Friday, April 27, 2007


The New York City Landmarks Commission this week granted landmark protection to 472 buildings in Crown Heights North, in the area bounded by Pacific Street to the north, Dean Street, Prospect Place and St. Mark's Avenue to the south, Bedford Avenue to the west and Kingston Avenue to the east. Built mainly between the 1860s and 1930s, buildings in the district feature Italianate, neo-Grec, Romanesque, Queen Anne, Georgian, Renaissance, Colonial, Medieval, Tudor Revival, Mediterranean and Art Deco styles created by several prominent architects.

A Landmarks Commission statement called the designation "the cornerstone for establishing similar districts in the neighborhood" meaning the district is the first of several in Crown Heights North to receive landmark designation, which eventually will extend to 1,400 buildings.

Unlike other brownstone Brooklyn nabes, Crown Heights' residential architecture is largely unaltered since the last development wave in the 1930s. In a April 24 article announcing the pending landmark designation,The New York Times says "lack of money in the 1970s and 1980s" when "no one had the cash to make bad choices" are responsible for the preservation of exquisitely detailed row houses, attached houses, churches, mansions and apartment houses.

Some Crown Heights residents, through Brooklyn blogs, express concern about the practical impact of landmark designation. According to the Commission, designation will not result in higher taxes, nor restrict an owner's right to sell his/her property. Also, the designation does not require property owners to notify the Commission to perform basic maintenance.

Landmark designation also may increase property value, according to a 2003 New York City Independent Budget Office study. The report concludes: "Although prices for historic properties have at times increased less rapidly than for similar properties outside historic districts, overall price appreciation from 1975 through 2002 was greater for houses inside historical districts."

The Landmarks Commission highlighted several buildings as outstanding examples of the district's "marvelous ensemble of mansions, churches, row houses and freestanding residences," including:

* 1200 Pacific Street (designed by Montrose Morris, 1891)
* The Dean Sage Residence, 839 St, Mark's Avenue, designed by Russell Sturgis in 1870
* 889 St. Mark's Avenue, designed by P.J. Lauritzen, in 1904
* 907-33 Prospect Place, designed by Matthew Del Gaudio in 1933

Pictures of Crown Heights North.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Picture Of The Day: Grand Army Plaza 1930s

View across Grand Army Plaza showing Central Library and apartment houses along Eastern Parkway, early 1930s

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Next Door goes For Sale!

On Sale for 1.4 Million a renovated I family house Click Here

On the market for 1.5 Million Updated but not renovated Click Here

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Picture Of The Day Eastern Parkway 1959

This unusual Eastern Parkway twinlamper survived until the early 1960s. It is crowned by the distinctive Type 3 Twin (an original design made for 5th Avenue at the 1892 Columbian Exposition). Note, also, the elongated glass diffusers. These were variations on the shorter diffusers that were featured with the original 'cup' designs from the 1940s.

Eastern Parkway has, in recent years, installed a series of retro-castirons that are an extrapolation of sorts on the park lamp design first created by designer Henry Bacon (who also designed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington) in 1907.