Preservation Issues

The Loss of a Great Public Preservationist


-Helen Marshall cuts the ribbon at the rededication ceremony at Tifereth Isreal in Corona, Queens.

March 2017

Former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who died March 4, has been justly lauded for her many contributions to Queens libraries and culture. But she was also a great supporter of preservation.

Marshall contributed $1.1 million in capital funding to the restoration of Tifereth Isreal in Corona, the oldest synagogue in Queens. Her support was crucial to Conservancy efforts to restore the 1911 landmark. The synagogue, founded by European Jews, now is used by Bukharan immigrants. Marshall appreciated history and was proud of the diversity of Queens. She saw the synagogue as a symbol of the borough’s inclusion.

When the Conservancy finished a survey of Queens synagogues and got three of them listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Marshall held a reception in Borough Hall celebrating that recognition of their architecture and history, and praising the congregants for their contributions to Queens.

Marshall was also instrumental in the Conservancy’s efforts to restore the 1857 “Chapel of the Three Sisters” and grounds at Prospect Cemetery in Jamaica. The landmark cemetery, founded in 1668, is the oldest in Queens. Marshall helped get City capital funding for the restoration and revitalization work.

Before becoming Borough President, Marshall served on the City Council and in the State Assembly. Through it all, she remained a cheerful, energetic fighter for her constituents. The Conservancy is grateful for her friendship and support.