Queens Crap reports that the handsome, four-square building that once housed the Long Island Star newspaper is coming down, down, down. Why? Just because the Queen political machine doesn't give a crap, and humanity needs another condo tower. That's why.
The developers can't be accused of ignorance of the building's past in this case. As QC points out, the building has a friggin' plaque on it, commemorating Star found Thomas H. Todd, who started the publication in 1865.
Wanna know about the Star and Todd? Why, sure you do. And you've come to the right place! The Star was founded before Long Island City was even incorporated. It was the only paper in the area at the time. Todd was schooled in journalism at the Flushing Journal. In 1876, the Star went daily. Its circulation grew from a few hundred to some twelve thousand per week by 1896. It also had a Greenpoint edition, the Greenpoint Daily Star.
And what of Todd? Well, here's the weirdness, and boy is it weird! The great citizen went missing in January 1901. Nothing was heard of the Long Islander until a body was found in Flushing Creek in June 1902 which Mrs. Todd and the two Todd sons identified as their husband and father. But, after hearing all the evidence at an inquest, the family decided they had been mistaken. It wasn't Todd after all. Meanwhile, other family members still swore is was Todd. But the inquest jury declared it wasn't and that was that.
By November 1902, there was a nasty battle of an "alleged will" presented by the two sons. It was opposed by the widow and her daughters. The sons charged that their mother was not competent to serve as administrator of the will. Ditto for the daughters (their sisters). Ooh, it was nasty.
But what did happen to Todd? No one knows. He was sick with "the grip" prior to his disappearance. The day he vanished, Todd reported for work in the morning, but looked so bad he was sent home. It was thought he would take the train to Flushing, where he lived, but instead he boarded a ferry bound for James Slip. One report portentiously noted, "He always carried one hundred dollars with him." Methinks Mr. Todd didn't want to be found.
The Star was bought by S.I. Newhouse in 1938. In continued on until 1968 at the Long Island Journal Star. A leading LIC citizen back in the day named Josiah M. Whitney once said "I would like to say that no man deserves more credit for the upbuilding and prosperity of Long Island City than Thomas H. Todd, editor of the Long Island City Star. He deserves great credit for public spirit and fair dealing since he first set his foot on Hunter’s Point soil."
Credit schmedit! Down with the edifice, plaque and all!