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Long Island City Pepsi-Cola Sign Among 8 New Designated City Landmarks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to designate eight historic structures throughout the five boroughs – including the famous Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City, Queens.

The structures were all part of a backlog of sites that the commission had prioritized for historic designation. They were among 30 sites designated at the commission's meeting on Feb. 23.

"We are very proud to designate these eight exceptional properties today, some of which have gone for decades without a vote," Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said in a news release. "Today's actions show our steadfast commitment to advance the Commission's plan to address the backlog, and in fact, are a victory for both preservation and good government practices."

The Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City was among the most recognizable structures to be designated a landmark. The commission called it an "irreplaceable piece of the urban landscape."

The sign was built in 1940 and mounted on the roof of the Long Island City Pepsi-Cola bottling facility. The sign reflects the company's 1939 logo, with neon tubing around the edges of the letters, the commission said.

The bottling facility was torn down in 2001, but the sign now stands within feet of its original location in Gantry Plaza State Park, the commission said.

The sites approved for landmark status also included the William H. Schofield House in the Bronx, a transitional Italianate style farmhouse built around 1860. The Schofield family was one of the first to settle City Island in 1826.

The commission said the most striking feature of the house is a one0story veranda that runs the width of the ground floor's main façade and set-back addition.

The commission also designated as a landmark the Fort Hamilton Parkway Entrance to the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, as well as the Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel.

Green-Wood Cemetery dates back to 1838, the commission pointed out. The Fort Hamilton Parkway Entrance was designed by Richard Mitchell Upjohn and was built in 1876 and 1877, and features a visitors' lounge, a residence and gates.

The chapel, designed by the architectural firm Warren & Wetmore, is known for its pavilion-like presence in the cemetery and its modern use of reinforced concrete – as well as its cluster of towers, the commission said. It was constructed between 1911 and 1913.

The Van Sicklen House in Gravesend, Brooklyn was also named as a landmark. The commission said it is one of the oldest Dutch-American houses in the borough – dating back to the 18th century or earlier and made of stone. It was acquired by farmer Ferdinandus Van Sicklen Jr. in 1702, and is located part of a lot that once belonged to Lady Deborah Moody who founded Gravesend in the 1640s, the commission said.

Lady Moody may herself have resided in the house, the commission said.

In Manhattan, the commission designated three buildings belonging to St. Michael's Protestant Episcopal Church, at 99th Street and Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side. The Romanesque revival church was designed by architect Robert W. Gibson and built in 1890 and 1891, and the parish house was constructed between 1896 and 1901, the commission said.

The rectory on the site was also designed by Gibson, and was built between 1912 and 1913.

St. Michael's Church was founded in 1807 by parishioners from Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan. It was originally intended to serve wealthy Lower Manhattan residents who had summer homes in what was the Bloomingdale section of Manhattan. The current buildings were constructed after the Upper West Side's population had boomed, the commission said.

In Greenwich Village, the 57 Sullivan St. House was named a landmark. The wood-framed rowhouse was built in 1816 and 1817, and is known as an example of the Federal style of architecture. Its paneled window lintels are believed to be among the oldest still in existence in Manhattan, the commission said.

In addition to the Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens, the commission designated the John William and Lydia Ann Bell Ahles House, located in Bayside. The house was built in 1873 by farmer Robert M. Bell for his daughter, Lydia, and the family owned the house until the 1940s, the commission said.

The site was moved from its original site in 1924 to allow for the expansion of what is now 213th Street, the commission said.

And on Staten Island, the commission designated the Vanderbilt Mausoleum, located on the eastern slope of Todt Hill in New Dorp. The Vanderbilts were the country's wealthiest families when the mausoleum was built, the commission said.

Legendary designers Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted was behind the mausoleum, which was completed in 1886, the commission said. Interment in the gray Quincy granite structure was reserved for members of the Vanderbilt family.

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