The Historian Knows, and Walks, About Queens

Historians in the News

Before the news conference at Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, Jack Eichenbaum, the newly minted borough historian, pulled fliers from his backpack and handed them out.

The fliers advertised his walking tours around his native Queens, including one scheduled that evening, from Long Island City to Old Astoria.

Mr. Eichenbaum, 67, a retired city assessor with a Ph.D. in urban geography, beat out six other candidates to join the ranks of official New York historians. He follows Stanley Cogan, the borough’s historian since 1999, who recently stepped down because of health problems.

In 1919, the state of New York passed a law requiring counties, cities, towns and boroughs to appoint historians to office. The positions are unpaid, or, as the Brooklyn historian, Ron Schweiger, said, “Our salary is one dollar less than Mayor Bloomberg’s.” (Not that Mr. Schweiger minds. He is, as one might expect, a bit of a Brooklyn wonk. He has 3,000 slides of historic Brooklyn images, and one-third of his basement has been taken over by Brooklyn Dodgers paraphernalia.)...

comments powered by Disqus