HDC Identifies Six Preservation Priorities for 2013

Advocacy group selects areas in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island as meriting preservation attention in 2013. The Historic Districts Council announced its “Six to Celebrate” list of preservation priorities on January 3, 2013. The areas identified by HDC consist of the Bronx Parks System, Manhattan’s East Village/Lower East Side and Tribeca neighborhoods, Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Sunset Park neighborhoods, and Harrison Street in Staten Island.

The six areas were chosen from applications submitted by neighborhood groups around the city. The selected preservation targets will be commemorated at an event held by HDC on January 29, 2013.

The Bronx Parks System will mark its 125th year in existence in 2013. The parks system was created in 1888, in anticipation of the City’s northern growth, and consists of more than 4,000 acres. According to HDC, “This enormous public investment guided the development and planning of the borough to become a livable place for people of modest means.”

Manhattan’s East Village/Lower East Side gained a landmark district designation in 2012, which has yet to be approved by the City Council. The area is largely characterized by tenement buildings in a variety of architectural styles constructed during the early 19th century. Beyond its historic fabric, the area is well known for its rich social history. In partnership with the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, HDC hopes “to work toward protecting and promoting more of this vibrant neighborhood.”

Tribeca contains five historic districts. It is largely defined by store-and-loft buildings and other mercantile architecture of the 19th century. According to HDC, the neighborhood “found new life as a vibrant residential and commercial area thanks to preservation efforts in the 1980’s.” HDC intends “to continue these efforts and involve new and old residents in the protection and future of their community.”

The architecture of Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood is largely identifiable as related to the area’s 19th century industrial history and includes factory buildings and workers’ houses. The area is home to the Greenpoint Historic District, designated in 1982, and was modified to remove one property in 2005. The neighborhood also plays host to the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District, designated in 2007, and contains a cluster of buildings related to the former industrial complex.

Sunset Park’s significance, according to HDC, lies in its early-20th-century rowhouses, which it describes as “elegantly detailed.” HDC notes that this district is recognized in the National Register. Sunset Park was the subject of a significant rezoning in 2009.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission calendared a proposed Harrison Street Historic District in the Stapleton community of Staten Island in July 2012, and will hold a hearing on the proposal on January 15, 2013. The residential neighborhood features several houses with Victorian-era styles, including Greek Revival, Second Empire, and Gothic Revival. The district’s development dates back to Stapleton’s time as a significant business and transportation hub.

Six to Celebrate 2013 Neighborhoods, Press Release, Historic Districts Council (Jan. 3, 2013).

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