New district for Brooklyn’s Crown Heights approved

Final Crown Heights North Historic District. Map: LPC.

Landmarks credited the residents of Crown Heights for generating designation. On April 24, 2007, Landmarks voted unanimously to designate the Crown Heights North Historic District encompassing 472 Brooklyn buildings built between the 1860s and the 1930s.

Landmarks Chair Robert Tierney opened the comments by saying that the importance of the designation became clear to him when he stood within the homes of Crown Heights’ residents and viewed what he called “the strength of the neighborhood.” Tierney credited the residents for spurring the designation, adding that he asked Denise Brown, of the Crown Heights North Historic Association, to speak following the commissioners’ comments. Commissioners Jan Hird Pokorny and Roberta Brandes Gratz both emphasized the extraordinary variety of architecture within the new district, referring to the fact that the newly designated buildings include row houses, mansions and churches built in the Romanesque Revival, Georgian, Queen Anne and Renaissance Revival styles of architecture.When Denise Brown spoke, she explained that during the five years that she worked on the designation, the greatest challenge came from educating residents that the benefits of landmarking outweighed its negatives. Brown said that once residents heard that developers planned to demolish 1375 Dean Street for a condo development and Landmarks stepped in to designate the wood-framed 1860s house, they “got it.”

Landmarks called the designation a first of several phases in Crown Heights, adding that it hopes to designate a total of 1,400 buildings in the neighborhood.

LPC: Crown Heights North Historic District (LP-2204) (April 24, 2007).


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