With the year almost at an end, we take a look back at the Brooklyn buildings and neighborhoods considered significant enough to merit designation by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2019.
This year Brooklyn gained five individual landmarks and five historic districts. They span Gowanus, Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. The latter two neighborhoods gained historic districts for the first time.
Gowanus Pumping Station and Gate House
196 Butler Street, Gowanus
Constructed between 1909 and 911, the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel Pumping Station and Gate House were designed by Arthur L. Martin, architect of the Bureau of Sewers, to hold the system needed to flush out the Gowanus Canal. The building was designated in October.
Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company Central Power Station Engine House
153 2nd Street, Gowanus
Known locally as The Batcave, the BRT Central Power Station is a prominent building along the Gowanus Canal. Constructed from 1901-1904, it was designed by engineer Thomas E. Murray to provide power to transit lines, which it did until 1972. Long abandoned, the building was purchased by Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation in 2012, which plans to transform the building with a design by PBDW and Herzog & de Meuron. The building was designated in October.
Montauk Paint Manufacturing Company Building
170 2nd Avenue, Gowanus
Originally built as an investment property in 1908, the brick industrial structure is identified with its first tenant, the Montauk Paint Manufacturing Company, which operated out of the building for more than 20 years. Designed by Garabed George Heghinian, the building features corbeled brick piers and segmental-arched windows. The building was designated in October.
ASPCA Rogers Memorial Building
233 Butler Street, Gowanus
The brick building and its accompanying horse trough were designed by Renwick, Aspinwall & Tucker in 1913 and expanded in 1922, as the Brooklyn headquarters of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The building was designated in October.
Somers Brothers Tinware Factory (later American Can Company)
238-246 3rd Street, Gowanus
In an era before plastic storage containers, the Somers Brothers Tinware Factory pioneered inventive tinware containers and other products. In order to meet the high demand they constructed this large factory in 1884. It was designed by Daniel Somers in the American Round Arch style, a popular look for industrial buildings, but features distinctive polychromatic brick and a prominent projected corner. The building was designated in October.
Bay Ridge Parkway – Doctor’s Row Historic District
415-478 Bay Ridge Parkway, Bay Ridge
There are 54 row houses included in the district, which has a history as a doctor’s row. The houses are Renaissance Revival in style (some with Colonial Revival elements) and they were built between 1906 and 1913. The district was designated in June.
Sunset Park North Historic District
Buildings on 54th through 59th streets between 4th and 5th avenues, Sunset Park
The Sunset Park North Historic District comprises some 285 buildings, including row houses and some of the earliest apartment co-operatives in New York City, modest dwellings built by associations of Finnish immigrants to house their working-class members. The district was designated in June.
Central Sunset Park Historic District
Buildings on 47th and 48th streets between 5th and 6th avenues and on 6th Avenue between 47th and 49th streets, Sunset Park
Centered on 47th and 48th streets between 5th and 6th avenues, the 148 buildings that line the streets of the district are almost all two-story row houses built between 1897 and 1907 to house the expanding working and middle class community. Most of the houses were originally built by speculative developers in the Renaissance Revival Style. The district was designated in June.
Sunset Park 50th Street Historic District
413-472 50th Street, Sunset Park
This small district of 50 brownstones on 50th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues was developed between 1898 and 1903. Although the houses were built by two separate pairs of brothers, the street is remarkably cohesive, with houses largely in the Renaissance Revival and Romanesque Revival styles. The district was designated in June.
Sunset Park South Historic District
Buildings on 54th to 59th streets between 4th and 5th avenues, Sunset Park
This district has the largest assemblage of well-preserved houses in the neighborhood, according to the LPC. The more than 280 buildings are almost all two-story houses built between 1892 and 1906. The district was designated in June.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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