BY TRONE DOWD
The John Bowne House
37-01 Bowne St, Flushing
Known to be the oldest standing building in the borough, the John Bowne House in Flushing holds a significant part of American history. Built in 1661, Bowne, a Quaker man, used the home as a safe haven for practitioners of the faith as well as church meetings.
Unfortunately for him, this ultimately resulted in his arrest just a year later. However, his fight to appeal his prison sentence was won in a significant fashion. It not only set the precedent of religious tolerance, a principal that would have tremendous effect on the world centuries later, but it would be an essential part of the American revolution and the very foundation of the United States today.
Today, John Bowne’s house is a museum that is both recognized by the country as an historical place of significance and as a New York City Landmark.
Louis Armstrong House in Corona
34-56 107th St, Corona
Similar to the home that belonged to civil rights great Malcolm X, the famous Armstrong house was where America’s favorite Jazz couple Louis and Lucille resided for the majority of their lives. The couple bought the home in 1943, living in the heart of what is often referred to as “Black Corona.”
The home has since been turned into a museum, fully and lovingly restored to immaculate condition and doubles as a great tribute to one of mankind’s finest contributors to the art of music. Be sure to listen out for exclusive recordings made by the late great Armstrong that softly plays as patrons tour the home.
Malcolm X House in East Elmhurst
23-11 97th St. in East Elmhurst
Malcolm X is remembered for the legacy he left behind at the revolutionary rhetoric concerning the state of race relations in 1960’s America. The fact that the civil rights leader resided in New York City’s largest borough is often times forgotten.
It was in the heart of the historically African American community of East Elmhurst that Malcolm X, his wife Betty Shabaaz and the couple’s four daughters resided at the height of X’s influence. The house has been described in The New York Times as a modest home for its time, featuring “a small living room, a dining room, two tiny bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen.”
Today, X’s home serves as one of the most iconic historic houses in the borough. It has since become a museum in memory of the late pioneer in the push for equal rights.
King Manor in Jamaica
150-03 Jamaica Ave, Jamaica
Before the property was purchased by abolitionist Rufus King in 1805, it was built in the 18th century and took 22 years to construct. However, when King took over the Manor making it his home, it became a symbol for something greater.
King was an advocate for the end of slavery, member of the Confederation Congress and one of the framers for the original U.S. Constitution. During his time in the political scene, King was also a senator, an ambassador to England and even ran for the oval office. As one of America’s earliest renaissance men, King has left behind a legacy that many from all over the New York City area come to observe firsthand at his historical house in Jamaica.
King Manor is home to fun programs that parents and kids alike can enjoy, as well as a great way to educate yourself on the life of Rufus King and the Southeast Queens area during the 19th century.