Landmarks to Consider Prospect Heights Historic District

The Landmarks Preservation Commission intends this Tuesday to officially begin considering designating a Prospect Heights Historic District, according to a release from the Municipal Art Society. If approved, city law would prevent some 750 buildings on 21 blocks in Prospect Heights, in most cases, from being demolished or altered in a way unfitting with their historic character. Gib Veconi, chair of the Prospect Heights Development Corporation, said in a statement, The pressure from the Atlantic Yards project and other recent developments are of grave concern to the hundreds of local residents who have written in support of historic designation for Prospect Heights. We’re all grateful for LPC’s swift action in moving the process forward. Historic designation has throughout the city been found to increase property values and the cost of making improvements, according to a study cited in the Atlantic Yards Report. The original district, according to the release, included more than 800 structures. Anyone know why specific buildings were taken out, or why others were added?
ProHi Historic District Could Include Almost 800 Homes [Brownstoner]
Prospect Heights Historic District nudges forward [AYR]

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  • Feels like this Prospect Heights designation has been taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

  • This will be a lay-up when LPC finally gets around to it. So it’s really a matter of “when” and not “if”. Don’t know where those 50 buildings went though.

  • Really? I was just thinking that, considering how long these things usually take, this has been moving along pretty quickly. I guess I just have lower expectation of quick-moving government processes than you do.

    I haven’t seen a historic-district with such universal approval in a long time in this city. I’m pretty surprised that some anti-landmarking group hasn’t sprung up to oppose this…

  • Prospect Place and St. Mark’s between Underhill and Washington are not designated, I am guessing, because of a lack of original townhouses—although both blocks have a number of structures that are certainly worth including. Same goes for Dean Street, and Underhill btw. Prospect and Pacific. So really i have no clue why the district is mapped the way it is.

  • Crown Heights North is going through a second phase and it’s great that prospect Heights is getting a landmarks designation. We had the same questions about why some blocks are included and others not- the answer seems to be what they deem architecturally significant. Of course that’s sufficiently vague in and of itself. the other issue that came up with CHN was the sheer size of it- We were told it was better to do the landmarking in increments and it is a tedious process what with the paperwork, documentation and photographing every house in the proposed district. CHNA worked on getting the first phase done for years. and the calendaring process is even more time, but they do bump up areas they feel are in danger and with the threat of AY, maybe they are trying to push the designation forward a little faster. Best of luck to PHDC!

  • Fjorder:

    One of the interesting components of the landmarking process is that the proposed district has to be both largely contiguous and homogenous – so my guess is that there are not only a lack of architecturally significant buildings on the blocks you mention (or buildings that are significant in another way than brownstone residential) but that the district would have to ‘jump’ over buildings not deserving of inclusion to include them.

  • I’m really surprised the small sliver on Carlton Avenue at Pacific Street is being designated as historic. The buildings are really nothing special (several are in exceptionally poor condition), and they have already been condemned by the state. Not only that, the block mostly consists of tenements and industrial buildings. What is the point? Was this just to appease Weinstein?

    A strange, quixotic move that is a waste of the taxpayer’s money.

  • I’m kind of surprised they added my block in (west side of Underhill btw Sterling – St. John) since it’s not very “architecturally significant” compared to the rest. I think the study area has changed since I last saw this map.

  • Notice that this is a study area, they can always cut back on the boundaries. They seem to have only wanted rowhouses because they have excluded all the historic apartment buildings, same as Park Slope I guess.

  • The study area did change. I notice that it now includes those fantastic buildings at the corner of Sterling Pl. and Flatbush (where Prospect Perk is).

    I agree with MMHTPH: there seems to be remarkable consensus that this district needs to happen.

  • Looks like the study area has grown, mostly (in fact, I can’t figure out any area that was cut. Perhaps the earlier building # estimates were off?). The most significant appears to be the portion of Vanderbilt north of Bergen. Is there a version of this map with the AY footprint overlaid?

  • Atomische – are you serious? I think your block is the most architecturally significant block on Underhill! honestly – taken together, those buildings really work well.

  • For some reason, the PH blocks, at least those just off of Flatbush, remind me of Boston; much more so that Park Slope. Can anyone figure out why that is?

  • The old timers always talk about the “white side of Flatbush” so maybe it snows more on one side, that’s why it reminds you of Boston.

  • epkwy- It’s weird because on my block the designation actually excludes parts of the block and cuts back and forth across the street. I’am also not sure what you meant by homogeneous in this context since the mix of buildings and time periods varies widely In the CHN district.

    the LPC designation report says: “The Crown Heights North Historic District contains some of Brooklyn’s finest and most exquisitely detailed row houses, attached houses, freestanding residences,churches, flats buildings, and elevator apartment houses dating from the middle of the nineteenth century to the 1930s.” and the district includes all those kinds of buildings

    The positive side of landmarking is that property values go up, and there are many programs that become available to homeowners in such a district.

  • The people who post on this board is some retarded numbnuts! Why create a a haven for House Nazi’s to tell you what to do with your home. The busting of this Mutant Real Estate Bubble is insurance no one will build any jacked up structures or make asshead improvements to their houses! This is more time and money wasted on the Asshats!

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

    BTW Brownstoner thank you for implementing the Log-on feature. This will speed you your demise even faster! I know on blessed day I will see a 404 Error and I will know The War Is Over!

  • What- the designation applies to the exterior. Interiors are yours to do what you will. It goes more to maintaining the look and feel of a beautiful neighborhood. It adds value to the property (I know! I know- mutant real estate bubble!) and can stabilize a neighborhood. I don’t think that’s bad- but my feelings about this have more to do with society and community, and love of architecture- nothing to do with finance.

    I understand what you’re saying, but asking you what you think if there weren’t a RE bubble and the economy were better.

  • “I understand what you’re saying, but asking you what you think if there weren’t a RE bubble and the economy were better.”

    I believe that people would not foolish with money. Remember just a few years ago people was not throwing away money. People save to buy a house and took great pride in it. House wasn’t a “investment” but a place to live and raise your family. Now the powers that be increased the money supply, brought interest rates under inflation and people lost their minds. Now you are seeing the unwinding of this Mutant Asset Bubble and things like LPC is a side effect! Just a bunch of pompous asshats trying to tell some one what to do with their house.

    The What

    Someday this war is gonna end..

  • “People save to buy a house and took great pride in it. House wasn’t a “investment” but a place to live and raise your family.”

    What- I totally agree.My friend and I had this exact conversation about buying a home, not an investment. I know, of course that a house is a huge investment, but I agree- it was different. I just never quite looked at it the way you explained it in terms of the market and money supply. But as I’ve said many times, I’m not a money whiz (don’t I wish tho’!).

    I understand what you’re saying about the LPC telling people what to do with their property- a lot of CHN homeowners had misgivings, yet when I see some of these beautiful houses destroyed it really breaks my heart. I don’t believe new construction can come close to the kind of value and quality of older construction- it’s too expensive. And who knows? Maybe landmarking over time will prove itself to you and as the market bottoms out, the value of landmarked homes will show real financial benefit. Either way I can only hope what you said is true- they won’t be building any jacked up structures or make asshead improvements to their houses.