It is history in the making!
The city’s landmarks commission voted unanimously to designate a swathe of lavish 19th-century Bedford-Stuyvesant buildings as a historic district on Tuesday.
The proposed Bedford Historic District — bounded by Monroe and Fulton streets and Bedford and Thompkins Avenue — is a veritable gallery of well preserved period architecture and the recognition is a long time coming, said one member of the panel.
“It’s really a museum of late 19-century architecture in New York, and so much of it is so intact,” said commissioner Frederick Bland. “I think it’s a marvelous new addition and it really is hard to believe it took this long.”
The area features around 800 homes in a variety of eye-catching architectural styles — many of them fancy Renaissance revival style row houses or intricately carved Neo-Grec brownstones, according to the panel.
The district also contains four already landmarked buildings — including the Boys High School on Marcy Avenue and the Girls High School on Nostrand Avenue.
Neighborhood preservationists, who have been rallying for the designation since 2007, say they’re thrilled with the commission’s vote after so many years.
“I’m so happy and relieved,” said Claudette Brady, co-founder of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Society for Historic Preservation. “It’s been tiring.”
But the battle isn’t over yet — the City Planning Commission and Council will both need to approve the district as well. Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. (D–Bedford-Stuyvesant) says he will throw his support behind the measure.
“Designation of the Bedford Historic District was driven by the community and it will benefit the community for years to come,” he said. “I’ll be extremely pleased to offer my support for this item when it comes before the City Council.”
If it is approved, the new designation would mean building owners in the area will have get the commission’s okay for construction and alterations to their facades, and any new buildings have to adhere to the local aesthetic.
The district would join the neighborhood’s Stuyvesant Heights Historic District — covering much of the area between Fulton and Hancock streets, Thompkins Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard — which the city created in 1971 and expanded in 2013.