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Housing project? Oh what fun! This ought to speed a long the Rogers Avenue development plan. A walk down Rogers in the near future: cafe, boutique, cafe, boutique, crack pipe, cafe, boutique... Can't wait!


Wait, wait, wait ATP -- how does landmarking an area impede new development? The only kind of new development that would be prevented would be the kind that involved demolishing existing structures. Additionally, developers would be obliged to make their projects more aesthetically appealing and in keeping with surrounding architecture. Sounds good to me. Or are you saying that the (potenitally) increased costs of building in a landmarked area are a turn-off for developers? So much the better -- the developers looking to cut corners probably aren't interested in building "nice looking" condos anyway.

In terms of the original proposed district, the fragment at the lower right encompasses the townhouses on Parkside Ave -- and that vacant lot on the SW corner of Bedford and Flatbush, which is excluded from the fragment, is now fenced in plywood and I fear the worst in coming construction there -- landmarking that area would put increased pressure on any developer to build something nice there.


We don't think that matching architecture/design is always very interesting.

If a couple of the houses on non-designated blocks were destroyed to make way for nice looking, appropriated sized condos (something with lots of glass, for example), we wouldn't see that as a major loss. In fact, we would see it as a gain. We like architectural contrast. We also like brownstones, but block after block after block gets monotonous.

Because historic designation would prevent high quality development, we don't necessarily think it's always a good thing.

Clean, modern structures can look quite beautiful next to traditional homes.


Totally agree, ATP. There's nothing worse than modern buildings designed to "fit in" in with their century old counterparts. It's the worst kind of architectural conservatism, and inevitably results in dull, aesthetically worthless construction.

New architecture should innovate and challenge people, not just conform to people's preconceptions that old = "nice"


Can you cite any examples of existing houses being torn down to be replaced by "nice looking appropriate sized condos"? I agree there are buildings in this neighborhood that could be done without -- but these for the most part are recent construction (post WWII anyway) and/or big, ugly apartment buildings -- but demolishing them in favor of shiny glass condos is, thank goodness for the people who live there, not very likely (unless your name is Bruce Ratner, who plans to do just that to a building full of rent-stabilized and controlled tenants).

I'm quite fine with "boring" blocks of townhouses, although, yes, I do enjoy some stylistic contrast as well -- as I've mentioned I love the Richard Meier building on Grand Army Plaza, but note that it is being built on a former parking lot, and that no existing buildings were destroyed for it.

I'd say it would be better to encourage quality new construction on some of the vacant lots in the area.


We could name several, but it comes down to preference and it would only cause redundant debate.

We err on the side of urban design reflecting some sort of vitality as opposed to stodginess. Yes, brownstones are great - but they're not the end all and be all. Cities are made to be reinvented over and over again. PLGers need to be less afraid to mix it up.


I suggest a walk along Fenimore 3 where you will see a couple houses for sale, an ugly new (completed) construction that does not fit in particularly, and a couple of tear-downs where we can only expect to see the sort of building already completed.

I don't oppose new development, unfortunately there is nothing in place to monitor what is being built. This often means buildings that are slightly taller, and having converted front yards to provide parking spaces has also eliminated all possible green space as well as a certain social element.

While I don't expect everything to be in the style of brownstones, I would expect and hope for a design that fits in with the context of the greater residential neighborhood.


The only mix-up I'm afraid of is an invasion of three family Fedders boxes with driveways in the front. A nice, well-constructed building would be cool -- but not at the expense of a perfectly good, occupied, townhouse.

Bob M

Thanks for running the maps ATP.

You write: "If a couple of the houses on non-designated blocks were destroyed to make way for nice looking, appropriated sized condos (something with lots of glass, for example), we wouldn't see that as a major loss".

That MIGHT be so, but the problem is that we don't get to pick and choose which buildings might be destroyed. The tear-downs now underway on Fenimore III may not be a tragedy, but the beautiful limestones on Ocean Ave., for example, are built WAY under allowable FAR. I'm sure that land, facing the park, is some of the most valuable in PLG. IMO it would be a MAJOR loss if several of those houses were to be replaced by a POS like the new condo at Caton and Bedford that pretends to be IN PLG. It would be an equally great loss IMO if buildings like that were to be replaced with something like the Richard Meier building on GAP (which I happen to think is just a higher end POS, but that's just MY opinion, although IIRC I posted a link a couple of months ago about Meiers' dreadful buildings on Perry Street, so I'm hardly alone).

The original larger proposed HD, even with Ocean Ave. and all the other extensions we pushed for years ago, would STILL leave lots of room for development.

My point is that there are MANY blocks in PLG worthy of landmarking and still in need of protection.


I too like mixed architecture in the city, if the design is good and intelligent (which doesn't mean it has to be expensive or contrived to fit in an historical period).
As long as the "mix" doesn't involve too many "Fedders", I am happy.
But quality design doesn't seem to be a priority for devellopers in Brooklyn.
I think it is also important to value the history, to preserve architectural elements from the past and the atmosphere of a place, its space, without the area becoming a museum.
We need to recognize architectural value , and protect it so it doesn't get erased to make room for banality, mediocre or poor design.
In my opinion, PLG has a really interesting feel. It has a special atmosphere, a light, it has a "human scale".
This probably comes from its location and geography, but most of all I think it comes from its architecture and the way the neighbourhood was planned, develloped and build.
It is important to keep that feel.
For example, Rogers Avenue, is one of the most interesting places in PLG, simply in terms of "space" and architecture. Same thing for Ocean avenue, along the park.
Chester court is an architectural curiosity that should be preserved and protected too, as well as the Parkside Avenue houses.

Bob M

I'm NOT opposed to development and, in some cases, even Fedders houses are better than nothing, but there are MANY blocks not in the existing PLG Historic District that SHOULD have been included.

My first priorities for protection would be the houses on Parkside and Ocean Aves. and Chester Court. Lefferts and Sterling I, Lincoln, Maple, Midwood, and Rutland III, The bits of Winthrop and Hawthorne that were in the original proposed HD, part of Clarkson I, and Parkside Court also come to mind.

Designating all those parts of PLG AND whatever landmark-worthy blocks I may have forgotten to list, or not known about, STILL leaves plenty of room for development.


What would be the procedure with the Landmark commission , to have those places/houses included in PLG's historic district?...


A bit outside of PLG, but while we're on the topic...Bklyn Hospital is beginning process of disposing of its Caledonia Hospital complex at 100 Parkside, as part of its bankruptcy recovery process. Anyone interested in what happens to it might be in touch with me.


Hey Bob what about the south side of Fenimore I and II ?? We are only half historic (north side only).
Now to offer an opinion. I think the houses of Lefferts Manor are a very eclectic mix. They are definately NOT rows of boring brownstones. There are also the other blocks around the landmarked district with varied styles. I think in general the PLG area is overdeveloped. We have an enormously high density of population here with the huge apartment buildings here. The fact that the Lefferts Manor houses were preserved is the only reason they are still here. They are also the magnet that draws people here in the first place. ATP proposes knocking a few houses down to put up a modern structure. Doesnt make any sense. Fenimore III is a tragedy unflolding. The house with the wrap around porch that was knocked down was beautiful. There will be some fugly brick monster put in its place. That block is seriously under seige for the worse. You will only get nice pretty architecture when wealthy people dominate the area. That is not going to happen so don't expect any gems by developers. They think bottom line first and foremost.

Bob M


I have nothing against the south side of Fenimore I & II and think any enlargement of the Historic District should include as many blocks as possible. I DON'T think we should wait until some beautiful historifc building is specifically threatened. The recent last-minute rescue on Lefferts Place, in Clinton Hill, was great, but we can't (and IMO SHOULDN'T)count on t that being repeated.

Bob M

BTW, there will be a candidate's forum specifically on preservation and development issues on Thursday,Feb. 8th, from 7--9 PM It has been organized by the Historic Districts Council and is co-sponsored by the Lefferts Manor Assoc. and ten other Flatbush community organizations. The forum will be at PS 217, 1100 Newkirk Ave., bet. Coney Island Ave. and Westminster Rd.


I know you don't have anything against Fenimore...I just wanted to add it to your "priorities for protection" because the houses on the south side of Fenimore I and II are not landmarked

Bob M


MY priorities may not be all that important. Although I think extending the PLG Historic District is vital, and I'm willing to help, I think it would be a good idea if someone living outside the existing HD were to take the lead.



Fenimore I on the south side is an odd mix of townhouses and yucky apartment buildings. 100 Fenimore has been for sale there since July 2006 (on this go round -- they tried to sell it in 2005 as well, but finally took it off the market and did some work on it) -- they're currently asking $899K, down from $975K, but for the so-so state of the block I think that price is too high. Landmarking those houses would help -- although this one has an odd Art Deco-ish entrance built into the front of the ground floor -- don't know how that would affect any potential landmarking of the place.


Anybody who would like to extend PLG's landmark area, I am with you.
I leave in the HD, and would love to see its boundaries extended, as I also think it is vital for the neighbourhood.


I'd be willing to help extend HD (we live outside it, though it's comforting to see that our place was in the original proposal) but can't take the lead.


Actually the south side of Fenimore from 74-102 are all a similiar row house architecture mixing limestone and brownstone. Many are 2 and 3 family. This is because they were not part of the single family covenant and the result is their getting chopped up and abused (The deco entrance at 100) The big apartments on the south side are the result of old giant homes being torn down by developers and big apartments going on their large lots.
If the south side were landmarked, 100 Fenimore would be eligible for financial assistance to be restored and that odd entrance removed and the original windows put back.

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