Preservationists, advocates, history buffs and anyone interested in finding out about the history of New York City’s neighborhoods and landmarks has an exciting new resource at their fingertips. The Historic Districts Council (HDC) has launched a new website that offers a complete list of every historic district, individual landmark, interior landmark and scenic landmark in New York City.
Historic Districts Council
6sqft won an award! Help us celebrate at the Historic District Council’s grassroots preservation awards, Tue, April 10, 2018
Photo via Wally Gobetz on Flickr
The Historic Districts Council this month will present six organizations and individuals with “Grassroots Preservation Awards” during its annual event. And 6sqft is one of the lucky winners! Help celebrate us, as well as the rest of the awardees, who will be honored for their work preserving New York City’s historic neighborhoods. The event takes place on Tuesday, April 24 at the Saint Mark’s Church-In-The-Bowery, located at 131 East 10th Street.
Photo by Chris Goldberg/Flickr
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.
Photo via CityRealty
Earlier this year, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) unveiled a series of new proposed rules, which the group says will streamline the application process and improve transparency. One of the proposed changes, which calls for more oversight by LPC staff but less time for public review, has some preservation groups criticizing the commission. Preservationists worry this new rule change would not take into account public opinion, as it limits the opportunity for testimony and comment on the application.
59-81-Washington-Street ca. 1935, via NYPL
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.
Photo courtesy of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council
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.
Conceptual image depicting all of the proposed sites of the East Midtown rezoning fully built out, via CityRealty
After five years, the City Council approved a rezoning for Manhattan’s Midtown East on Wednesday, by a 42-0 vote. The proposal will rezone roughly 78 blocks, running from East 39th Street to East 57th Street and from Third Avenue to Madison Avenue, clearing the way for 6.5 million square feet of office space in the area. A new updated zoning code is expected to incentivize new, dense development, allowing Midtown to compete with other booming business districts in the borough like Hudson Yards and the Financial District. As the New York Times reported, this change which lets developers build to a higher floor area ratio could result in new supertall towers.