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Queens Chronicle

Kingsland Homestead to get improvements

Flushing landmark’s windows, gutters to be fixed, but it needs painting

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Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 1:04 pm, Thu Dec 8, 2011.

The Kingsland Homestead, one of the historic sites along Flushing’s Freedom Mile, is getting a partial facelift, but more needs to be done to keep the 1785 building in proper condition.

Located at 143-35 37 Ave., the house is now the headquarters of the Queens Historical Society. Marisa Berman, the QHS executive director, said Friday a $300,000 grant from city coffers will pay for fixing 30 windows and to repair the wooden gutters and damage to the facade.

“The money was granted years ago and at that time it would have also been used to paint the house, but not now,” Berman said. “There was a lot of paperwork and approvals, so it took a long time.”

The project is being done by the Parks Department, which is expected to start the work later this month or in November. The worn windows will be removed and repaired. During that time, temporary windows will be installed.

The QHS is starting a capital campaign to raise approximately $100,000 to complete the restoration. “The entire exterior needs to be painted for cosmetic purposes as well as to better preserve the original wood,” Berman said.

She said the exact cost of the paint job is not known at this time, but is expensive because traditional methods have to be used in a historic property and that is costly. The house was last painted in the late 1980s.

Donations can be sent to the QHS at 143-35 37 Ave., Flushing, NY 11354.

The house was built by Charles Doughty shortly after the Revolutionary War and is named after Doughty’s son-in-law, Joseph King, a sea captain, who purchased the property in 1801. Descendants of the family continued to live there until the 1930s.

In 1923, a proposed subway extension threatened to destroy the house, and it was moved to the site of a nearby stable that King had built more than a century before.

When the house became endangered again by construction in 1968, the three-year-old Kingsland Preservation Committee had it moved to its present location in Weeping Beech Park, land that once belonged to Samuel Parsons, a Flushing nurseryman.

The historical society was founded in 1968 after a merger with the preservation committee.

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