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WESTCHESTER PLACES: Reid Castle

Reid Hall at Manhattanville College in Purchase is modeled after the historic estates left standing by European royalty in the medieval era. It has never been home to a king or queen or a duke or duchess, but it is was deemed a national landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The castle, which is built in the Norman Gothic style, earned the designation due to its rich history, architectural influences, landscape and many secrets.

Reid Castle serves as an office for many Manhattanville employees, such as Gary McLoughlin, 60, an employee with the college’s Office of Disability Services. “For me, it provides a sense of place deeply rooted in tradition,” McLoughlin said.The castle was constructed as an estate for Pony Express tycoon Benjamin Holladay in 1864. It was originally known as Ophir Farm and served as a home for the tycoon. Unfortunately for Holladay, by 1873 he had lost most of his wealth, which led him to put the mansion up for public sale.

More than a decade later, the estate became the first residence in Westchester County to be equipped with both telephone and electric wiring. However, one month before the estate’s new owner, Whitelaw Reid, and his wife, Elizabeth, planned to move in, a short circuit started a fire that engulfed the house, leaving only the granite foundation remaining.

Story originally appeared in the March 15, 2013 edition of The Harrison Report

SBS Vote Postponed Until 2017

Despite a recent committee decision, opposing plans for Select Bus Service along the Q52/Q53 bus route, members of Community Board 14 have postponed its decision until January 2017, when a joint meeting will be held with representatives of New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Source: SBS Vote Postponed Until 2017

Rockaway’s Ready For The Ferry

Members of the Community Board 14 Transportation Committee met with representatives from New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Hornblower Cruises and Events, the San Francisco based company

Source: Rockaway’s Ready For The Ferry

Rockaway Reflects On Pearl Harbor

The world was on the verge of war, when, at approximately 7:48 a.m., Hawaiian time, on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched its “infamous” attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor.

Source: Rockaway Reflects On Pearl Harbor

Rezoning Proposed In Far Rockaway

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is looking to rezone a portion of Far Rockaway, as part of Mayor de Blasio’s $91 million commitment to revitalize the downtown business district.

Source: Rezoning Proposed In Far Rockaway

Rockaway’s Ready For The Ferry

Members of the Community Board 14 Transportation Committee met with representatives from New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Hornblower Cruises and Events, the San Francisco based company

Source: Rockaway’s Ready For The Ferry

Big Shifts In Queens’ Jewish Demographic

Queens has seen a major shift in its existing Jewish population in recent years. This change in demographics – whether for better or for worse – has already led some synagogues to shutter their doors, while others have found solace in merging with other neighboring temples.

Cynthia Zalisky, executive director of the Queens Jewish Community Council, said that while it is unfortunate, several Conservative synagogues have closed in the borough in recent years.

“In certain areas, we’re losing the Jewish population,” Zalisky said. “It’s dwindling demographics. The populations of these temples are all elderly.”

This originally appeared in the May 28 – June 3, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune

Still Friends of Rockaway

As part of their ongoing effort to help return Hurricane Sandy victims to safe and sustainable homes, the Friends of Rockaway, a community-based non-profit organization, will host a fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 30. The Dine Out for Hurricane Sandy recovery will feature seven local eateries which have agreed to donate a portion of the money raised to help Sandy victims.

Source: Still Friends of Rockaway

Bark If You Love Ice Cream

Bark If You Love Ice Cream

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MTA Mulls Jamaica-Flushing Bus Plan

According to the MTA, a trip from Jamaica Center to Midtown Manhattan takes only 28 minutes via the E train, while a trip half the distance – from Jamaica Center to Flushing – takes more than 40 minutes by bus.

In an effort to remedy this commuter nightmare, the Department of Transportation has been working with the MTA and New York City Transit since January, on a proposed plan to bring a collective 23 miles of faster bus service to one of its highest ridership corridors.

Similar to recently announced plans for Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards, the proposal would implement Select Bus Service between Jamaica and Downtown Flushing, thereby improving travel time and increasing comfort for more than 90,000 daily riders.

This story first appeared in the April 2, 2015 edition of the Queens Tribune.

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