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Queens Chronicle

Fate of LIC clock tower remains hazy

In waiting for an answer, advocates are bolstering community support

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Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:30 am

As the clock ticks, the destiny of a Long Island City building is still unclear.

There has been no official word from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission regarding the proposed landmark status of the Long Island City clock tower, situated on top of the old Bank of Manhattan building at 29-27 Queens Plaza North.

+Partners, a group whose founders advocated for the building to be designated as a landmark before Community Board 1 last October, said last week that they have not gotten an official update since August.

In August, LCP representatives said the property “may merit designation.”

Matthew Chrislip and Michael Hall of +Partners said in an email they have received pledges of support from Community Board 1, Dutch Kills Civic Association, Hunters Point Civic Association, Queens Historical Society and Save America’s Clocks.

A spokesperson from the office of City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) confirmed that he also penned a letter expressing support for landmarking the clock tower, which was constructed in 1927 and has neo-Gothic touches such as gargoyles.

The preservation advocates are still asking for support, and as of press time, an online petition at the website change.org had 1,328 supporters out of a 2,000-signature goal.

“Hopefully they will choose to calendar the Clock Tower and open the subject to a public hearing, at which point the building would be granted provisional protections while a final decision is made about whether to designate it as a landmark,” Hall said of the LPC in an email.

If landmarked, the status would only apply to the exterior of the building.

The owner, Property Markets Group, reportedly purchased the building in November for around $31 million after it had been sold to Long Island City-based developer Criterion Group for $15 million the previous May.

“With the recent sale of the building, however, we need an immediate and strong show of community support to ensure that it is preserved,” the petition page reads.

Hall said the best way to keep abreast of the group’s campaign is via its website, licclocktower.org.

There was no statement from LPC spokespeople regarding the building’s status as of press time.

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