Preservation awards to honor four historic Brooklyn landmarks, including former East New York police precinct

The former 75th Police Precinct Station at 486 Liberty Ave. in East New York undergoing work in September of 2023.
Photo by Susan De Vries

Four historic properties in Brooklyn join more than a dozen receiving the 34th Annual Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards from the New York Landmarks Conservancy next month. The awards honor outstanding adaptive reuse, preservation, or restoration projects for historic buildings of all kinds in New York City.

One of the winners, a castle-like structure at 486 Liberty Ave. in East New York, served as the 75th Police Precinct Station until the 1970s. It was recently purchased by an LLC in a crumbling state, and its orange and brown brickwork and terra-cotta ornament now gleam. Completed in 1891, the Romanesque Revival-style building was designed by engineer George Ingram, although it is often attributed to architect Emile M. Grewe.

Powerhouse Arts in Gowanus is one of the Brooklyn projects being honored at the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards.
The interior of Powerhouse Arts in Gowanus in May of 2023.Photo by Susan De Vries

Over in Gowanus, Powerhouse Arts has revived from the brink the old Batcave — aka the abandoned Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company Central Power Station Engine House building — at 322 Third Ave. in a stunning feat of adaptive reuse. Cleaned up and with an addition, the arts hub preserves the large central space ringed by bits of old graffiti. It opened last year as a fabrication center, ceramics studio, and venue space.

In one of Bed-Stuy’s historic districts, a pair of early 20th century houses were preserved by their longtime owner and architect Michelle Todd. The scope of work included repointing brick and rebuilding crumbling exterior features, whose materials include brick, stucco, and stone (both cast and natural).

The Ridges Residences in Bed-Stuy.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, not far from the Bushwick border is Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church at 333 Hart St. After years with boarded up windows and dirty stonework, the huge Romanesque Revival church is now standing proud again with windows with red sashes, stained glass, and a pale blue-painted cornice and trim. Designed by Patrick Keely, it opened in the 1880s with impressive frescoes, bronze chandeliers, and marble and onyx altars.

Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in 2019, before restoration.Photo by Susan De Vries
Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church at 333 Hart St. in Bed-Stuy.Photo by Zaskorski & Associates Architects via New York Landmarks Conservancy

Roberta Brandes Gratz — author, preservationist, and urbanist — will also be honored with the Preservation Leadership Award for her work on the Landmarks Preservation Commission and to restore the Eldridge Street Synagogue.

The celebration takes place April 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Plaza, and a ticket costs $95. The New York Landmarks Conservancy funds preservation and saves buildings in New York State with loans, grants, and pro bono technical advice.

This story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site Brownstoner.