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The Historic Sites in Queens That You Can Visit via a Sprinter Van Rental in New York City (Part 1)
Get on a sprinter van rental in New York City and head out to Queens where you could easily find historic places to satisfy your inner history buff.
A sprinter van rental in New York City can accommodate up to 10 people, making your history trip fun for everyone.
Now, why Queens? There are 100 sites in Queens that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It would make sense to list these by neighborhood to make your tours less time consuming.
The Astoria Center of Israel is on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the state register. It was built in the 1920s with a classical revival architecture designed by Louis Allen Abramson. It also features murals created by Louis Pierre Rigal.
The Kaufman Astoria Studios is home of the only backlot in NYC that opened in 2003. The studios itself was built in the 1920s and many films and features were shot here in the 1920s on to the early 1930s, including the first Marx Brothers films: Animal Crackers and the Cocoanuts. When Paramount moved their operation to California, the studio was then used by independent producers. The studios became a national historic district in the 1970s along with six contributing properties. The long list of films shot here include Angels in America, Hair, and the Arthur remake, as well as Sesame Street, Onion News Network, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.
The Trinity Lutheran Church is on 37th Street. It was built in the 1920s and has a gothic revival and collegiate gothic architecture designed by John William Cresswell Corbusier and George W. Conable. Check out the Skinner pipe organ that is still used for services. It was added to the national register in 2008.
These historic sites are known for their architecture as well as for the important events that happened here. So get on a sprinter van rental in New York City and plan a trip to Queens.
You can also go to the Bohemian Citizens' Benevolent Society, which was founded in the 1890s in order to help Slovak and Czech immigrants. The benevolent society aimed to maintain Bohemian libraries, dramatics and schools. The building was built in the 1910s and has a classical revival architecture designed by Frank Chmelik. Former Czechoslovakian president Vaclav Havel visited the hall in 2000.
Also visit the Steinway Mansion, which was built in the 1850s and has an Italianate villa architecture. The historic mansion was built by Benjamin Pike, Jr. and then eventually sold to William Steinway in the 1870s. The mansion was declared a state landmark in the 1960s and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1980s.
And you should also check out the Sohmer and Company Piano Factory, which was built in the 1880s by Sohmer and Co. It has an L shaped Romanesque revival and Rundbogenstil architecture and features a clock tower. It is now used as residences.
Bayside has the Fort Totten Officer's Club, which was built in the 1870s and added to in the 1880s. It has a late gothic revival architecture.
There are two nationally registered historic sites in College Point. The College Point Little League Building, or originally called Firemen's Hall, was built in the mid 1900s and has Queen Anne architecture designed by Peter Shreiner. It is now owned by the College Point Little League and is sometimes used as a social and meeting hall. Or you can check out the Poppenhusen Institute, which was built in the 1860s with Victorian designs by Mundell & Teckritz. The building was where the first free kindergarten was located and is now used as a cultural center. The institute was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 1970s.
Corona has two nationally registered historic sites. Visit the home of Louis Armstrong, which was built in the 1910s with designs by Robert W. Johnson. Armstrong lived here until his death in the 1970s, after which it was converted into a museum where you could also watch concerts or attend educational programs.
You should also visit the Congregation Tifereth Israel, which was built in the 1910s and has gothic revival and moorish revival architecture designed by Crescent L. Varrone. It is currently being restored and holds the distinction of being the oldest building built as a synagogue in the borough, as well as the oldest synagogue building that is still in use.
Visit the Allen-Beville House, which was built in the 1840s and has an Italianate architecture. It is among the few 19th century farmhouses still remaining in Queens. It was also the house of William P. Douglas, where Douglaston got its name. Or you can check out the Douglaston Hill Historic District, which includes more than 80 contributing properties and sites. It is bounded by Northern Blvd., Douglaston Pkwy., 244th St., 243rd St., and the Long Island RR. The buildings within the district are considered to be fine examples of Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Shingle Style, and other late 19th- and early 20th-century styles. Most of the buildings in the district were built from the 1890s through the 1940s. Some of the contributing properties you should visit are Zion Episcopal Church and the Zion Cemetery.
Then you have the Douglaston Historic District, which covers close to 200 acres of space and has a variety of architectural designs such as late 19th- and 20th-century revivals, as well as late 19th- and early 20th-century American movements. It has more than 630 contributing properties that include the Cornelius Van Wyck House and Allen-Beville House, both of which are separately listed on the national register. The Cornelius Van Wyck House was built in the 1730s and has a Dutch colonial architecture. It has an astounding view of Little Neck Bay.
Rego Park has the art deco streamline modern-styled Rego Park Jewish Center. The synagogue was built in the 1940s and was designed by the Frank Grad and Sons architectural firm.
Elmhurst has five nationally registered historic places and you can visit them all with a sprinter van rental in New York City. There is the Elmhurst Avenue, a local station of the IND Queens Boulevard Line, serving the R, E, and M trains. It is part of the New York City Subway System Multiple Property Submission added in 2005. You also have the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge Number 878. It is now the New Life Fellowship Church. The building was built in the 1920s and has an Italian Renaissance architecture designed by Sidney L. Strauss and the Ballinger Company. During its heyday, it was the biggest Elks lodge in the eastern portion of the country, and includes 60 rooms, a billiard hall, a bowling alley, a bar, and a ladies lounge.
And then there are the three historic churches. The St. James Church, or more formally known as the Church of England in America; Mission Church at Newton; and St. James Protestant Episcopal Church, Parish Hall, and Community Hall. The St. James Church was built in the 1730s and is the oldest surviving Anglican church in NYC. James Moore gave it a colonial and post-Medieval English architecture. Meanwhile, the Reformed Church of Newtown was built in the 1830s and has Greek revival and vernacular Greek revival architecture. The First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, on the other hand, was built in the 1890s and has a late gothic revival and collegiate gothic architecture. Frank A. Collins at Meyer & Mathieu served as the architect.
La Guardia Airport
La Guardia Airport has the Marine Air Terminal, the only active terminal that was operational since the "golden age of the flying boat." The terminal was originally built for seaplanes and was built in the 1930s. It has an art deco architecture designed by William Delano.
A sprinter van rental in New York City is the perfect way to tour the many historic sites in Queens, such as:
Far Rockaway is home to four historic properties. The Far Rockaway Beach Bungalow Historic District covers close to 6 acres of space including beach bungalows on the oceanfront that were built in the 1920s. It is a throwback to the time when Far Rockaway was a thriving resort community. When the crowds dwindled in the 1950s, the beach bungalows were converted into low-cost housing for low- income residents. Today, activity in the area has been picking up because of renewed interest from artists and other creative types who have started living here.
The United States Post Office in Far Rockaway was built in the 1930s and has colonial revival architecture designed by Eric Kebbon. Meanwhile, the Trinity Chapel is an Episcopal church that was built in the 1850s. It features the design of Richard Upjohn who gave it a gothic revival architectural style. Then you also have the First Presbyterian Church of Far Rockaway, a Presbyterian church that was built in 1908 and features neo gothic and late gothic architecture designed by Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson. The Olmsted Brothers designed the surrounding landscape.
The Flushing Town Hall used to be the seat of government for the village of Vlissingen. The historic town hall was built in the 1860s with a rundbogenstil architecture.
Aside from the Flushing Town Hall, more than a dozen sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places are located in Flushing.
The 1964-1965, New York World's Fair New York State Pavilion was designed by Lev Zetlin and Philip Johnson. It has three components: the Tent of Tomorrow, the Observation Towers, and the Theaterama. It was one of only two pavilions that were not taken down after the fair ended. Restoration efforts are currently underway after several decades of decay and neglect.
You can also go to RKO Keith's Theater, which was designed by famed theater architect Thomas W. Lamb and was built in the 1920s featuring a mission and Spanish revival architecture. The historic RKO Pictures movie theater can accommodate close to 3,000 people. Or you can check out St. George's Church, which has been serving a congregation for more than three centuries. The current building was built in the 1850s and has a neo gothic design created by Frank Wills and Henry C. Dudley. It was added to the national register in 2008 and was named a New York City Landmark eight years earlier.
The United States Post Office in Flushing Main was built in the 1930s and has a colonial revival architecture designed by William W. Knowles and Dwight James Baum. You can also view the mural painted by Vincent Aderente here. Or perhaps, you can go to the Flushing – Main Street terminal of the New York City Subway. It is part of the New York City Subway System Multiple Property Submission in 2004.
The Free Synagogue of Flushing was founded in the 1910s but the building was built in the 1920s. The synagogue building has a neoclassical design created by Maurice Courtland. It features Tiffany stained glass windows that depict the lions of Judah, Noah's Ark, and other symbols of the Jewish faith. The synagogue and a school building are both listed on the state and national registers of historic places.
Meanwhile, the Old Quaker Meeting House was built in the 1690s and has an American colonial architecture. The house of worship was named a New York City Landmark in 1970 and a national historic landmark in the 1960s. Or you can go to Kingsland Homestead in Murray Hill. The house was built in the 1770s and has a colonial style. A weeping beech tree is planted near the house and is believed to be the first Quaker meeting place in the area. The tree is one of the city's only two living landmarks, while the house is now operated as a museum.
Flushing High School on the other hand was built in the 1910s and has a neo gothic style and has gargoyles and turrets. It is still operated as a public high school, the oldest one in the Big Apple. Some of the famous alumni include Dave Barbour, Jerry Bock, Godfrey Cambridge, Harry Kondoleon, Lenny Lipton, Joshua Prager, and Peter Zaremba.
The John Bowne House was built in the 1660s and is now operated as a museum. It has colonial and English colonial architecture. The house is one of the reported stops of the Underground Railroad before the Civil War.
Then you have the Flushing Armory. The National Guard armory was built in 1905 and looks like medieval European military structures designed by George L. Heins, a state architect. You also have the Broadway-Flushing Historic District, which covers more than 250 acres of space. The district includes several architectural styles such as from the early and mid-20th century American eclectic period. There are more than close to 1,800 contributing buildings and sites here. It also includes Bowne Park, where you have 11 acres of space that includes a pond and century-old oak trees.
Sunnyside Gardens has the Sunnyside Gardens Historic District, which covers 53 acres of space and was one of the first planned communities in the country. The district has one to three family houses and apartment buildings. The homes were designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright to have art deco and colonial revival design elements.
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