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Queens Chronicle

Qns. historic sites lag in competition

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Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 10:09 am, Wed May 23, 2012.

As of Tuesday none of the five Queens historic spots secured a top four position in the Partners in Preservation competition to grab a chunk of a $3 million grant. All locations held open houses on May 5 and 6 to show off their goods.

Partners in Preservation is a program headed by American Express through the National Trust for Historic Preservation — the organization created by congressional charter to preserve landmarks — to give grant money to restore historic locations. This year the organization picked New York City as its recipient. There are 40 spots vying for grant money.

The five in Queens are: Flushing Town Hall, the Rocket Thrower statue in Flushing Meadows Park, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the Queens County Farm Museum and the Astoria Pool Olympic high dive. On Tuesday the Louis Armstrong House Museum was doing the best out of the five, ranking in 11th place with 3 percent of the vote.

So how do these places win the money?

Anyone can vote for any of the 40 New York City locations on the website partnersinpreservation.com or on its Facebook page from now until May 21. Voters can voice their opinion once a day for the whole month. The four organizations with the most votes will win the full amount they requested. An advisory committee made up of civic, business and preservation leaders will divvy up the rest.

The Parks Department proposal to Partners in Preservation is for $245,000 to turn the unused Astoria Pool’s dive tank into a performance area with the Art Deco dive platform as a sculptural theater tower.

“The Astoria park pool and diving board have been a centerpiece in the Astoria community since 1936, and now the diving board will be the literal centerpiece for our upcoming performance space,” said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.(D-Astoria).

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