New York State Senator Frank Padavan (Queens) joined with local historic preservationists and elected officials for the announcement that the historic Bowne House in Flushing has been acquired by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The landmark property was donated to the Parks and Recreation Department by the Bowne House Historical Society, which will remain as the organization that will operate the house as a museum. Both the Parks and Recreation Department and the Bowne House Historical Society will partner with the Historic House Trust in undertaking a phased restoration of the house. Additionally, all three groups will work on the construction of visitor’s center, an archeological investigation of the historic site and redevelopment of parkland surrounding the Bowne House. Built in 1661, the Bowne House stands today as the oldest architectural structure in Queens and one of the oldest in the five boroughs. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated a New York City Landmark. The house was built by John Bowne a 17th century Quaker and advocate of religious freedoms. Senator Padavan has secured grant funding vital to the operation and rehabilitation of the Bowne House. Additionally, Padavan has secured a $100,000 grant for the construction of a visitor’s center on the Bowne House Site. Senator Padavan describes the importance of the Bowne House and its role in the establishment of religious freedoms and in Queens cultural history during a ceremony at the Bowne House on Wednesday September 30, 2009. (Photo courtesy Dominick Totino) .