Landmarks designates first historic district in East Flatbush
Photo courtesy of Landmarks Preservation Commission
East Flatbush now has its first historic district. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to landmark a section of the Brooklyn neighborhood on East 25th Street between Clarendon Road and Avenue D, home to 56 cohesive limestone and brownstone properties. As 6sqft previously reported, local residents led the landmarking effort of the block, which has been named the “greenest block in Brooklyn” by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden four times.
“Through this designation, the Commission is recognizing both the architectural quality and the residents’ incredible stewardship of their historic homes and their block,” LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said in a statement. “I have been so impressed by how the historic architecture drew people to this block and how their community spirit has grown stronger through their collective efforts to green, beautify and preserve it. This designation exemplifies the intersection of historic preservation and community, which is very rewarding.”
Between 1909 and 1912, developer Henry Meyer Building Company constructed the block’s row houses in a Renaissance Revival style, made of limestone or brownstone with bay windows and ornamented entrances. The Commission called the sides of the street “mirror images” of one another, an important factor in determining the level of consistency.
During the early 20th century, white merchants and upper-middle-class professionals lived on this block, including notable residents like suffragist Nellie Marshall and executive director of the Port Authority Austin Tobin, according to the LPC. Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, Caribbean immigrants began buying homes on the block and later formed the 300 East 25th Street Block Association in 1985.
According to Kate Lemos McHale, the director of research at LPC, the association has played a leading role in “cultivating and fostering the block’s remarkable community spirit” by organizing block-wide programs and striving for the “greenest block in Brooklyn” honor year-round.
The 300 East 25th Street Block Association first submitted a request for evaluation to Landmarks last year, citing new development projects in the area and the demolition of century-old Victorian homes as the need to preserve the block. On Tuesday, the LPC unanimously approved the designation of the historic district.
“The 300 E 25th St. Block Association hope that our community’s work and preservation legacy will be further solidified by the homes that we leave intact for future generations,” Carol Reneau, co-president of the Association, said.