City fast-tracks preservation of Remsen St. building

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city set aside its own landmarking rules on Tuesday to speed up historic preservation of a glorious — though dilapidated — Brooklyn Heights building.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission moved ahead with the unusual effort to landmark 186 Remsen St. — rather than include it in an already-proposed Skyscraper District — out of concern that the owner of the building would demolish or alter it before the historic district could be finalized.

The now-vacant building was originally included within the proposed 20-building landmark district that may soon surround Borough Hall and “preserve the aesthetic” of the area. But commissioners got worried that the owner would get permits to alter the building sooner rather than later.

“[The commission] was concerned … and took it out of sequence ahead of the other buildings,” said Landmarks spokeswoman Lisi de Bourbon.

The building, a six-story office tower near Court Street that dates to the late 1800s, already had its top one-and-a-half floors removed years ago.

Tuesday’s discussion did not officially decide anything, but officials and the owner did hammer out an agreement that nothing would be done to the building until a “future date.”

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
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