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Photo by Wally G

Photo by Wally G

The 17-century Bowne house in Flushing, Queens is getting restored after ownership was transferred to the city. With $5 million from the city, state and private groups, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced the plan to restore it is moving “full speed ahead,” according to the Daily News.

Benepe noted that “the Bowne family has also left its mark on the city again and again, helping New York City become the cradle of tolerance and diversity.” The house is looked at as a symbol of religious freedom; the original owner John Bowne was arrested in 1662 for allowing Quakers to worship there (the faith was banned at the time under New Amsterdam law).

The home is the oldest structure in the borough, and the restoration will hopefully be done by 2012.

via Gothamist

Photo by Wally G

The Browne House Historical Society

Paradise Lost

The collection also includes books that are notable not because of what they're about or when they were made, but because of who owned them. This copy of Milton's Paradise Lost was owned by William Wordsworth, as his signature at the top right indicates. (Gothamist)

At a time when we learned the budget crisis might make the  New York Library a victim, we find this little gem of a collection. The rare book collection is a priceless collection of rare books unique and there are 130,000 books in the collection.

The collections include the first book published in North America and books owned by famous authors. The books go back hundreds of years and they are physical witnesses to history.

To view the collection you must be registered as a researcher (which is just registering in the rare books room) and the collection can be viewed online.

If you live in New York, visiting or just simply love books – this is one of New York’s finest.

Via Gothmist

Uncle Sam

To boost moral between WWI and WWII, English photographer Arthur S Mole and American colleague John D Thomas were commissioned to make images of patriotism. They created Living Pictures, pictures compose of thousands of people to form patriotic illustrations.

Amazing.  Might be interesting to see how they would be done today.

Mole and Thomas: living pictures formed by thousands of US soldiers