Vast new areas of Park Slope deserve landmark status, and a local civic group aims to convince the city — and those living in the homes — that the protection is justified.
Under a plan approved unanimously last week by the Park Slope Civic Council, the neighborhood’s historic district would grow exponentially, encompassing more than 5,000 buildings in an area bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Park West, 15th Street, and Fifth Avenue. The current district includes 1,975 buildings.
Because the proposed area is so large, the Council will petition the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to approach its request in three phases, the first 1,350 buildings bordered by Flatbush, Prospect Park West, Seventh Avenue, 15th Street, and parts of Union Street and Fifth Avenue. The second phase includes 2,000 buildings east of Fifth Avenue, and the third, east of Fourth Avenue between Flatbush and 15th Street.
Securing landmark status for the first phase could take up to three years, according to Peter Bray, a trustee of the civic council who has been working on the proposal. There is an expected five−year gap between the other phases, he noted.
The civic’s proposal excludes the blocks between Seventh and Eighth avenues occupied New York Methodist Hospital, which has said it would vigorously oppose the plan if it were included. The hospital, Bray said, predicts that at some point it will expand, something that would be made extremely difficult if its blocks were landmarked.
“So much of Park Slope is at risk and in danger,” Bray said. “To tie up our resources to fight them over two blocks,” he said, would be futile, as the civic group would most likely lose that battle. “We’d rather expend our resources to get Phase 1 done.”