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.


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.