“We wish we had the status already,” Crowley said. “It's unfortunate that generations ago they didn't see that it was so important to landmark Neir's Tavern.”
Owner Loycent Gordon said a petition of support signed by nearly 1,000 local residents is keeping the item on the table. This time around supporters are seeking a designation for the building's exterior, as it was an interior designation that was denied by LPC.
“Because of the community support, they said we could resubmit and they'll consider exterior landmarking,” Gordon said. “So now we have to get all the information to the LPC and bring that forward. It's important to continue this effort because this Saturday we're celebrating our 187th birthday.”
Neir's has been the backdrop for movies and hosted many famous performers, but more importantly it's been the host of significant events for generations of Queens residents.
“We're not just preserving movie history, film history, Queens history, Mae West history, theatrical history, architectural history,” Gordon said. “We're also protecting the people's history.”
Crowley hosted a meeting on October 16 at the famed watering hole, bringing in Richard Hourahan of the Queens Historical Society and Ed Wendell, president of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society.
Neir's is the oldest continuously operated public house in New York City. The two historians on Sunday debunked a claim that McSorley's is older based on the fact that Queens wasn't part of New York City when McSorley's first opened.
On October 24, she'll meet with LPC officials, but wants to make sure she's armed with all of the knowledge local historians can gather between now and then. She was able to obtain a grant of $5,000 to help study the historical significance of the tavern.
Crowley admitted Neir's is an atypical landmark, but pointed out that LPC recently designated the iconic Pepsi sign in Long Island City.
“What we're doing is making sure we build a strong case,” Crowley said. “We're going to keep this fight going until we win.”