A small proposed historic district encompassing a chunk of southern Clinton Hill was rejected the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Local – Fort Greene reports. “There are a number of empty lots or other intrusions that disrupt the cohesion of the streetscape and do not relate to the surrounding row houses, compromising the area’s special sense of place,” a spokesperson for the commission told the website.
The Lefferts Place Historic District would have run from Washington to Bedford avenues, from Fulton Street to Atlantic Avenue. Within that area, there are 19th-century row houses, even older villas, as well as apartment buildings and churches from the early 20th century. But the area has not been wholly preserved. “An historic district is an area of the city designated by the Landmarks Commission that represents at least one period or style of architecture typical of one or more areas in the city’s history,” according to LPC’s website. “As a result, the district has a distinct ‘sense of place.'”
Advocates worry the rejection bodes poorly for another proposed historic district, Clinton Hill South Historic District, which covers about half of the area the Lefferts Place one would have. Preservationists have also asked for the Clinton Hill Historic District to be expanded to encompass seven buildings not originally included.
The landmarks commission has a limited staff and 3,400 buildings to review, so submissions generally take five years to complete.
Property owners in a historic district must receive approval from LPC before performing “any restoration, alteration, reconstruction, demolition, or new construction,” but not for ordinary repairs like fixing broken glass or caulking windows.
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