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Queens Chronicle

Park Lane’s stately splendor

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Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 11:03 am, Thu Aug 9, 2012.

Park Lane in Kew Gardens was mapped out and opened up at the same time neighboring Forest Hills Gardens was beginning to be developed, in 1910. There was no Interborough-Jackie Robinson Parkway separating the communities then.

Park Lane is a very desirable place to live because it’s one of the highest points in Queens. That’s why in 1913 the mayor and city parks commissioner selected Park Lane as the headquarters for the Queens Parks Department. A building dubbed “The Overlook” was constructed. At the time it had the most spectacular commanding view of the borough. Over the years, however, developers have taken away this view with overdevelopment.

Only a few people are fortunate to have homes on Park Lane. The house at 80-73 was custom built by Paul Roth and his son Harold, well-known builders working out of Jamaica in the 1920s. It’s on the corner where the street turns south, becoming Park Lane South. Next door is 80-55, built by Robert W. Berger, which suffered a tragic fire in 1995 that gutted the interior. It has since been rebuilt and has been on the market for several years with an asking price in excess of $3 million.

In the 1960s, homes in the vicinity were purchased mainly by Sephardic Jews with roots in Spain, Portugal and Northern Africa. In the 1980s Iranian Jews came, following the overthrow of the shah and establishment of the Islamic republic there.

For the few that can afford them, this area contains some of the most spectacular homes ever built in Queens.

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