Brooklyn’s ‘greenest block’ is one step closer to becoming a historic district
Street view of East 25th Street; Map data ©2020 Google
The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday calendared a block in Brooklyn’s East Flatbush neighborhood for consideration as a new historic district. The proposed strip on East 25th Street between Clarendon Road and Avenue D consists of 56 remarkably cohesive limestone and brownstone buildings built by a single developer between 1909 and 1912. The effort to landmark the block, which has been awarded the “greenest block in Brooklyn” by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden four times, is being led by the community, which asked the LPC to evaluate the area last year.
According to the LPC, the block stands out in the neighborhood for the high level of consistency and integrity of the homes. Between 1909 and 1912, developer Henry Meyer Building Company constructed the row houses in a Renaissance Revival style, made of limestone or brownstone with bay windows and ornamented entrances. According to the commission, the sides of the street are “mirror images” of one another.
The 300 East 25th Street Block Association submitted a request for evaluation to Landmarks last year, as the Brooklyn Eagle reported. The effort comes as new development projects pop up in the surrounding areas.
According to an online petition launched by the association “rapid and over-development has plagued the East Flatbush community with either the demolition of century-old Victorian homes with boxy buildings in its place or ‘finger’ extensions placed on top of row-homes,” the Change.org petition reads.
“For this, it is crucial to preserve the architectural vision of Henry Meyer and the cultural landscape the 300 East 25th St block residents have nurtured and protected with tremendous care to culminate to a historic district.”
In addition to maintaining the properties, the community also keeps the block green with shrubbery, trees, and flowers. The East 25th Street block has won the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn competition four times since 2004. The block also made the Historic District Council’s Six to Celebrate list of preservation priorities this year.
“The pride of the street homeowners in their houses and street is evident, not only in the lush greenery of their front yards but in the proposed district’s outstanding historical integrity,” Kate Lemos McHale, the director of research at LPC, said during Tuesday’s meeting.
In a statement to 6sqft, Block Association President Carol Reneau said: “We thank our predecessors for their preservation legacy to us. We hope that our Block Association’s motto of ‘Committed to Preserving and Enriching our Community for the benefit of all’ will be the landmark legacy that we leave for future generations.”