firefighters who were stationed at that firehouse lost their lives responding to the planes crashing the Twin Towers 13 years ago.
According to Steve, they have sent multiple requests to the LPC’s research staff to evaluate the building for possible consideration. But they have been rejected each time because it does not meet the agency’s criteria for landmark designation.
According to a letter sent to Fisher earlier this year, the firehouse does not meet its requirements because of its “architectural significance.” They also said that Landmarks Law requires an event attached to a site to be older than 30 years for it to be considered.
Steve said they, with the backing of Community Board 5, have asked LPC to waive that second requirement but the agency has told them they cannot do that.
“We feel that we shouldn’t have to wait until 2031 to determine if it’s historically significant,” Steve said.
The LPC sent them another response to an inquiry late last month, rejecting the proposal again. Fisher sent out an email with the latest update, effectively giving up the pursuit of landmarking the firehouse.
“But with this latest letter from the LPC, we feel quite defeated in our quest. From our standpoint, unless our elected officials and community leaders can take action that would influence the LPC’s position, there isn’t anything else that we can think of to do,” he wrote in the email.
Fisher said they have done all they can do and they do not know what the next step is for this project, if there is any.
“Me and my sister feel like we’re at a dead end now,” Steve said.
He added that while there’s a chance that building could one day be turned into apartments, the landmark designation would at least force it to retain much of exterior if it was no longer a fire house.
The LPC did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, ext. 127, email@example.com or @luisgronda.