Bay Ridge historic district to be considered for landmark status

March 26, 2019

Image courtesy of Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted today to calendar the Bay Ridge Parkway Doctors’ Row Historic District in the first formal step toward designation. The proposed district is comprised of 54 architecturally consistent row houses along Bay Ridge Parkway between 4th and 5th Avenues in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood. The row of limestone-fronted houses–referred to as Doctors’ Row based on both its historic and current residential demographics–is a distinguished example of the neighborhood’s growth from a suburban resort community to an urban neighborhood ahead of the 4th Avenue Subway line in the early 20th century.

LPC, Bay ridge, historic districts,landmarks, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Bay Ridge was largely an agricultural community until the late 19th century when waterfront resorts and suburban homes were built along its shores, which led to the introduction of electrified trolley service in 1891. The Fifth Avenue Elevated Line arrived in 1899 bringing homes for the working- and middle-classes.

In the early 20th century, the anticipation of the construction of the 4th Avenue Subway line which would connect the Manhattan Bridge and South Brooklyn brought rapid speculative development. It took until 1916 for the subway to arrive at 86th Street.

Builder Arthur Douglas Constant of the Bay Ridge Development Company was tasked with constructing one-family row houses on both sides of the street. He was quoted in a local newspaper as saying, “We are the only ones building high class one family two story swell front limestone houses in this region.”

The entire block was constructed between 1906 and 1913, consisting of two-story-plus-basement row houses designed in the then-popular Renaissance Revival style, set back from the street, with paved and landscaped areaways. Today the houses are mainly characterized by their intact limestone facades, bowed fronts, low stoops, stone lintels, sills and door surrounds, and original cornices.

For the next step in the designation process, the LPC will hold a public hearing on the proposed designation, followed by a public meeting and a vote.


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