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You might think the purpose of our historic districts is primarily to preserve worthy old buildings from destruction but the Landmarks Preservation Commission also influences the design of new construction in historic districts. In a 1970 architecture review, critic Peter Blake (who thought Brooklyn Heights was "about as historically precious as Cleveland") praised the district's restrictions for influencing the design of a modern new building at 119 Columbia Heights.

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Holy Trinity Cathedral/Ukranian Church in Exile photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr. All other photos by LPC

In a stunning turnaround and victory for preservationists in Brooklyn, the Landmarks Preservation Commission Tuesday voted to save six of the seven Brooklyn sites on its “backlog” list of 96 sites citywide. Initially, the commission’s new chair, de Blasio appointee Meenakshi Srinivasan, had planned to dump the whole bunch with no public hearings. Many had been on the commission’s calendar for more than 20 years.

Most notably, one of Brooklyn’s oldest structures, the Lady Moody House at 27 Gravesend Neck Road, got the green light for designation. The privately owned and occupied English farmhouse dates from Gravesend’s earliest days.

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105 8th Avenue. Photo via Halstead

After languishing on the market for years, the historic Tracy Mansion at 105 8th Avenue sold in 2015 for $9.5 million. Now, its new owner wants to dramatically expand the building and convert it into eight residential units.

After some initial hesitation, Landmarks gave the green light this week for a host of changes that’ll give a new life to this old limestone beauty.

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Photo of 135 Pennsylvania Avenue by Zulmilena Then

A young junior architect who grew up in East New York is leading the fight to landmark more than two dozen of the neighborhood’s architectural icons.

Spurred into action by the destruction of the historic East New York Savings Bank and Mayor de Blasio’s controversial rezoning plan, Zulmilena Then founded Preserving East New York (PENY) last year. Now with six members, the fledgling organization has caught the attention of the preservation nonprofit Historic Districts Council, which named East New York one of its 2016 “Six to Celebrate” earlier this month.

Just to be clear, getting the recognition of the Historic Districts Council is like finding out you have a landmarks fairy godmother — HDC’s mission is to help out local groups like PENY, and they’ll work with developers, the Landmarks Commission, and community members to protect spaces that need it.

Brownstoner caught up with the 29-year-old to hear more about her plans to work with the Mayor’s rezoning plan — not against it — to revitalize the area while preserving its historic character.