Landmarks OKs new Bed-Stuy historic district

The Brooklyn Paper
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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.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Updated with Councilman Cornegy's comments.
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Reasonable discourse

da editah says:
"But the battle isn’t over yet — the City Planning Commission and Council will both need to approve the district as well." Which is why you call the local council member before filing your story.
Dec. 8, 2015, 2:11 pm
Bkmanhatman from Nubrooklyn says:
Keep the pressure on! Fight the evil landlords and developers.
Dec. 8, 2015, 3:09 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
To be honest, im pretty sick of developers trying to erase the black history of bed-stuy. I see this as a victory in my book.
Dec. 8, 2015, 4:15 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
they should go to bushwick next & do the same thing because the developers are trying to erase the culture over there as well & I mess with the Puerto Ricans alot.
Dec. 8, 2015, 4:18 pm
there goes another neighborhood from Brooklyn says:
Landmarks - another facade of government control

There are ways communities can come together and make decisions on their own destiny without surrendering more control to our already overpowering government.

Once you are Landmarked, you are landlocked and a mere tenant of what was once yours.

Freedom from government oppression. Landmarks if a wolf in sheep's clothing!
Dec. 8, 2015, 7:54 pm
the goes another neighborhood from Brooklyn says:
If we want to preserve aneighborhood's history, the best way to do so is to leave it unregulated. That way we can tear down the historic buildings, and develop the history of the neighborhood.

It's a fox in bunny's clothing.

Look at how landmarking has ruined other neighborhoods. They retain their historic charm, and low rise feel. Places like Greenwich Village, Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights are awful because of landmarking. No one likes them.
Dec. 9, 2015, 4:14 am
Bkmanhatman from Nubrucklyn says:
All you "anti-government pro-community" people are wolves in Sherpa clothing.
When people organize and enlist the power of the government you evil developers and greedy landlords shake.
Glad people organize to fight you.
Dec. 9, 2015, 8:28 am
Richard from Williamsburg says:
All the people opposing this historic district need to deported ASAP.
Dec. 9, 2015, 10:41 am
Maria R from Sunset Park says:
I agree with all of you supporting landmark status for bed stuy. The greedy developers have destroyed brooklyn enough already. They want us all to live in 300 square feet apartments and pay a million dollars for it. Fight the power.
Dec. 9, 2015, 1:25 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
jjm is going to be disappointed to find out that landmarking protects the buildings, but not the people or culture. It might even make it worse for the people/culture. You wouldn't find a young Bob Dylan loafing around Greenwich Village nowadays, but you will find some pretty buildings.

My prediction is that at some point in the future, historic brownstones of Bed-Stuy will be indistinguishable from historic brownstones in Park Slope, both in how they look and who lives in them.
Dec. 9, 2015, 2:12 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Some need to understand that by declaring a place or even a neighborhood a landmark is what saves it from being demolished in the first place. Also, it's the reason why there is some historic architecture that exists today, otherwise that would have all been gone since the days of urban renewal. Imagine what Greenwich Village or Brooklyn Heights would look like if not for the landmarked districts they have. Historically, NYC was late when it came to even having historic districts when so many other cities in the country had them. Overall, as much as there is a need for new development, there should be some preserved architecture as well especially when we can barely build anything of that kind in today's day and age.
Dec. 9, 2015, 4:19 pm
Sally from Bushwick says:
Dylan is a whiny sexist grump who would probably laugh at your effort to preserve decay for the sake of artistry.
Dec. 12, 2015, 4:56 pm

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