The city will change six Douglaston streets back to their historic names within an estimated three months following the City Council’s approval yesterday of a , R-Whitestone.
The community, which has two landmarked districts, has been calling for its numbered streets to be changed back to their original names since 1972.
“Douglaston is one of the most unique neighborhoods in our city,” Halloran said Thursday during a press conference at the corner of 44th Avenue and 243rd Street. “Its history and heritage are well worth remembering. Everything from the original cobblestone curbs to massive tree canopy reminds visitors of a much simpler time.”
Douglaston’s original settlers named streets after things they encountered on a daily basis or after prominent families in the community.
The streets were changed from their original names to numbered names in the 1920s to keep them in line with the city’s grid.
In the 1970s, a majority of them were returned to their original names, but several roads remained numbered.
In 2004, Douglaston Hill was designated an historic district, so community leaders thought the time was right to complete the street renaming project.
State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, proposed getting the names restored when he served on the City Council and Community Board 11 voted twice in favor of the proposal.
Halloran said a bill to change the street’s names was one of the first he proposed upon being elected to the Council.
Douglaston leaders said they were pleased that the Council voted unanimously to approve the bill on Wednesday.
“I think it’s most appropriate,” said Eliott Socci, president of the Douglaston Civic Association. “This is a landmarked district, so these streets should be restored to their historic names.”
Jerry Iannece, chairman of Community Board 11, said Douglaston residents were vigilant in seeing the project through to fruition.
“This community fought for a long time,” he said. “It shows how great northeast Queens is.”
Halloran said he expected Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sign the legislation within the next 15 days. He plans to invite the community to an unveiling ceremony for the signs, which he expects could take place within three months.
The councilman said the city will spend a total $3,400 to change the city’s signs and addresses for GPS systems, the Department of City Planning and the postal service.
Addresses for residents living on the streets will automatically be updated with their local post offices.
And emergency responders will recognize both the numbered street addresses as well as the new ones once they take effect.
Under the plan, a section of 243rd Street between 44th Avenue and Depew Street will be renamed as .
In addition, a portion of 240th Street between 43rd Avenue and Depew Avenue will be renamed as Prospect Avenue, while a section of 242nd Street between 43rd and 44th avenues will be switched to Hamilton Avenue.
Part of 44th Avenue between Douglaston Parkway and 244th Street will be changed to Church Street and 43rd Avenue between the intersection of Douglaston Parkway as well as 240th and 243rd streets will be renamed as Pine Street.
Also, 42nd Avenue between the LIRR's dead end and 243d Street will change to Poplar Street.