Sections

Landmarking is a waste of time and money

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Landmarking became part of the city’s life after the 1963 destruction of Penn Station and consists of two varieties: individual buildings and neighborhoods. I have no problem with landmarking historically or architecturally significant buildings, nor do I oppose the making of small historical districts as was done around Gramercy Park or the original district in Carroll Gardens. I do oppose landmarking broad swashes of our neighborhoods, as evidenced by the proposed extensions of Park Slope’s and Carroll Gardens’s historic districts.

South Brooklyn has been around for a long time; long before the real estate names of Red Hook, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens divided it into essentially three different zones. These neighborhoods survived the Great Depression and the red-lining in the 1980s. Carroll Gardens has survived as essentially an Italian neighborhood with a strong mix of Hispanics, Irish and other groups and also with a good spectrum of incomes, occupations and backgrounds. Recently when buildings over six stories were being built and proposed in our neighborhood, zoning restrictions were introduced to prevent these oversized buildings from destroying the feel and fabric of our neighborhood.

However, that scare has restarted the movement to broaden the Historic District to include from Degraw Street to Hamilton Avenue and from Hicks Street to Hoyt Street. When you ask why, the answer is usually to keep the tall oversized buildings out. When you point out that this has been prevented by zoning already, then the answer becomes, We do not want ugly buildings like what can be found on this block or that block.

In simple terms, in a Historic District, my house, my home will become a co-op, with my neighbors and the Landmarks Preservation Commission as the co-op board. For me to change my windows and door I would need to get Landmarks to approve my the changes; this costs me money and time. Few people in Historic Districts get work done without hiring an expeditor; the windows that Landmarks has on its approved list are not your everyday Home Depot windows but will cost more. I do not see that the extra cost and extra time will help the neighborhood.

Just look at the battle of Norah Jones’s home inside the Cobble Hill Historic District. Jones has Landmarks’s approval, but her neighbors are still threatening to sue her and Landmarks. Please go look at the “Wailing Wall”; it looks so much better with windows that it is hard to believe anyone would be upset. However, what one person likes another can hate, and in Historic Districts, all your neighbors and Landmarks are on your co-op board.

Michael Cassidy is a resident of Carroll Gardens, which, like Park Slope, is in the middle of a push to extend the neighborhood’s Historic District.

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

aliassinna from prospect heights says:
my neighborhood was just landmarked. with great relief. the atlantic yards project and real estate prospectors were threatening the vintage brownstone area. this is the best way to protect what is there from encroaching development. l live in a coop building and have renovated my space and welcome to my world of approvals and expediters. it does slow things down, but the integrity of the neighborhood will be maintained for the future generations.
June 25, 2010, 2:08 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter:

Optional: