July 19, 2018 Update:
You may have already heard that the new President of the LIRR, Philip Eng, has determined that there is a way to repair the decks which support our historic bridge of stores over the LIRR tracks at Lefferts Boulevard in Kew Gardens. Within the next few months, LIRR engineers are preparing a bid that will be sent to companies capable of this work. We thank Philip Eng for taking a fresh look at the bridge problem.
We thank State Senator Leroy Comrie and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal for their outstanding legislative work in getting overwhelming support from the Senate and the Assembly, which undoubtedly was a vital factor in the MTA/LIRR change from demolition to Repair and Restore. Adding to their legislative efforts were endorsements from Kew Gardens legislators Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. Flushing's Senator Toby Stavisky intervened in our behalf, and supporting us from the very beginning was Representative Grace Meng. The Queens Civic Congress, representing almost 100 Queens civic associations rallied to our cause, and the Governor's Downstate Regional Director, Hersh Parekh, made sure our message got to Governor Cuomo. The proactive support of Community Board 9 was invaluable. We thank them all.
We thank our first and longstanding champion, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, who not only went to bat for us with all the powers that be, but has secured $1 million to begin the needed work.
We thank our own Alfred Brand, Kew Gardens resident and recognized expert engineer, who first planted the seed of success by using his knowledge and long experience to suggest an alternative to the LIRR design as a way to repair and restore the bridge.
We thank Queens Borough President Melinda Katz for ultimately bringing all the parties to the table to hear each other and put together a plan to move forward.
And last, but not least, we want to thank all of you who signed our petitions, made phone calls, posted on social media, sent emails and generously supported our efforts with your own.
Our next major assignment will be to ensure that the MTA follows through by arranging for and implementing the necessary repairs of the stores themselves, so that our merchants can continue to operate. We have no doubt that there is work ahead for everyone. And we will once again call on you for your support and action.
Thanks again, THE SAVE KEW GARDENS COALITION
Too many American somewheres have become nowheres. We won’t let Kew Gardens become a nowhere!
1920's to Present
Since the late 1920's the Kew Gardens’ Lefferts Blvd bridge over the Long Island Railroad - home to the of mom and pop stores that give the town its character and serve the shopping needs of its residents - has been the heart of this "Urban Village in the Big City". MTA and LIRR own the bridge and surrounding real estate.
1991: The First Battle to Save Kew Gardens
Over 26 years ago the MTA set aside plans to develop a high-rise building over the MTA/LIRR tracks at the Kew Gardens Station. The MTA abandoned its proposal in the face of unified opposition by the community’s residents, civic associations, and elected officials. Hundreds of people came together to fight the proposed destruction of the Lefferts Blvd. bridge of stores, the heart of Kew Gardens.
2017: The Next Battle
The heart of Kew Gardens is once again threatened. The MTA/LIRR is using the results of their intentional neglect as the excuse for a revived attempt to destroy the heart of our community. This site – a one-of-a-kind structure in New York City and the United States - is now once more the target of destructive development.
What You Can Do To Save Kew Gardens
Tell your neighbors about the Save Kew Gardens Coalition and the fight to #savekewgardens. Visit us on social media and share with your social networks. Sign the petition. Write/email/Facebook/Tweet your elected officials and MTA/LIRR telling them you intend to fight for the restoration of the Lefferts Blvd. bridge to #savekewgardens. Have extra time or a skill set useful for the battle? Volunteer with the Save Kew Gardens Coalition. Sign up for the Save Kew Gardens newsletter to stay connected about actions.
If you're part of a civic, social, religious, or building-based organization, join the Coalition, by contacting us.