LOWERY Street is, or was, one of many north-south parallel streets in Sunnyside. It received a number, 40, during the 1920s. For an unprepossessing side street, the Department of Transportation bestows it with three names at least on the corner of Queens Boulevard. The 40th Street sign came first: you can tell by the sun bleaching. The DOT has an apparent rule that sun-bleached signs are replaced last.
Here’s a dandy map I found in the NY Public Library collection that gives all the names Sunnyside streets had before they got numbered. Three of the names, Rawson, Bliss and Lowery, are preserved in signage on the 7 train 33rd, 40th and 46th Street stations, for tradition’s sake alone. I believe local shopowners, or perhaps the city councilman, prevailed on the DOT to actually re-install the named signs: in some parts of the neighborhood, the names and numbers share the same sign, making each unreadable.
Lillian “Lily” Gavin, according to Gil Taubin, was
…the owner of Dazies Restaurant in Sunnyside and a leader in her Queens community. She was very active in several community groups such as the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and the Sunnyside Senior Center. She was the honorary director of the LaGuardia Community College Foundation and she was responsible for raising money to repair the Sunnyside Arch sign. She supported the local YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Queens Council of Tourism, and was one of the first women to join the Sunnyside Kiwanis Club. She was also a founding member of the Sunnyside Shines business improvement district and sponsored many events either financially or by providing food.
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