The Elks Lodge doesn’t rate with Landmarks Preservation Commission

By Bill Parry

The Elks Lodge building in Court Square will not be landmarked.

In a letter sent to state Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood) last week, Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan explained the structure at 21-42 44th Drive did not merit landmark status because of its “comparative lack of historic and architectural significance relative to other landmarked clubhouses.”

Long Island City’s art community turned out last month at the location to protest against developers Alwest Equities and Planet Partners because they illegally altered the decorative facade of the building a week after neighborhood residents renewed efforts to have the property landmarked. The three-story building was purchased by the developers for $8.5 million and plans were filed for its demolition to make way for a luxury condominium.

“I an disappointed by the decision of the NYC Landmarks Commission to not landmark the Elks lodge,” Nolan said. “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. 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 reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.