by Kevin Walsh

Bayside Avenue in Queens is nowhere near Bayside, the neighborhood. Instead it runs between Union Street and the intersection of 154th Street and 29th Avenue in Flushing. In what is something of a feature in NYC nomenclature, the road is named for the neighborhood or town toward which it points (cf. Flushing Avenue, which isn’t in Flushing at all but is in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bushwick and Maspeth).

Bayside Avenue is home to a number of eclectic houses, some of which are on wide plots. This one is a Second Empire-ish jewelbox shadowed by a much taller conifer. Other similar buildings are scattered around Flushing, but some have been sacrificed to the Great God Progress, which demands bland, multifamily buildings.

Former Historic Districts Council president and local resident Paul Graziano:

The building was constructed around the Civil War by G.W. Haviland. He was a surveyor by trade and had a long and distinguished career in Flushing and other parts of NY.

I live around the corner from this house and, so far (cross fingers), it’s still there.

Back in the 1980s, the current owners bought it when it was being marketed to developers for a teardown. They saved it and did a beautiful restoration.

Starting in the mid-1990s, a number of the bigger houses on this block – which used to be one of the nicest in all of Queens – were sold to religious organizations who tore them down one by one…

If ever there was a house that should be landmarked, it’s this one.



Kick November 30, 2012 - 11:46 pm

My friends parents live there. There garage is in the back of the property and is actually a carriage house. Awesome how they left a lot of its charming features. Lets hope when they retire and move they make a wise choice on who they sell to.

Todd December 1, 2012 - 7:10 am

So where are people supposed to live? In cardboard boxes or in ex-urbs 2 hours out of town? Are people allowed to move here? No wonder people are moving to the Sun Belt. They don’t have such romanticism holding down the need for more housing.

Kevin Walsh December 1, 2012 - 9:53 am

Do they have to live in cheap prefab stuff with fire escapes that start rusting as soon as they’re built and concrete lawns? You can build attractive housing that’s not too expensive. They did that till about 1970 or so.

Mitch December 4, 2012 - 6:34 pm

Amen to that Ken. Though I hate to see it, I can see how the old has to make way for the new. However, does the new stuff need to look like such crap? Is there no way the design of new, multifamily buildings can’t fit aesthetically with the neighborhood? No excuses.

mike December 1, 2012 - 12:29 pm

the houses and apartment buildings and garden apts. seemed to be okay for us and our parents..why not the people of today? is it because the city is over crowded with illegal’s who are all crammed into a one bedroom apt. living like pigs and who have no ownership or care for the neighborhoods they live in? i wonder? the new york of my youth is long gone..

Andy Sparberg December 2, 2012 - 7:54 am

In Queens there are three major avenues and boulevards that not only point towards certain neighborhood but actually go right through those locations. Examples are Jamaica Ave., Astoria Blvd., and Greenpoint Ave. (the latter ends up in Brooklyn).

Another major artery, Rockaway Blvd., is like Flushing Ave. in that it points towards the Rockaways but does not actually enter that peninsula.

There are some minor Queens avenues that are not only named for a specific locale but actually are primarily located in those neighborhoods – Hollis Ave., Woodside Ave., Corona Ave., and Elmhurst Ave.

Then there are the curious Brooklyn “Rockaway Twins” – Avenue and Parkway – that actually intersect in Brownsville. They are named because if one follows Rockaway Parkway all the way to the Canarside waterfront where the Belt Parkway is located, years ago one could board a ferry boat to Rockaway.

Melissa February 19, 2013 - 12:46 am

When i was a kid i was obsessed with this house (probably because it looked so different than all the others…and resembled a doll house). At that time (early to mid 80’s) it was painted pink & a periwinkle blue/purple. I used to always say to my mom that when i grew up i wanted to live there. Ha. I’ve lived in Manhattan for the last 15+ years but when I drove through that neighborhood a few years back it made me a little sad.(Why are residential houses allowed to be made into churches?? So ugly.) I hope the beautiful houses on this block get some sort of landmark protection. They don’t make ’em like they used to, that’s for sure.

Shirley Creazzo July 17, 2013 - 11:38 pm

Stunningly pretty old house. I agree with those who would like to see it kept either as a landmark or a private residence. Surely we can make some allowances for beauty. Not everything should be utilitarian. That would make for an ugly world.

Joanne October 1, 2019 - 11:59 am

I grew up next door to this house from the 1960s- 1970s .An eccentric Austrian couple lived there -mr and mrs Urban. They were scientists . They were very fond of pigeons and had flocks coming to their yard for food. Neighbors were upset about the pigeons roosting on their roofs but no one ever complained . Mrs urban made crabapple jam from the trees in her yard and ours .They were unusual and fascinating just like the home they lived in.
The house had 3 marble fireplaces in the front rooms . It was gorgeous !
I’m so glad it still stands today and hopefully will continue as a beautiful example of unique architecture on that block . All the homes were beautiful and unique on Bayside Avenue . But everything changes…


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