Wall rats! Slopers can’t use their backyards until school fixes collapse

John Muir can no longer use his St. Johns Place backyard because a retaining wall has been damaged by the Berkeley Carroll School.
Photo by Tom Callan

Not in their backyard!

Residents of St. Johns Place in Park Slope have been banned from using their own open space last week after the city ruled that a wall being removed at an adjacent private school had been so badly damaged in September’s tornado that it could collapse.

The wall demolition is part of a controversial annex being built by the Berkeley Carroll School on Lincoln Place between Seventh and Eight avenues — a project that has already enraged the owners of some of the eight brownstones that share the property line.

Residents don’t think the one-story annex is appropriate in a historic district — and the demolition accident only further widened the gap of trust between neighbors and the school.

“I don’t feel very assured that … the site is safe or what they propose to do with it is safe,” said a resident who wished to remain anonymous.

The school disagreed.

“This was not a result of the construction, but the extreme weather,” said Berkeley Carroll spokeswoman Jodie Corngold. “This was the second tornado in Brooklyn since the 19th century — extraordinary and unforeseeable.”

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