Maspeth Fire House fails to meet Landmarks Commission criteria

A historical postcard featuring the Maspeth Firehouse courtesy of the Juniper Park Civic Association

Advocates behind the push to establish the Maspeth Firehouse as an official city landmark hit another setback after the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected their proposal for a second time.

Steve and Maxine Fisher, a brother and sister who have been leading the effort to preserve the firehouse, received a letter dated July 16 from Landmarks Preservation Commission Director of Research Mary Beth Betts earlier this week informing them of the bad news.

The firehouse, which currently houses Hazmat 1 and Squad 288, doubles as a 9/11 Memorial since 19 first responders from the station died in the wake of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. But that is not the only reason the Fishers want to establish landmark status at the firehouse.

While the Fishers admit there is nothing necessarily exceptional about the architectural design of the relatively plain brick building, they say the building, which turned 100 this year, is a significant landmark to the Maspeth community and believe that ought to be enough.

In her letter, Betts said, “A site must be more than 30 years old, and the [September 11] monument does not meet this eligibility criteria.”

The Fishers immediately sent a reply to Betts’ letter encouraging her to reconsider her position given the age of the structure, rather than evaluating the site as a 9/11 Memorial only.

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