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The historic Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows was saved from development almost a year ago when the city landmarked it and now a private group of individuals would like to buy it to give the site further protection.
Jim Gallagher, president of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, led the drive for landmarking, which was finally granted last August. Now, he has organized Friends of the Brinckerhoff Colonial Cemetery to raise funds for the project.
After more than a decade of waiting, the Fresh Meadows community cheered the news Tuesday that the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission landmarked the beleaguered historic Brinckerhoff Cemetery.
“We are very happy and will now work with other groups to buy it,” said James Gallagher, president of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, who has led the drive for landmarking.
The vote by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on whether or not to landmark the historic 1700s-era Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows has been once again delayed, according to James Gallagher, president of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, who made the announcement last week at the group’s monthly meeting.
Gallagher told the members, who have fought a more than 12-year battle to get the Brinckerhoff site landmarked, that he received an email from the LPC just before the meeting that the vote, previously scheduled for June 26, was being postponed until sometime in July, although no exact date was given.
William Manger Jr., a Brinckerhoff family descendant, stands in front of the neglected family burial ground in Fresh Meadows before attending a meeting of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association.
While historic preservationists, Fresh Meadows community groups and neighbors all want the Colonial-era Brinckerhoff Cemetery landmarked, it’s descendants of the family buried there who feel the most special connection to the site.
In separate interviews with the Queens Chronicle, two of those relatives, William Manger Jr. and Matthew Brinckerhoff, last week voiced their support for landmarking and detailed what they want to see done at the location.
Descendants of the Dutch Brinckerhoff family who helped settle Queens are Matthew Brinckerhoff, left inset, and William Manger Jr. This photo of a grave marker from 1740, center, was taken in 1935 at the Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows.
Worried that the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission could move to decalendar, or remove from further consideration, landmark status for the Colonial-era Brinckerhoff Cemetery in Fresh Meadows, a group of area residents and preservationists converged on the panel’s Manhattan headquarters Tuesday for a hearing to urge officials to finally declare the site a landmark.
Led by the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association and holding placards that read “We Care” and “Landmark Brinckerhoff,” more than two dozen supporters of preserving the burial ground, located on 182nd Street just north of 73rd Avenue, delivered testimony before the LPC.