19th century Bed-Stuy development designated

Alice and Agate Courts Historic District, Brooklyn. Courtesy of New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Designation endorsed by local Council Member, residents. On February 10, 2009, Landmarks voted to designate Alice and Agate Courts in Bedford- Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as a historic district. Alice and Agate Courts, two cul-de-sacs off Atlantic Avenue between Kingston and Albany Avenues, contain 36 Queen Annestyle rowhouses that were developed by Florian Grosjean in 1888 – 1889.

Designed by local architect Walter M. Coots, the houses feature decorative stonework and ironwork, and several retain their original stained-glass transoms. The development’s anchor buildings possess striking full-height round corner bays. At the September 16, 2008 hearing, residents gathered to support designation, and expressed concern that a nearby development threatened the neighborhood. 5 CityLand 141 (Oct. 15, 2008). Council Member Albert Vann, who represents the district, also supported landmark protection.

At the designation hearing, Commissioners expressed unreserved praise for the development’s merit. Commissioner Fred Bland stated that he was struck by the cohesiveness of the development’s architecture, while Commissioner Pablo Vengoechea called it a unique piece of urban design, as well as a “rare survivor.” Commissioner Margery Perlmutter acclaimed the district as evidence that Brooklyn is “blessed by surprising jewels,” while Commissioner Joan Gerner stated that Landmarks was preserving the Courts “just in the nick of time.” The Commission’s vote was greeted with a smattering of applause from the assembled residents.

LPC: Alice and Agate Courts Historic District, Brooklyn (LP-2309) (Feb. 10, 2009).

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