History in the taking! Landmarks OKs Park Slope Historic District expansion, but preservationists want more

Historic architecture: The Landmarks Preservation Commission wants to add these buildings on Prospect Place between Fifth and Sixth avenues to Park Slope’s enormous historic district.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Brooklyn’s largest historic district is about to get even larger — but still not large enough, as far as preservationists are concerned.

The borough’s Brownstone boosters are celebrating after the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to approve a second expansion of the Park Slope Historic District on Tuesday following years of lobbying, but say they won’t be truly satisfied until the entire neighborhood is wrapped in red tape.

“It took a long time but we’re pleased its finally happened,” said Simon Bankoff of preservation advocacy group the Historic Districts Council, which championed the plan primarily driven by the Park Slope Civic Council. “We look forward to the rest of Park Slope being protected.”

The new district will add around 300 building — primarily 19th-century row houses on the streets bounded by Flatbush Avenue and Union Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues — to the 2,575-odd edifices already protected under the neighborhood’s original 1973 historic district and a 2012 expansion.

The expanded borders will also annex several 20th-century high-rise apartment buildings at Grand Army Plaza West, which some locals argued are too tall and modern for the designation during the local community board’s vote on the proposal three years ago, though the panel approved it anyway.

The designation means building owners within the boundaries have get the city’s okay for any new construction and alterations to their facades, and any new buildings in the zone have to adhere to the local look-book.

The expansion isn’t a done deal yet — the City Planning Commission and City Council still have to give their okay, though both Councilmen Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) and Steve Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights) are long-time fans of the plan.

The preservationists say they will now turn their focus to lobbying for a third expansion — of a planned five — in the area between Union and Ninth streets.

Growing district: The Landmarks Preservation Commission just gave its thumbs up to landmarking the areas in red.

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