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Helen Marshall
Queens Borough President

120-55 Queens Boulevard
Press Contact: Dan Andrews
Kew Gardens, New York 11424 (718) 286-2640

No.28-10
FOR RELEASE: Thursday, May 27, 2010

MARSHALL ASKS THAT BOWNE HOUSE BE DESIGNATED AS A NATIONAL LANDMARK

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall announced, Thursday, May 27th that she has asked that the Bowne House in Flushing be designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The 1661 structure, believed to be the best-preserved example of Anglo-Dutch vernacular architecture in America, is located on its original site at 37-01 Bowne Street. The saltbox style structure still has many of its original furnishings. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a New York City landmark.

In a letter to Director Paul Loether, of the National Historic Landmark Program at the National Register of Historic Places, Marshall wrote that, “The house embodies how a 17th Century early settler in the colony of New Amsterdam lived and serves today as a window into the past for young and old to appreciate and enjoy.”

John Bowne, known throughout history for his courageous stand for religious freedom and against Governor Peter Stuyvesant in 1662, was subsequently arrested for allowing Quakers to worship in his home.

Bowne’s actions, along with a previously recorded formal protest, the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657, helped to lead the way and were a forerunner to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Today, more than ever, we need to keep in mind what has happened in the past, so that we build a better future,” Marshall stated to Director Loether.

The house has been a museum since 1947 and is operated by the Bowne House Historical Society, under the aegis of the Historic House Trust of New York.

For the fiscal year beginning July 1st, Marshall has provided $500,000 for restoration of the structure’s kitchen floor, along with exterior and interior walls.