Longtime Deputy Queens Borough President Peter Magnani remembered as ‘true public servant’

Titus tours Arverne Library
Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante (r.) goes over plans for the Arverne Library’s renovations with state Assemblywoman Michelle Titus as Peter Magnani, director of capital facilities and management for Queens Library, looks on. (QNS file photo by Howard Koplowitz)

Nearly a year after former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman passed away, a key figure in her trailblazing administration has died.

Corona native and longtime Jackson Heights resident Peter Magnani, who served as deputy borough president from 1986 to 2001, was remembered as an “indispensable force for the public good,” by Councilman Barry Grodenchik, who served with him on Shulman’s staff.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said Magnani was a “true public servant, in every sense of the word, dedicating his life to strengthening our communities and uplifting our families.”

Richards noted his 15-year career in the borough president’s office as well as his “influential tenure” at the Queens Public Library and the Queens office of the New York City Department of City Planning.

“Peter woke up every day determined to make his beloved Jackson Heights and the ‘World’s Borough’ as a whole a stronger, more vibrant place to call home. His legacy will live on across Queens for decades to come,” Richards said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Peter’s wife, Dot, his children, Kirsten and Ian, and all who loved him during this difficult time.”

Magnani spent his early career as an architect having studied at City University, Columbia University and Pratt Institute.

Before joining Shulman’s administration at Borough Hall, Magnani was involved in planning projects such as the 9.2-million-square-foot Queens West mixed-use waterfront development in Hunters Point that transformed factories and warehouses to the luxury high-rise towers on Center Boulevard.

At Borough Hall, he helped coordinate projects including the construction of Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica, the Langston Hughes Library in Corona and the Flushing Library.

Former Borough President and current Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz served with Magnani and Grodenichik during Shulman’s tenure as Queens borough president.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of Peter Magnani’s passing,” Katz said. “He was a dedicated deputy borough president and I am grateful that we were able to work closely together under the late Claire Shulman. His commitment to the betterment of Queens, and Queens residents, shined through his work that he performed on a daily basis. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and loved ones at this time.”