2012-02-24 / Community

FR Bungalows Receive Preservation Recognition

By Miriam Rosenberg


In 2008 the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association hosted a tour of the bungalows from Beach 24 to Beach 26 Streets. (see 10/10/2008 issue – bottom photo) In 2008 the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association hosted a tour of the bungalows from Beach 24 to Beach 26 Streets. (see 10/10/2008 issue – bottom photo) A group that advocates for the preservation of historic buildings and neighborhoods has given the bungalows in Far Rockaway recognition as an area that should be preserved.

Last month the Historic Districts Council (HDC), New York’s city wide advocate for historic buildings and neighborhoods, revealed its annual Six To Celebrate list. On that list HDC names six historic New York City neighborhoods, that merit preservation, as priorities for the agency’s advocacy and consultation over a year-long period. The local area given the distinct designation is the group of bungalows just off the boardwalk on Beach 24 through Beach 26 Streets. As a result, HDC will help the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association (BBPA) to work for the preservation of the bungalows.


The Historic District Council’s Six to Celebrate event on January 18 at the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan. Pictured are: Mary E. Hurson, secretary of the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association; S. C. Samoy, BBPA president; Barbara Cohn Schlachet, Ph.D., and Bill Mitchell, BBPA members. The Historic District Council’s Six to Celebrate event on January 18 at the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan. Pictured are: Mary E. Hurson, secretary of the Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association; S. C. Samoy, BBPA president; Barbara Cohn Schlachet, Ph.D., and Bill Mitchell, BBPA members. “This will help us with our efforts to save what is left of the bungalows in Far Rockaway,” said S.C. Samoy, the president of the BBPA.

Since the official announcement last month, with the help of HDC, the Rockaway organization discovered the Jeffe Preservation Fund of New York City. BBPA submitted an application for a grant that included letters of recommendation from the executive director of HDC, Simeon Bankoff, and Councilman James Sanders Jr. If the application is accepted, the money would be used to pay for the services of Nancy Solomon of Long Island Traditions. Solomon has been hired to guide BBPA through the nomination process, first, to get the bungalows on the National Registry and later on the State Registry.

“It is a step to preservation in getting the bungalows recognized on the National Register,” said Samoy. “Hopefully it helps in New York City landmarking the area.”

While many of the bungalows have had some renovation, if New York City considered landmarking, Samoy said, hopefully these changes could be grandfathered in.

“It is good to have their [HDC] backing,” said Samoy, who touted their expertise in working to preserve areas of importance all over the city. “They are the biggest advocate for New York City neighborhoods. … They help brainstorm ideas.”

While landmarking is overseen by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, a National Register district is recognized through the U.S. Department of the Interior and administered by the New York State Historic Preservation Office.

In addition, Bankoff told The Wave that his organization can help in community outreach and public awareness as well as open the door for “financial and tax incentives for rehabilitation as well as other funding.”

HDC was founded in 1971. According to a press release, the six neighborhoods chosen for 2012 came from applications submitted by neighborhood groups around the city on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat to the neighborhood, strength and willingness of the local advocates, and where HDC’s citywide preservation perspective and assistance could be the most meaningful. Throughout 2012, HDC will work with these neighborhood partners to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs and publicity.

The other neighborhoods recognized in this year’s Six To Celebrate list are Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; Morningside Heights, Manhattan; Port Morris Gantries, the Bronx; Van Corlandt Village, the Bronx; and Victorian Flatbush, Brooklyn. The bungalows in the targeted area were built between 1918 and 1921. Renewed interest in Rockaway’s bungalow colonies resulted from the Jennifer Callahan and Elizabeth Logan Harris documentary, “The Bungalows of Rockaway,” which aired on PBS, originally in September 2010.

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