Flushed Away

Kevin Walsh at Forgotten NY has a new photo essay on his neighborhood, Flushing, Queens. It’s not the typical Forgotten NY catalogue of historical obsurities. Rather, in this post, Walsh illustrates what he sees as the destruction of one of New York City’s great old neighborhood by developers run amok. Even if you see new development and increasing urban density as a good and necessary thing, as many urbanists and environmentalists do, these Flushing photos make you wonder if this is really the only way that it can be done.

Old Flushing. A typical early 20th century house:

flushing_before.jpg

New Flushing. A typical early 21st century, um, house:

flushing_after.jpg

Or, as Walsh describes it, "A New Flushing barracks: concrete from curb to building line, the better to place the SUV next to the front door. Our new beauty- and vegetation-free building will get virtually no sun, meaning its heating costs will be high, and will get few breezes for natural cooling. Don’t worry — a bank of Friedrich air conditioners, logos promonently displayed, are already installed."

Yesterday, the New York Times wrote that City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden is "wise enough to recognize that small details or granular moves can either enhance or destroy a city." Maybe she needs to take a trip on the 7 train out to Flushing?

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