All posts by Historic Districts Council

CONNECT:

Featured Story

Features, Harlem, History

Dorrance Brooks Square: A Harlem enclave with World War and civil rights ties

By Historic Districts Council, Wed, September 4, 2019

Photo courtesy of the Dorrance Brooks Property Owners and Residents Association

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

By many accounts, Dorrance Brooks Square is considered the first public square named for a black soldier. The little Harlem park, just east of the larger St. Nicholas Park, was dedicated in 1925 to honor African-American infantryman Dorrance Brooks for his bravery during WWI. Prior to that, the area was very much associated with the Harlem Renaissance, home to jazz musician Lionel Hampton and sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois, among others. Later, it became a key location for social and political gatherings and speeches during the Civil Rights era. Today, the quaint neighborhood is home to an incredibly intact collection of late 19th-century rowhouses, built at the time for upper-middle-class professionals, as well as four culturally and architecturally significant churches.

For all these reasons, the Dorrance Brooks Property Owners and Residents Association is advocating for an official landmark designation of the Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District, which would run up Edgecombe Avenue between West 136th and 140th Streets. To give 6sqft more information on this history of this neighborhood, the Association has mapped out the six most significant sites.

Learn all the history right here

Featured Story

Bronx, Features, History

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first historic district designated by New York City in the Bronx. Mott Haven was designated in 1969 by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission for its architecture “representative of the best of the second half of the nineteenth century.” Landmarks later designated the Mott Haven East Historic District and the Bertine Block Historic District, also in the neighborhood, in 1994. Designated the same year as the Greenwich Village Historic District, the Mott Haven Historic Districts Association is working to bring this historic neighborhood to the same level of local and national prominence as its Manhattan sibling.

In honor of the 50th anniversary, the Association uncovered the story behind 10 historic sites in Mott Haven–from the ironworking factory that lent its name to the neighborhood to two incredibly intact stretches of rowhouses to an early piano factory.

More here

Featured Story

Bronx, Features, History

Six things you didn’t know about Arthur Avenue and Bronx Little Italy

By Historic Districts Council, Mon, April 9, 2018

Photo by Chris Goldberg/Flickr

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

The Bronx’s Belmont community can date its history all the way back to 1792, when French tobacconist Pierre Abraham Lorillard opened the Lorillard Snuff Mill as the first tobacco firm in the country, and possibly the world. European influences continued to proliferate in the area, and at the turn of the 19th century, flocks of Italian immigrants moved to Belmont to take jobs in the newly opened Botanical Gardens and Bronx Zoo. By 1913, the neighborhood was referred to as the Italian “colonies” in the Bronx.

Today, Belmont’s main artery, Arthur Avenue, still thrives as a bustling Italian center, with countless restaurants, pastry shops, butchers, and more. But there’s a lot more to Belmont than just spaghetti and cannoli. From the origins of a pasta shop’s sign that’s now featured on Broadway to a Neapolitan restaurant that was born in Cairo, Egypt, the Belmont BID shares six secrets of this saucy neighborhood.

Uncover the history ahead

Featured Story

Features, Financial District, History

Six things you didn’t know about the Lower West Side

By Historic Districts Council, Wed, February 14, 2018

59-81-Washington-Street ca. 1935, via NYPL

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

The Lower West Side may not be a neighborhood name used by brokers, but for those involved with preservation efforts in the area, it’s a neighborhood very much unique from the surrounding Financial District. Encompassing the area west of Broadway from Liberty Street to Battery Place, it was originally home to Irish and German immigrants, followed by Little Syria, the nation’s first and largest Arabic settlement, from roughly the 1880s to 1940s. But the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and World Trade Center “nearly wiped the neighborhood off the map.” There are still several buildings remaining that serve as a connection to the past, however, and Friends of the Lower West Side is working diligently to make sure this history is not lost, expanding its oral history program, offering walking tours of the area, and appealing to the Landmarks Commission to designate a small historic district.

Find out six little-known facts about this amazing district

Featured Story

Features, History, Prospect Heights

Photo courtesy of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

Constructed on a lost fragment of the original footprint of Prospect Park, the Prospect Heights Apartment House District is a concentration of 82 apartment buildings dating from 1909-1929. This development was promoted by the Prospect Park Commissioners to attract high-quality construction to complement the nearby Park, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Public Library. The buildings, representative of a period in Brooklyn history when building patterns shifted to accommodate a rising middle class, remain exemplary for their architectural integrity and as housing stock for a diverse population.

As one of this year’s Six to Celebrate recipients, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the Cultural Row Block Association on Eastern Parkway are working to garner local support and submit a proposal for historic district status from the LPC.

Find out six little-known facts about this handsome district

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.