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Two Street Corners to Be Co-Named After Local Historian and Preservationist in Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill

A street corner in Kew Gardens will soon bear the name of historian Barry Lewis (L) while an intersection in Richmond Hill will be modified to carry the name of local preservationist Ivan Mrakovcic (R) (Photos: New York School of Interior Design and Facebook)

May 17, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A street corner in Kew Gardens will soon bear the name of a well-known historian while an intersection in Richmond Hill will be modified to carry the name of a local preservationist.

The first street corner, the intersection of Lefferts Boulevard and Talbot Street, will be co-named “Rue Barry Lewis Way” to honor the local architectural historian, according to representatives of Queens Community Board 9.

A co-naming ceremony will take place at the intersection Saturday at 11 a.m. with Councilmember Lynn Schulman and members of CB9 scheduled to attend.

Lewis was an expert in European and American architectural history dating from the 18th century through to the 20th century.

He was a prominent city tour guide and gained some notoriety for co-hosting a 1998 PBS series with David Hartman called “A Walk Down 42nd Street,” which explored historical and architectural landmarks in Manhattan.

Lewis lectured at the New York Historical Society and taught Modern Architecture and Design at the New York School of Interior Design. He died on Jan. 12, 2021, at the age of 75.

On Monday, the second street corner– the intersection of 114th Street and 84th Avenue – will be co-named “Ivan Mrakovcic Way” after the local architect and preservationist.

Mrakovcic co-founded the Richmond Hill Historical Society as a means to preserve historically significant buildings in the neighborhood. His advocacy led to the Richmond Hill Historic District being listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.

The district consists of around 200 buildings built during the late 19th and early 20th centuries designed using architectural eclecticism – a method which involves mixing features from previous historical styles to create something new and original.

Mrakovcic also served as treasurer for the nonprofit Forest Park Trust.

He was chairman of CB9 from 2002 through 2007. Mrakovcic died on Feb. 27, 2020 at the age of 57.

The co-naming will take place at the intersection on May 23 at 11 a.m. Councilmember Lynn Schulman and members of CB9 are also expected to attend the event.

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