More people are buried in Queens than are living there now. This is a story of some of the departed.
Precisely how many will not be known, though, until a bulldozer breaks ground early next year for a 42-story apartment tower in Long Island City, on the site of what was once a cemetery, owned by a family that settled there 350 years ago.
The Van Alst family cemetery was rediscovered only a little more than a decade ago, after the city decided to rezone the mostly industrial tract for residential, retail and office development.
After two developers, H & R Real Estate Investment Trust and Tishman Speyer, announced in June that they would build on the site, they were required by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which issues guidelines for archaeological work, to make a good-faith effort to find any descendants of the last known member of the family, Harry Van Alst, who lived in Queens in 1925.
Read the rest of the article at the New York Times.