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St. Stan’s hosts 11th Hall of Fame Dinner

School gym renamed ‘Rudzewick Hall’

On Saturday, the St. Stanislaus Kostka Educational Endowment Committee hosted its 11th annual dinner dance fundraiser, with parents, faculty and staff, families, friends, and other community supporters in attendance.

After two years of being unable to gather, the Committee eagerly presented eight honorees with awards: Rev. Monsignor Joseph Calise; Joan Forgione, education director of St. Stan’s Pre-K for All and the Maspeth Federal Savings’ Board of Directors; Daisy and Ray Montalvo, longtime parental supporters; Diane Marzuillo, Secretary of the St. Stan’s Board of Directors; Rachael Fitzpatrick, educator, lector, and eucharistic minister at St. Stan’s; and Louis Bekios, owner of Grand Florist and member of the Maspeth Kiwanis.

Honoree Joan Forgione and St. Stan’s Principal Catherine Mangone.

“As I look at the list of inductees, I see so many recognizable names: faculty members, former students, parents and grandparents of former and present students, and friends. Our parish community has been blessed by their efforts and I thank them for their work,” Catherine Mangone, principal of St. Stan’s, said.

“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Endowment Committee. The Committee does not merely support our school with their words, but does so with their actions and their financial support,” she continued. “Their love for this school, and their commitment to its continued success, are blessings for which I am extremely grateful.”

With increased support from the community each year, the Committee has raised over $350,000 for the school, which has gone toward a STEM lab, scholarships, computers, and Smart Boards, upgrades to the school’s electrical service, as well as school summer programs.

In true St. Stanislaus Kostka fashion, the St. Stan’s Players gave musical performances to bring cheer to attendees.
But before everyone enjoyed their dinner, Rev. Monsignor Calise and Michael LoCascio, vice chair of St. Stan’s Board of Directors, presented a plaque to longtime supporters and Maspeth residents Barbara Rudzewick, president of the Endowment Committee, and her husband Ken Rudzewick, committee member.

Given their continued support of St. Stan’s, Calise and LoCascio announced that the school’s gym would be renamed “Rudzewick Hall” in their honor.

Honoree Diane Marzuillo and Barbara Rudzewick.

“This family gives endless support, and we’ve been racking our brains for three years, trying to figure out how to honor someone who’s so humbled,” LoCascio said.

Calise added, “To make sure that the generations to walk through these doors know the appreciation that we feel for you, and the gratitude that we have for the work that you’ve done, this room is being rededicated Rudzewick Hall.”

The Rudzewicks are extremely grateful for the gesture.

“We’ve both been baptized here, got married here, and all our children received their sacraments here,” Barbara Rudzewick said. “We’re so blessed to be a part of this community.”

Flushing Town Hall awards $100K to Queens artists

Aligning with their mission to provide a platform to local artists, Flushing Town Hall announced it has awarded grant funding to various Queens-based artists and organizations.

After becoming a regranting partner for New York State Council on the Arts in their “Statewide Community Regrants” program, Flushing Town Hall administered Arts Grants for Queens.

Ten individual artists will receive grants of $2,500 each, and $91,032 in funding will be split across 33 organizations.

“We thank NYSCA for this opportunity and are overjoyed to be able to award our neighbors and peers in the borough with well-deserved funding,” Ellen Kodadek, executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, said.

“The pandemic took a painful toll on the arts sector, and on Queens, but together we are resilient. With these regrants, we proudly invest in the artists and organizations who will bring us catharsis, healing and occasion to gather together again.”

A panel of artists, community leaders and stakeholders selected the artists and organizations that would receive grant funding via an application process that examined artistic merit, community benefit and project feasibility.
Included in the long list of grant recipients is Women in Comics Collective International Inc., an organization focused on providing support to marginalized groups as they navigate the comics industry.

As they celebrate their 10-year anniversary, Women in Comics Collective will use the awarded grant to fund WinC x King Manor, an outdoor comic book festival at the King Manor museum in Jamaica.

The event will take place on May 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. and will feature different workshops, art vendors and live model drawing with local cosplayers as the models.

“I was dancing around my house when I found out we were selected,” Regine Sawyer, founder and coordinator of Women in Comics Collective, said. “As a nonprofit, it’s so helpful to have this support to make events financially accessible to communities of color and other marginalized communities.”

“It is very important to us that our events are in communities that aren’t exposed to this, because there’s so many artists, writers and creators who come from these neighborhoods, but don’t have that hands-on experience interacting with industry professionals that they admire,” she added.

The diverse list of grantees also includes Culture Lab LIC, an organization that will offer an artist residency program providing artists with the space to produce new work, and indie artist Magdalena Kaczmarska of Rego Park for “Stories in the Moment,” providing Queens dementia patients with artistic opportunity.

Dan Bamba, director of arts services at Flushing Town Hall said that the institution is excited to be part of the first year of NYSCA’s regrant program.

“Flushing Town Hall may be best known as an arts presenter, and as an Arts Council, we also offer an array of services for aspiring and professional artists, as well,” Bamba said.

“In addition to these NYSCA regrants, we also offer Space Grants for artists developing work in our space and we host Artist Professional Development Conversations, a series of workshops addressing the business needs of artists, with topics ranging from fundraising to marketing to bookings.”

Bamba added that a private ceremony will be held to honor the grantees, and that Flushing Town Hall plans to reopen the program for a second year to continue to support the arts community in Queens.

QCC Building Awards celebrates borough’s best

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted its 110th annual Building Awards and Gala at the TWA Hotel in JFK airport last week, recognizing various development projects throughout the borough for achievements in construction, restoration, interior design, and more.
“I have the best job in the world, it really is my calling,” said chamber president and CEO Thomas Grech. “As a membership organization, 2020 was a terrible year. However, it was our board and our members who stepped up during that difficult time.”
Grech thanked a number of elected officials who helped secure relief money at the federal, local, and city level.
“As we move through the pandemic, private public partnerships will continue to be extremely crucial,” Borough President Donovan Richards said. “There are those who said we should go back to normal after the pandemic, but we know normal was never good enough for Queens county.”
Both Grech and Richards acknowledged the federal infrastructure bill currently stalled in the Senate, expressing hope the bill will pass and fund construction and repair projects for the borough’s roads, trains, and airports.
Carlo Scissura, head of the New York Building Congress, offered the keynote address at this year’s gala. Although he is a native Brooklyn, Scissura discussed Queens’ history of dreaming big and encouraged the borough’s public and private leaders to continue that tradition.
“You have everything in Queens, and you have a future that I think the people in the city and the state need to learn from,” Scissura said. “When people say New York is the center of the world, it’s because of a borough like Queens.
“Think about the vision people have in Queens,” he continued. “One-hundred years ago, Jackson Heights was fields and now it’s home to amazing apartment complexes. We transformed a valley of ashes into a park that hosted two World’s Fairs. Just look at the building we are in right now. It was the pinnacle of the aviation age and made you feel like a king or queen. All of this was built right here in Queens.”
In addition to the keynote address, a number of guest speakers helped distribute awards to the night’s recipients, including Assemblywoman Stacy Pheffer Amato and representatives from Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, the gala’s platinum sponsor.
This year’s gala event sold beyond capacity, another sign of recovery as Queens continues to build and grow after the pandemic.
“It’s great to see everyone in person,” said Thomas Santucci, chair of the Chamber’s board. “Nothing beats an event like this.”

Brooklyn projects honored with Lucys

Building 127 at the Navy Yard, 560 Second Street, and Endale Arch in Prospect Park were among the Brooklyn projects recognized at the 2021 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards virtual ceremony.
The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards are the New York Landmarks Conservancy highest honors for excellence in preservation.
“It’s wonderful to see this year’s winners of the Lucys, knowing that this great work was conducted during these most challenging times,” said conservancy president Peg Breen. “The projects demonstrate that preservation has provided jobs and helped the city throughout these difficult months.”

560 Second Street
Restoration of 560 Second Street represents the commitment of a longtime owner to her Park Slope neighborhood.
In 1967, she and her young family purchased the house. They had been priced out of Brooklyn Heights when they attended a Brownstone Advice Bureau open house.
They heard about the house from a local contractor, architect and representative of the Fifth Avenue Savings Bank, one of the few willing to finance purchases in this community.
The house was constructed in 1891 in the Romanesque Revival style, with orange Roman brick and robust brownstone decoration, but the façade had been painted white to resemble limestone, hiding intricate details.
It was divided into seven apartments. Over the next five decades, the couple raised their family, reclaimed some of the apartments, and became part of an enthusiastic if untrained movement of Brownstoners.
They retained and restored stained-glass windows, folding shutters, beautiful fireplaces and decorative plaster ceilings.
In 2018, the owner finally began to tackle the facade. LPE Engineering oversaw the project. The initial scope of work called for repairs and a new white acrylic coating. After work began, contractors discovered that the paint could be removed without damaging the masonry.
As the layers of coating were taken off, the façade’s rich color and decorative elements emerged. The scope changed to remove the coating entirely and restore the masonry.
The project also included a new roof, repointing and rebuilding the rear wall and foundation, new copper gutters and cornice at the rear, a new roof hatch and two new skylights.

Building 127
Building 127 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard joins other buildings at the historic complex that have been adapted for light industrial use, restoring the historic architecture and sustaining the complex’s industrial heritage.
The three-story industrial neoclassical-style brick structure was built in 1903 as a small boat construction and repair facility. By the time the most recent tenant left in 2017, Building 127 was in disrepair and much of its historic character lost.
The rehabilitation was spearheaded by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the not-for-profit that develops and manages the properties on behalf of the City. S9 Architecture and Engineering was the project architect, while Higgins Quasebarth & Partners served as preservation consultants.
At the exterior, brick, granite and ornamental steel lintels were repaired and restored. Concrete block infill was removed from window and door openings and they were restored to their historic sizes.
Historic wood windows were repaired and restored, and new wood doors and multi-light wood windows matching the historic were installed. New decorative multi-light roundel windows matching the historic were installed at the pediments. A fire stair was removed, revealing the historic rhythm of the north facade.
Partitions, enclosures, and mezzanines that obscured the interior were removed. The historic exposed structural systems were retained to reinstate an expansive, light-filled historic configuration.
Original interior elements, such as gantry cranes and associated rails, and riveted columns, girders, and trusses, were kept in place.

Endale Arch
Endale Arch in Prospect Park has undergone an enchanting renovation and proved to be a highlight of 2020, sparking joy and thousands of social media posts.
The Arch, completed in 1868, was the first permanent structure in Olmsted, Vaux & Co.’s Prospect Park. Within the passage, city sounds are muffled and ahead lies a framed view of pastoral Long Meadow.
It exemplifies Olmsted’s philosophy of blending architecture with landscape, in form, material, and purposeful views.
The project’s first phase was landscape restoration. Stone retaining walls were reset to secure the hillsides, and new plantings stabilized the slopes.
Next, drainage was overhauled to prevent flooding. The path through the arch was regraded and repaved using hex-block pavers.
Work inside the arch began with historic research and physical investigation. Prior to restoration, original woodwork had vanished under layers of dirt and thick green paint.
Cleaning revealed a pattern of alternating Eastern white pine and black walnut, not seen for decades. New wood paneling and trim, matching the historic planks, now lines the vault.
Original wood at the south cross vault was cleaned and sanded, revealing intricate details of the trefoil. The design team opted to leave the granite block wall of the north cross vault exposed to highlight the original craftsmanship.
At the entrances, the colors of the yellow Berea sandstone and New Jersey brownstone were brought out by low-pressure power washing and gentle sanding. Finally, LED lighting was integrated into the wood trim along the length of the arch ceiling.

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