Landmarks should also protect social history
Oct 18, 2016 | 10621 views | 0 0 comments | 493 493 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New York City is nothing without its history, which is why it's time for the Landmarks Preservation Commission to give Woodhaven's legendary watering hole Neir's Tavern a historic designation. The designation would ensure the tavern remains an integral part of Woodhaven for years to come.

Sure, New York City is home to impressive architecture and stunning, sprawling parks, but what really makes it a historically great city is the diverse amount of amazing neighborhoods all with their own rich, local history.

Neir's Tavern is routinely considered the oldest continuous public house in the city – next weekend, it'll celebrate its 187th birthday – and one of the oldest in the state.

It's been home to generations of Woodhaven families through good times and bad. It's had famed performers and been the backdrop for some great films. If only it's walls could talk.

So what's the purpose of even having a landmarks process in New York City if we don't consider the history of Neir's?

The argument from the city has generally bee that not everything in Neir's is original – and admittedly, it has undergone some changes over the years – but that doesn't change the building's history. It just becomes a footnote in a few years.

And it's also a bit of an untraditional building to landmark, a still-operating business, so the initial trepidation is understandable.

But by giving it the designation going forward, that will open the tavern up to more historic grant opportunities to maybe restore some of the original features or at least ensure it doesn't end up looking like a Buffalo Wild Wings in 10 years.

Maybe it's not important enough in the grand scheme of New York City's history, but it's significant on a micro level. It's importance to Woodhaven should be enough for the city to landmark Neir's Tavern and ensure it celebrates another 187 years.
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