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480 Nostrand Avenue, Renaissance Apartments

Preservationists and neighborhood residents are “overjoyed” and “thrilled” the Landmarks Preservation Commission finally approved the Bedford Historic District Tuesday, they told Brownstoner.

Long in the works, the district contains some of the neighborhood’s most significant architecture. Its preservation comes just as developers are transforming Bedford Stuyvesant with small and medium-size apartment buildings.

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The Landmarks Preservation Commission this morning voted to landmark the proposed Crown Heights North III Historic District. The vote was unanimous.

It was a very short meeting, about 15 minutes. The vote took place after a quick presentation about the proposed district, which had been “calendared” way back in June 2011.

Some noteworthy features of the district, which includes 640 buildings between Brooklyn and Albany avenues, are the quaint one- or two-block stretches of Hampton, Revere and Virginia places. These blocks feature Colonial and Renaissance Revival homes, as well as a collection of two-family “Kinko” houses (shown above) built between 1907 and 1912. Designed by Mann & McNeille, every house includes two duplexes, each of which has its own front door, house number, stairway, porch and cellar. 

The Crown Heights North Association and members of Community Board 8 were jubilant about the vote, which they’ll discuss at an upcoming town hall meeting. “I think it’s wonderful,” said CB 8 member Adelaide Miller, who’s lived on Virginia Place for 67 years. “I go into areas where they tore down beautiful churches and buildings, and I’m happy that won’t happen here.”

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We’re excited to tell you that the Landmark Preservation Commission will vote Tuesday morning on whether or not to designate the proposed historic district Crown Heights North III. It has been in the works for years, and the hearing for calendaring the vote was held way back in 2011!

It looks like this will be a quickie vote. The agenda item on the LPC calendar allots 15 minutes. Also, the item did not go up on the LPC calendar until just a few days ago. We’re not sure what that all means, but we hope it’s good news for the preservationists and neighborhood residents who’ve worked so hard to make this happen.

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The owner of a group of retail buildings in the Jackson Heights Historic District has filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build on top of the existing structure according to DNAinfo. The buildings at 84-11 through 84-23 37th Avenue are owned by Charlie Patel according to the website. He applied to the commission for permission to add a rooftop extension as well as to replace to windows and doors on the 1946 commercial building.

Since the building is in an historic district the landmarks commission must approve any changes visible from the street. Owners of the businesses in his building have not been notified of any impending construction and no date has yet been set for a hearing on the proposal.

Landlord Plans Rooftop Addition in Jackson Heights Historic District [DNAinfo]

Photo: DNAinfo/Katie Honan

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The Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on whether or not to designate Chester Court a historic district in January, according to The Brooklyn Eagle. The district was calendared in late October, meaning the LPC decided it would vote, as reported.

The teens Tudor Revival cul-de-sac is largely intact, and development is nipping at its doors, since the block is just off the busy avenue of Flatbush. The 23-story tower at 626 Flatbush is rising just behind Chester Court on one side of the block. Chester Court was proposed as part of the original Prospect Lefferts Gardens historic district, but was not included. We’re glad the LPC is taking action on this, following the transition period between administrations when it was less active.

Amazingly, a representative from the Real Estate Board of New York, not known for favoring landmarking, spoke in favor of the designation on Tuesday, said the Eagle, as did the PLG City Council member, residents and neighborhood associations.

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The Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday calendared the 18 Tudor Revival homes on Chester Court in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, a spokeswoman for the LPC told us. Calendaring means the LPC will eventually vote on whether or not to designate the proposed Chester Court Historic District. Architect Peter J. Collins designed the houses in 1914 and 1915, according to the notice of yesterday’s hearing. The block is a cul-de-sac off Flatbush, next to the 23-story apartment tower rising at 626 Flatbush Avenue.

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A private Montessori school group is presenting its plans next week to alter the facade of a landmarked former movie theater at 292 Court Street in Cobble Hill. The school needs LPC approval to change the facade and “to install storefront infill, two barrier-free access ramps, a flag, a canopy, and an elevator bulkhead, “according to the LPC agendaCalifornia-based LePort Schools signed a lease in April for the 15,700-square-foot building, which includes an additional 6,000 square feet of rooftop and back terrace space, as we reported at the time.

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The New York State Preservation Office has decided not to move forward with a plan to designate the Gowanus Canal area as a state and national historic district. The designation, which has been in the works for about a decade, was shelved after the state received a substantial number of notarized letters from property owners objecting to it, as The New York Daily News reported last week.

However, contrary to what that article implied, it is still possible the area could one day be designated if residents favor it. A member of pro-designation community group FROGG, who asked not to be named, told us the letters came in because another community group went door to door with a notary and gave misleading information to homeowners about the designation and wrote letters on the spot.

At issue is whether or not designation would in any way hinder development or restrict what homeowners could do with their property. The state preservation office said it won’t. “It’s honorific,” said the FROGG member.

Whatever Federal review might be necessary is already required because the Gowanus Canal Historic District has already been deemed eligible for designation. Official designation would let owners get tax credits if they voluntarily seek to restore or redevelop their properties in the area. Above, part of the site in the area where Lightstone is building a development as it looked in September.

Click through to the jump to see the letter the Preservation Office sent to Gowanus area residents about the matter. The “fact sheet” to which the letter refers is a post we ran in March.

Update: A letter sent out to residents by community group Gowanus Canal Commmunity Development Corp. opposing designation can be viewed on the website of the Gowanus Alliance.