Landmark News December 2021
One year is soon ending and another will begin shortly- along with it will come many possibilities and likely some challenges as well. However, it has been nearly 154 years since the cornerstone was laid for this grand old structure and here we are still proudly serving the community through our numerous cultural, historic & educational programs. We remain committed to the dream that Conrad had – not only for this building – but for the community as well.
Some of our 2021 Programs and Activities included: Family Painting ; A Springtime Cleanup of the Garden ; Remembering the Ladies” in celebration of Women’s History Month. \ A Drumming Workshop: Collecting of Items for the Time Capsule (Since the capsule has not yet been filled, we will continue to collect throughout the new year); A Lively Mexican Dance and Songperformance ; Our Garden Concert Series with Elvis ; Gathering Time , Twin Gold and Petty Rumours who performed a Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac Tribute
A Community Mural- Our exceptionally talented Art Instructor ,Linda Rufo , along with St. Agnes students, painted an inspirational mural at the College Point Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The theme was history and unity.
A second mural will be painted sometime in the Spring. The location for the mural has not yet been determined. Any suggestions?
“A Show on The Go”- In May one of the best Mariachi bands in NYC hopped aboard the vintage trolley that Poppenhusen rents each year and performed throughout College Point, Whitestone and Bayside. Many stops were made throughout those communities surprising the passersby. Stops were even made at the three firehouses in those communities The first responders enjoyed these impromptu performances. (That event was funded in part by Councilman Paul Vallone)
In Junewe were pleased that we were able to hold the annual “Immigration Then and Now” program at Mac Neil Park. “Then “performances included: – German, Irish and Italian “Now” performances included – Chinese ; Mexican and Korean. It was an extremely hot day, therefore it was not as well attended as in the past. None-the-less , those who were present truly enjoyed that free – high quality program. The children especially enjoyed the Lion dance.
9/11 Program -This year our Sept 11 program honored those who perished on that fateful day twenty years ago , in 2001. It’s very hard to believe that two decades have come and gone since our nation was attacked and changed forever . Also, our 9/11 Memorial room was reopened to the public, having been skillfully restored by new volunteer, Tommy Godfrey.
The 2021 Veterans Day Remembrance program ,which was held in the Grand Hall , was very well attended , including the College Point Girl Scouts, who participated in the program. The musical tribute to those who served was performed by “The Patriotic Singers”, who did an outstanding job of capturing the spirit of the occasion. These talented young men and women received numerous standing ovations. We will certainly have them back for a repeat performance for the 2022 Veterans Day program, if not before.
December – to celebrate the Holidays we held the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at Poppenhusen Monument , which included The Musical Staff Band playing holiday songs , and of course the one and only Santa Claus joined the festivities . After the ceremony, a small group of volunteers, Santa and the band visited a local group home to continue the music and to distribute gifts to the residents . Everyone agreed – this visit put us all in the Christmas spirit
Thank you to Welsbach Electric, Con Edison and the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation for their assistance in bringing this project to fruition.
Thank you also to the following Poppenhusen Volunteers : Alan, Bruce and Paul Bateman; Ron Kerath ; Joe ; Brendan Ronan and Scott Sutter.
A CASA Program – We also ran a virtual afterschool program at PS29 with supervising teacher Rose Giordano from February to June
Goals for 2022
January through March will be fairly quiet due to the high cost of heating this historic structure.- However, the following events have been planned – Chinese New Year as well as Irish café in February in the Grand Hall for social distancing purposes. Later in Spring a Celebration of Cinco de Mayo will be held– Piano classes will revert to virtual for January- March then in-person classes will resume in April. ( check our website and Facebook page for updated details at the end of January)
For the Spring and Thereafter– Family Painting &Family Movies will be held in the garden- Karate Classes for youth- Summer and Fall Garden Concerts ; 9/11 and Veterans Day ; the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday music; – and a Live Performance of The Nutcracker and more
School and Public Tours- will resume
What programs or performances would you like to see held here? We welcome your suggestions. We especially want to schedule more educational programs- therefore , if you have any ideas, please share them with us.
Upcoming Capital Projects
Windows and Surrounds:
We’re pleased to inform you that Phase l of the restoration of the Institute’s exterior is expected to begin in April or May of 2022. That capital project, which is funded through a city grant , will be publicly bid in mid-February.
In January 2022 we will be applying for the additional funds necessary to address Phase ll of the exterior restoration , which will include the remaining stonework and the application of a protective sealant.
Once those funds are secured and the work eventually done-this NYC Landmark will once again shine as one of the brightest jewels in the “Crown of Queens”
Interior smaller projects: Volunteers are needed to plaster and paint small sections of the Institute.If you have that skill, have some extra time, and want to make a difference, please contact us. We will maintain Covid-19 safe conditions for you.
Recent Grants and Large Donations – Con Edison; One Point of Light Foundation; State funding from Senator John Liu and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal ; Councilman Paul Vallone and the College Point American Legion
Membership– If you are not yet a member, why not join today? Every membership matters. Visit our website, poppenhusenunstitute.org for details.
Historic Trivia- from the Flushing Journal
January 29, 1853“College Point Causeway (now known as College Point Blvd. between College Point and Flushing – “What is doing (sic) concerning the elevation of the Strattonport Causeway? Something should be done immediately. That road has been too long clothed in a pauper’s dress and is doing manifest injury to both neighborhoods Its present state is regarded by visitors as a standing advertisement of the apathy and indifference of our townsmen to the mutual interest involved. Let us do away with such eyesores. There’s sure wise course to persue ( sic) in response to this road . What shall it be?”
–11, March 1854– “ Local chit chat…why is not the Stattonport Causeway undertaken and finished? Is it not because what is every body’s ( sic) business is nobody’s business? That causeway should in a similar relation to our beautiful village, as does a broken sash in a handsome dwelling, repaired with old hats and pillows?”
18, March 1854– “Paper urges inhabitants of Flushing village to assist people of Strattonport on the causeway.
(Editor’s note- Although that road is no longer an eyesore, so many other streets and avenues in this community certainly are. We hope in the new year we will see substantial progress and also witness the completion of that project in our lifetime.
As stated by several candidates for public office who spoke at the September and October civic meetings here at the Institute – “it felt as though we were riding down 14th road on a horse.”
New Acquisitions for our Local History Collection–
Firemen’s Bell– We were pleased to obtain ownership of the bell that once hung in the tower of the Exempt Firemen’s Hall on 123rd street. It almost left the community but due to the efforts of on-line input from concerned members of the community , this two-ton bell was moved to the Institute . That move would not have been possible without the assistance of Mr. Joseph Dee Sr. and Jr of JAD Maintenance Supplies
Poppenhusen Family Heirlooms – a donation consisting of several items was recently received from Richard (Rick) Poppenhusen, the great-great grandson of Conrad. The one pictured here is a silver breakfast set of young Conrad.
During the last 20 months we have had to say farewell to several volunteers including our dear friend and volunteer, Karl Muszel, the king of the 50/50 raffles who had a perpetual smile and warm greeting for all he met : and Bob Lusk, a humble and quiet soul who was always there when we needed him , especially to show old-time cartoons and comedies such as Laurel and Hardy. –
Most recently we mourned the loss of long-time volunteer , Rosemarie Martzinek. Any time I called Rosemarie to assist at an event she would say yes. You might recall always seeing her greeting our visitors at the entrance to handle admissions and to distribute programs. She loved helping , even though she was well into her 80s and was forever in pain due to knee issues. That never stopped her from lending her hands and heart , not just here at the Institute, but with the Eastern Stars, the lady’s group of the Masons. What a sweet and gentle lady she was- someone we were happy had joined the Poppenhusen team of Volunteers. She will be missed, along with fellow volunteers , Karl and Bob.
Treasured volunteers are never forgotten.
Thank you to all Poppenhusen donors, volunteers , and members who have stood by us through thegood times and tough ones as well.
Our Board of Control
President James Trent Brian Flynn, Member
Treasurer, Victor Han Richard Krauland
Secretary, Charles Chiclacos Karen Lucas
For more Information or to register
contact us at [email protected] or 718-358-0067
Our programs and operations are funded in part with public finds from the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs, CouncilmanPaul Vallone, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and One Point of Light Foundation
We wish everyone – Happy Holidays and a Healthy and Hope-Filled 2022