22 DECEMBER 2 0 2 0
Photo courtesy of Hunters Point Parks Conservancy
Legends of LIC
BY GREATER ASTORIA
In 1960, the Star-Journal profiled the
size of public housing projects in New
York. In the five boroughs, 433,000 lived
in 92 projects with another 50 in the planning
stage. All three levels of government
• Federal money was used for Queensbridge,
South Jamaica, Hammels and
• State resources were used for the Astoria,
Bland and Redfern Houses.
• City monies financed Woodside,
Arverne, Ravenswood and Pomonok.
In Queens, 36,340 people lived in 11 city
housing projects with over 13,000 apartments
built at a cost of $112 million. They
included 11 community centers, 11 preschool
rooms, eight old age clubs, three
school annexes, four branch libraries and
two child health stations.
Opening in 1939, Queensbridge was the
largest, and in 1960 it contained 10,400
residents in 3,100 apartments. The original
plans called for a central shopping center, a
nursery and inner courtyards for play. It had
Boy and Girl Scout meetings, playschool
rooms, a gymnasium and activity rooms, a
library and a community room.
LIC Summit Seventh annual event focuses
on economic recovery in post-COVID era
The seventh annual LIC Summit, organized
by the Long Island City Partnership,
was unlike any other due to
the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program in past years has focused
on the fastest-growing neighborhood
in the country, with new
jobs and residents that increased
more than two times faster than the
rest of New York City, according to
LIC Partnership President Elizabeth
This year’s summit, held virtually
with more than 200 participants, explored
the lasting effects of the pandemic
and how key groups such as
small businesses, healthcare, civic/
nonprofit, arts and education, manufacturers,
workforce, real estate and
government agencies worked independently,
as well as collaboratively,
to recover from the crisis.
Kathryn Wylde, the president
and CEO of Partnership of New
York, who has participated in six
of the seven summits, said it best
during the keynote panel that discussed
navigating the pandemic
to a more equitable economy.
“We’ve got a lot to worry about,”
Queens Borough President Donovan
Richards spoke about the reconstruction
projects taking place
at JFK International and LaGuardia
airports as being key to a Queens
economic recovery, but when he
drilled down to Long Island City he
pointed to the growing tech sector
in western Queens.
“We have to grow,” Richards said.
“We have to reimagine what planning
looks like. Without growth,
you’re not going to save all these
Former Deputy Queens Borough
President Melva Miller, now the CEO
of the Association for a Better New
York, said Long Island City could serve
as a model of resiliency.
“Long Island City has led the city in
recent years and can lead the city out
of this crisis,” Miller said.
Wylde pointed to the growth of the
tech sector which has flourished in
Long Island City and has gotten even
stronger with the opening of Cornell
Tech on Roosevelt Island.
“And now life sciences are beginning
to come online,” Wylde said.
“And related medical supplies which
have become so important during
That industry came into sharp
focus during the second panel of
speakers discussing community
through crisis. Boyce Industries Inc.,
which specialized in transit safety
solutions for the MTA, switched its
manufacturing to personal protection
equipment at the onset of the
coronavirus health emergency.
“We went from making face masks
to tens or hundreds of thousands of
face shields in early March,” Boyce
Technologies Founder and President
Charles Boyce said. “But then we
heard Governor Andrew Cuomo was
down to four ventilators statewide and
I said, ‘We’re going to make ventilators’
even though we didn’t know how
ventilators were made.”
Boyce got to work with his engineering
team and working with MIT,
went from idea and conceptual design
to prototype and mass production
all within four weeks and obtained
US FDA approvals in parallel.
“Within weeks we had manufactured
3,000 ventilators and
shipped them throughout the
state,” Boyce said.
Greater Astoria Historical Society
44-02 23RD ST. #219
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY 11101
BY BILL PARRY