Excerpt from Megan Dees Friedman’s Op-Ed in August 11 Queens Gazette:
A fitting home must be found for historic millstones which have languished at their peril for decades among the traffic and pollution on Queens Plaza. These millstones are connected to the grist mill in the first European community in Queens, in what was and is today, Dutch Kills.
Penny Lee of the Department of City Planning, working with powerful figures at the Dutch Kills Civic Association, without the advice of an archeologist, have decided to make this a battle of wills, insisting the millstones remain on pedestals on Queens Plaza. To treat these historic artifacts as pawns, to exclude our community from any meaningful say in their future, goes against everything this nation stands for and against 350 years of local tradition and pride. As a result of very poor planning by the city, these millstones and Dutch Kills, our community, have suffered abusive neglect. Despite the heritage of these artifacts, various city officials have allowed these millstones to be eroded, cracked, even permitted hot asphalt to be poured on them.
It is hardly surprising that the value of these millstones has been disregarded by the city since the Dutch Kills community itself has been totally “rolled over” by the planning apparatus of the city of New York. To the current administration, these historic artifacts are just as invisible as we apparently are.
The full text of Ms. Dees Op-Ed can be accessed here