Marshall, Gioia Celebrate Sunnyside Arch Restoration
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and City Councilmember Eric Gioia celebrated the restoration of the Sunnyside Arch, a neighborhood icon, and pedestrian street improvements for the community at a news conference on Tuesday, April 21 at Queens Boulevard and 46th Street. The $500,000 project was funded with $300,000 from Marshall's office, $150,000 from Gioia's office and $50,000 from Assemblymember Catherine Nolan.
"For more than a quarter century, this arch has served as a symbol of Sunnyside and become probably the best known location in the entire community," Marshall said. "I am happy to have provided support for its restoration and for the beautification of the surrounding area." Marshall also thanked the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District
BID) for all their efforts on behalf of the community and the refurbished arch.
"The Sunnyside Arch is a unique part of our neighborhood, and, I am elated to see it restored to its proper glory," Gioia said. "Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue are two of the busiest commercial areas of Queens and these improvements will welcome visitors from all corners of our city. I would like to thank Borough President Marshall, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and the Sunnyside BID for their support in making today possible. We're rolling out the welcome mat and letting everyone know that Sunnyside is open for business."
Nolan commented, "Luke Adams and the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce fought to put the arch up as a desirable fixture in our community. I am pleased to help fund the restoration of this important community icon."
Sunnyside Shines BID Executive Director Alyssa Bonilla, added, "The arch has become the premier symbol of our neighborhood. We are grateful to the Arts Commission for its excellent choice of paint colors. On a clear day the arch positively sparkles and makes Sunnyside shine. It's great." Bonilla singled out John Vogt, chairman of the board of directors of Sunnyside Shines, for his leadership in seeing the arch renovation to fruition. The BID will become the custodian for the structure following the completed renovation.
The streetscape improvement project had as its prime objective enhancing commercial activity in the area with new trees, benches, lights and bicycle racks. The arch was scraped, painted and modernized. A new lighting scheme for the arch, which was erected in 1983, has been approved by the city Public Design Commission.