Neighborhood History: Quonset Huts at Juniper Park - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the September 2011 Juniper Berry Magazine

Neighborhood History: Quonset Huts at Juniper Park

Quonset huts pictured on northside of Eliot Avenue and 77th Place in 1946.

(May 17, 1946) Two sites in the Maspeth-Middle Village-South Elmhurst sector have been substituted by the Board of Estimate for other locations in Queens on which emergency housing facilities are to be constructed for discharged war veterans

Housing for 450 families will be provided on the two local sites and the urgency of the need for homes brought the announcement that they are expected to be ready for occupancy by Sept. 1.

The sites are described as follows:

Caldwell Ave. on the north, from 77th St. on the east to the Long Island Railroad tracks on the west and south of Eliot Ave.

Eliot Ave. and Mount Olivet Cemetery on the north, 69th Pl. on the east, 67th St. on the west and Lutheran Cemetery on the south

Local residents have already expressed the hope that the buildings will be substantial so that if they are not to be razed after the emergency need is passed that they will not become an eyesore to the community in years to come or develop into a slum section.

The local sites were substituted for that previously approved: Melbourne and Arrowbrook developments just as work there about to be started. In eliminating the two projects the board said that it acted on the recommendation of Maxwell H. Tretter executive director of the Housing Authority.

Tretter said that the Melbourne and Arrowbrook colonies were rejected on orders from Robert Moses, park commissioner who also serves as city construction coordinator.

Tretter explained that the Melbourne project which was slated to rise behind Queens College in Flushing was dropped because it was felt that the land was more valuable to the Board of Education as an experimental farm for students studying agriculture.

It was easier to find new property for GI housing than to take land that has already been tilled and prepared for farm experimentation, Tretter said.

He did not offer any reason for the elimination of the Arrowbrook houses, however, beyond stating that there might be some connection between the Arrowbrook project and homes for the United Nations people.

Moses, he said, apparently isn't ready yet to announce his complete plans.

It has been reported however that Trygve Lie, secretary-general of the United Nations is interested in the Arrowbrook tract, which is owned by Arde Bulova, and which was formerly the site of the Arrowbrook golf course.

It was only a few months ago that local civic workers succeeded in getting a zoning change put though for the 69th St. Eliot Ave. site to prevent the construction of a Sanitation Dept. garage and incinerator there.