The air in Prospect Lefferts Gardens is filled with the sounds of hammers and saws. There’s an unprecedented amount of development happening in PLG right now, and while parts of the neighborhood are landmarked, others lack any protection at all. Particularly vulnerable are the area’s rambling wood-frame Victorians and Edwardians on oversize lots.
In a win for preservationists, PLG has just gotten an award and some help from nonprofit preservation group Historic Districts Council. Named one of HDC’s “Six to Celebrate,” PLG has been recognized for its special qualities, including its cultural diversity, unusual history of racial integration, and beautiful historic architecture.
One of the goals of the program is to provide resources at critical junctures to help neighborhood preservation groups attain their goals. The award comes at a time when the community — and in particular its local representative body, Community Board 9 — has been rocked by disagreements, drama and divisiveness over zoning and development.
“PLG is a remarkable area of Brooklyn, a well-loved and incredibly architecturally and culturally diverse neighborhood with an interesting history,” Simeon Bankoff, the executive director of the Historic Districts Council, told Brownstoner.
“Unfortunately, most of the area lacks the protections which could preserve its character and scale — resulting in widespread and heartbreaking demolitions of historic homes and inappropriately massive new construction. HDC is looking forward to working with a coalition of neighborhood groups and residents to identify existing historic structures at risk and strategize about how to protect them,” he said.
HDC will assist The Prospect Lefferts Gardens Heritage Council, the Parkside Avenue Block Association, and Concerned Citizens for Community Based Planning in their strategic missions.
The neighborhood was the only Brooklyn honoree to make the Six to Celebrate list this year. In 2016, East New York and Crown Heights South won the award, which helped get the landmarks-worthy Empire State Dairy and its remarkable tiles on the track to designation.
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