historic districts

Crown Heights, Major Developments

Southern facade; Photo credit: Simia Rassouli

The fight continues over a proposed new development on a large stretch of land in the Crown Heights North Historic District II with an online petition opposing the project collecting over 4,000 signatures. A neighborhood group, Friends of 920 Park, hopes to stop the construction of a seven-story, 182-unit apartment building on land at 959 Sterling Place (920 Park Place), originally the site of the Methodist Home for the Aged and currently the home of the Hebron French Speaking Seventh Day Adventist School. The renewed fight against the project comes ahead of a Brooklyn Community Board 8 and Landmarks Preservation Commission public hearing on the plan later this summer.

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Bronx, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Streetview of 842 Manida Avenue, Map data © 2020 Google

The Bronx has gained a new historic district, making it the 150th district to be landmarked in New York City. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to designate the Manida Street Historic, a block of semi-attached brick homes in Hunts Points. Residents first pushed for the South Bronx street to be recognized in 2010, as development began to accelerate in the neighborhood. “This gem of a district is a complete district that still exists and is not only a reminder of the 20th-century residential development of the South Bronx, but it’s also a reflection and testament to the commitment of its current community,” LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said on Tuesday.

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Bay Ridge, Landmarks Preservation Commission

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

Image courtesy of Landmarks Preservation Commission

Bay Ridge residents and elected officials voiced their support for the neighborhood’s first historic district during a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing Tuesday. The commission voted in March to calendar the proposed Brooklyn district, known as the Bay Ridge Parkway Doctors’ Row Historic District. Comprised of 54 architecturally consistent row houses along Bay Ridge Parkway between 4th and 5th Avenues, the district includes a row of limestone-fronted houses–referred to as Doctors’ Row based on both its historic and current residential demographics. This block reflects the neighborhood’s growth from a suburban resort community to an urban neighborhood ahead of the opening of the 4th Avenue Subway line in the early 20th century.

Making the case for historic Bay Ridge, this way

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Sunset Park

Photo via Flickr

Sunset Park residents on Tuesday urged the city’s Landmarks Preservation Committee to protect the neighborhood’s century-old buildings and designate four historic districts. During a packed public hearing, lifelong residents and new homeowners alike testified in favor of landmark designation for all four areas, citing the neighborhood’s cohesive and intact architecture, as well as its connection to generations of diverse immigrant communities.

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Bay Ridge, Landmarks Preservation Commission

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

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.

More about the neighborhood, this way

Harlem, History, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Photo via LPC

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday designated three blocks in Central Harlem as a historic district in recognition of the significant role African Americans played in social change in New York City and beyond during the 20th century. The Central Harlem District measures West 130-132nd Streets, the mid-blocks between Lenox and Seventh Avenues.

LPC notes how Harlem residents used residential buildings to accommodate cultural, religious and political activities, starting with the Harlem Renaissance through the civil rights movement of the 1960s. “This collection of buildings is exactly why we designate historic districts: it’s an architecturally distinctive and historically significant set of structures that together tell an essential piece of Central Harlem’s story,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said. The commission also launched an interactive story map as a way to illustrate the unique influence of this district through photos, maps and video.

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Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Historic Homes, NYC Guides, Policy, stuff you should know

historic districts and landmarking nyc

In New York City, where buying and selling real estate is a high-stakes endeavor, the topic of historic and landmark designation is frequently raised. There are heated discussions on the subject of listing neighborhoods or buildings on the State and National Register of Historic Places or having them designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. It’s important to know what those organizations do and the distinctions between them. You could even be eligible for significant financial aid for your renovations if you own property in an historic district.

Find out what these designations mean, how you could benefit from them and why they’re sometimes controversial.

gentrification, Policy

The city’s preservation groups have reported that the results of a series of studies, prompted by the 50th anniversary of the city’s Landmarks Law, have put some numbers behind the claim that landmarking doesn’t harm, and may actually improve, the economic balance of neighborhood development and growth. According to Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, “This is the first time which preservationists–who tend to be from the humanities and subsequently math-averse–have put real data behind anecdotes.” The combined reports represent the most comprehensive study to date of the impacts of historic preservation in New York City.

Find out what the numbers say

Nomad, Policy, real estate trends

Broadway between 26th and 27th Streets, NoMad

Broadway between 26th and 27th Streets, part of the current Madison Square North Historic District, via Wiki Commons

Over the past few years, NoMad (north of Madison Square Park) has been the subject of countless articles looking at its rise to becoming a go-to place for culture, food, business, and residential opportunities. In fact, as we reported last June, since 2009 the neighborhood has seen price-per-square-foot averages rise by 40 percent. But not everyone looks at this neighborhood as the next frontier. Local residents and preservationists see the area as a relic of the late 19th century, when it was home to the city’s most opulent hotels and mansions and brownstones occupied by New York’s elite, as well as of the Roaring Twenties, when the community boomed as a commercial hub. For these cultural reasons and for NoMad’s wealth of industrial and gilded architecture, a proposal will be heard tonight in front of the landmarks committee of Community Board No. 5 to extend the Madison Square North Historic District.

NoMad property owners and developers don’t agree with the proposal, citing that the area’s building stock has been significantly altered over the years. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “The face-off is significant because it is centered in an area that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment, with new hotels and apartment buildings breaking ground, and new stores and restaurants opening almost weekly. In the eyes of real-estate executives, it would freeze growth in a rare section of Midtown Manhattan still ripe for development.”

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Featured Story

Features, Goldilocks Blocks, Historic Homes, Neighborhoods

Goldilocks Blocks: Vanderbilt Avenue in Wallabout, Brooklyn

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, September 29, 2014

Wallabout, Fort Greene, historic homes, wood frame house, Vanderbilt Avenue

Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. They aren’t commonly known, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes. Continuing our Goldilocks Blocks series, this week we turn to Brooklyn.

The culturally rich, architecturally stunning Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill need little introduction. The Brooklyn Navy Yard to the north is busily growing as a start-up business incubator and creative and commercial hub. An “in-between” zone—the sort of area that engenders a question mark and a furrowed brow when perusing neighborhood maps—lies just north of Myrtle Avenue and south of the Navy Yard.

Known as Wallabout, the area was named for Wallabout Bay to the north, much of which was filled in to create the Navy Yard in the 19th century. Unique among its neighbors, a block-long stretch of this border district feels more like a small-town side street than a growing urban crossroads.

Find out what makes this historic block so special, and why it’s likely to stay that way.

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