Williamsburg — the jam-packed home to scores of art galleries, hundreds of bands and even 30 kickball teams— just made space for a little history, too.
The Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously voted on Tuesday to make Fillmore Place, a one-block street, the neighborhood’s first historic district, protecting its 29 charming mid-19th–century rowhouses from major alteration.
“Constructed for working class-tenants, the architecture of the buildings in this district has more in common with fashionable middle- and upper-class single-family rowhouses than the tenements that were typically built to house them,” said Commission Chairman Robert Tierney. “The district is an evocative reminder of this period in Brooklyn’s history.”
Writer Henry Miller certainly agreed with the sentiment. After all, one of those houses on the block between Driggs Avenue and Roebling Street, was his boyhood home.
In some of the less explicit passages of “Tropic of Capricorn,” Miller wrote that Fillmore Place is “the most enchanting street I have ever seen in all my life” and “the ideal street.”
Current preservationists were excited at the prospect of a historic district — even such a tiny one — in a neighborhood that has seen unprecedented development during the last real-estate boom.
“In Williamsburg, there have been so many teardowns over the decades that you rarely have a continuous row that was all developed in one point,” said Ward Dennis, a Community Board 1 member who is also on the Williamsburg Greenpoint Preservation Alliance.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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