Preservation efforts in Bushwick will get a helping hand from the Historic Districts Council, as the neighborhood has been awarded a spot on HDC’s annual Six to Celebrate list.
HDC, a pro-preservation nonprofit, will work with the Bushwick Historic Preservation Association on the group’s preservation goals, which include landmarking an area of northeast Bushwick as a historic district. The proposed section includes neat rows of circa-1900 masonry townhouses near Irving Square Park.
Currently the neighborhood has no historic districts, but it looks likely the Landmarks Preservation Commission will designate an area of Linden Street between Bushwick Avenue and Broadway in the near future.
There are 12 individual landmarks in the neighborhood, including Public School 86 on Irving Avenue, St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church on Bleecker Street, the Peter P. and Rosa M. Huberty House on Bushwick Avenue and, also on the avenue, the DeKalb branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
The neighbors came together to form the preservation association after a community-led effort to create a development plan for the neighborhood known as the Bushwick Community Plan. The proposal was backed by local city council members but met resistance at the mayoral level in 2020.
Bushwick has been a center of Brooklyn’s development boom for years, and it’s nearly impossible to walk down a block without seeing stucco fronts, gray brick, and huge new apartment buildings towering over old wood frame houses, or rising from a cleared lot.
Residents have tried to protect the neighborhood’s history as seen through its diverse and rich architecture by proposing numerous historic districts, largely centered around Bushwick Avenue and its historic mansions.
Locals have often found themselves on the defensive, reactively fighting the demolition of existing grand structures, including the former Charles Lindemann House, a Queen Anne home that was located at 1001 Bushwick Avenue, and an Arts and Crafts house on a Bushwick Avenue corner.
The other areas named on HDC’s Six to Celebrate list as places for preservation attention are Addisleigh Park, Steinway Village, and Kew Gardens in Queens and Mosholu Parkland and the South Bronx in The Bronx.
HDC said In a press release that in the 12 years of the program it has helped Six to Celebrate groups “create three National Register districts; one National Register-eligible district; three National Register Properties; 33 NYC Individual Landmarks; six NYC historic districts (with many others still in the works); one contextual zoning to maintain neighborhood scale and character; and 13 neighborhood surveys that have resulted in the documentation of thousands of historic buildings across the five boroughs.”
A version of this story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site Brownstoner.