It’s a historic day on the Hill!
Boerum Hill preservationists are cheering following the city’s Tuesday decision to expand the neighborhood’s historic district, protecting nearly 300 more buildings from the wrecking ball as developers eye area streets for future towers.
“Over the years I have seen Boerum Hill change and grow, and I am glad that the historic and beautiful buildings that make up this diverse community’s sense of space will be protected and preserved,” said Boerum Hill Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, who lives in the neighborhood and once led its local civic group, the Boerum Hill Association.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to extend the current Boerum Hill Historic District — which the city formed in 1973 to protect some 250 structures, most of which are 19th-century row houses, roughly bounded by Wyckoff, Hoyt, Pacific, and Nevins streets — to incorporate 288 new buildings on three separate chunks of land along the already existing district’s perimeter.
The properties within the extended historic district — which now require the commission’s sign-off on alterations, including small tweaks to windows, awnings, and signs — include the majority of the buildings on the city block bounded by Dean, Smith, Bergen, and Hoyt streets; other structures standing in an area roughly bounded by Bergen, Bond, Wyckoff, and Nevins streets; and several Atlantic Avenue-facing buildings between Hoyt and Nevins streets.
The approval follows local landmarking advocates’ repeated calls to broaden Boerum Hill’s historic district, which began years ago and picked up steam over the last two years after Simon’s successor at the Boerum Hill Association shopped the idea as a measure to further protect the predominantly low-rise area from new developments that would alter its character.
Some small business owners with Atlantic Avenue stores that fall within the extended district, however, panned the idea at a May hearing, charging the expansion would hurt mom-and-pop entrepreneurs by forcing them to deal with more red tape and expenses in order to maintain their storefronts.