Park Slope Becomes City’s Largest Historic District
By Brooklyn Magazine and Brooklyn Magazine
Move over, Greenwich Village: Park Slope just became the city’s largest historic district. The Landmarks Preservation Committee voted on Monday to expand the existing district, adding 580 new properties, roughly located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues from 7th Street to 15th Street, the Park Slope Patch reports. Now the neighborhood boasts 2,575 landmarked buildings—260 more than Greenwich Village, which previously had the most. “These are some of the most beautiful streets in New York,” said the local councilmember. “With today’s vote, we know they will be enjoyed by generations to come.”
Not everybody’s happy, though. “The good is that no one will paint their house pink or put up an ugly silver fence in front of it,” one property owner in the new district told the website. “But the drawback is that if you want to put in a new window you will have to abide by all the historical landmarking rules.” The website also reports some landlords are trying to push tenants out of rent-controlled brownstones so they can convert the buildings into luxury housing.
Personally, I love the look of these historically preserved streets, but I also worry that it’s possible to overromanticize our history. Surely the owners of the farms and houses where these row houses stand now bemoaned the destruction of their communities for densely packed brownstone homes. What if they had had powerful landmark committees?