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The historic Empire State Dairy Building at 2480 Atlantic Avenue. Photo by Edrei Rodriguez

As city agencies and community members continue to weigh the pros and cons of the East New York rezoning plan, the New York City Department of City Planning earlier this month released the final environmental impact statement, shedding light on the proposal’s potential effects on some of the area’s most landmark-eligible structures.

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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.

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Following the release Monday of a 13-page report critiquing Mayor de Blasio’s East New York rezoning plan, local coalition Real Affordablility for All held a rally in Downtown Brooklyn — a “hyper-gentrified” neighborhood, according to the organization’s press release.

After the rally, Real Affordability members and leaders headed to Lower Manhattan, where they disrupted the City Planning Commission’s hearing regarding the the rezoning process for East New York. The event’s timing purposefully coincided with today’s beginning of the public review process for the rezoning of East New York.