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FREE ART DECO architectural details — Happy Ending

August 25, 2009

jay dee

This just in from NYC’s Historic Districts Council.  Please help spread the word!

Preservation Alert: Historic Jay Dee Bakery’s Art Deco Features Available Free!

Written by Historic Districts Council on August 25th, 2009

Jay Dee Bakery (98-92 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills) closed its doors after nearly 60 years. It stood as a well-known NY Art Deco landmark since the early 1950s (with features of an earlier bakery dating back to the early 1940s), and has been dear to locals and preservationists. Citywide, there are very few such surviving Art Deco style commercial buildings. On Aug 10th, my colleague and I met with the owner, and tried to convince him to preserve and adaptively reuse the property, making him eligible for grants, positive media, & awards. It will be transformed into a Russian restaurant, and the owner decided that he is not interested in preserving its historic Art Deco features.

The news is unfortunate, but the owner said he will give away any salvagable Art Deco features for free, if an individual, organization, or museum is interested. Rego-Forest Preservation Council is hoping that several features will live on elsewhere and showcased or creatively and adaptively reused, which has been done countrywide. We would be saddened if these unique businesses’ Art Deco attributes are demolished forever.

The distinctive Art Deco and decorative features include the following (some are evidently more salvagable than others. Mosaics are salvagable):

– The classic reverse channel neon sign reading Jay Dee Bakery;
– Ravenna green mosaic columns surrounding the window, which features a classic Art Deco orange and red vertical swirl pattern that resembles jewels;
– Art Deco Lucite door and steel handle with “Pull” etched vertically;
– Window featuring a variety of vintage tiered wedding and birthday cake models;
– Exterior green terrazzo exterior floor;
– Circular Art Deco recessed ceiling & indented cake displays built into upper walls (silhouettes);
– Any original counters & the brass cake tie devices hanging from the ceiling.

Photos are as follows:

Please contact if you are interested in an opportunity to own rare Art Deco attributes for free from the last known Jay Dee Bakery, know of someone who may be interested, or would like to offer any suggestions. Please spread the word. Time is of the essence! Thank you!

UPDATE (September 09):  Since I posted this, the bakery has found new owners who will be rescuing it and moving it to Alabama, where it seems they are creating a whole town, element by element.  They have an old diner, got this bakery, are working on acquiring an old movie theater….  (To read the article, click here.)

The now-shuttered Jay Dee Bakery in Rego Park that was beloved by borough residents for more than six decades for its 1950s art deco-style architecture and array of treats will make its debut in Alabama next year, thanks to Forest Hills native Michael Perlman’s efforts to save the shop he frequented throughout his childhood.

Perlman, chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, will help business partners Joel Owens and Patti Miller next weekend dismantle elements of the Jay Dee Bakery that will soon be shown in a historical village near Birmingham, Ala. The area will include both a reconstructed Jay Dee Bakery, which was located at 98-92 Queens Blvd. and will function as an actual sweets shop, and Manhattan’s Cheyenne Diner, which Perlman also helped save.

“I’m very happy it found owners who will cherish it and grant the opportunity to future generations to enjoy this institution as we enjoyed it,” said Perlman, who grew up in Forest Hills. “It is sad that it’s not remaining close to its roots, but at the very least elements will be reused and the ambiance will be recreated elsewhere.”

Perlman said he tried to work with the owner to keep the shop’s unique details, which include a neon sign reading “Jay Dee Bakery,” green mosaic columns surrounding the window and a Lucite door and steel handle with “pull” etched on it vertically. Yelizarov mulled over the proposal for several days but eventually declined.

While the Queens preservationist was disheartened, he said he quickly moved on to his “Plan B,” which included sending out a mass e-mail about saving parts of the bakery. Miller and Owens, both of Alabama, were the first to contact Perlman, who was thrilled with their idea to recreate Jay Dee’s interior and exterior.  They will use old photos of the bakery to completely recreate it.

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