A historic district in Douglaston may get six of its old street names reinstated soon under a proposal before the City Council.
Area historic and civic groups have been asking the city for the change for years. Former Councilman Tony Avella got the ball rolling two years ago and sitting Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) is following up with a bill.
At issue are six streets in the Douglaston Hill historic district. The original names — Prospect, Hamilton, Orient, Church, Pine and Poplar — date back to 1853.
Bill Sievers of the Douglaston-Little Neck Historical Society has been pushing for the change. “We would love to see this happen,” Sievers said. “It would cap the landmark designation for Douglaston Hill by using the original names.”
He indicated that Douglaston Hill residents overwhelmingly favor the return of the original street names.
Halloran’s representative as well as Sievers, Eliott Socci, president of the Douglaston Civic Association, and several members of Community Board 11 spoke in favor of the proposal at a recent meeting of the council’s Parks and Recreation Committee. The committee did not vote on the issue at its Wednesday, Feb. 29 meeting due to a technicality. Halloran will have to reintroduce a corrected version for approval.
“The bill pays homage to the neighborhood’s history by restoring street names to the way they were hundreds of years ago,” the councilman said. “At a miniscule cost to the city, this bill will go a long way to preserving our community’s heritage and history.”
The street names were changed more than 100 years ago, when the city decided that numbering them was easier and more efficient, Halloran pointed out.
The councilman says he also has the support of Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-Queens, Nassau) and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside).