Proposed DUMBO district set for landmark hearing

Proposed DUMBO Historic District. Map: LPC.

Rapidly gentrifying neighborhood starts process towards landmark status. On July 24, 2007, Landmarks calendared a 15-block area on Brooklyn’s waterfront adjacent to the Manhattan Bridge approach as a potential historic district. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, DUMBO developed as a primarily industrial area at a time when Brooklyn was counted among the country’s largest manufacturing centers. DUMBO’s East River location attracted a wide variety of industries, including coffee, paper and paint. Now no longer an industrial hub, developers have converted many of the former factory buildings into apartments and condominiums.

The district’s architectural significance lies in its array of American industrial design throughout several decades. Early buildings in the district feature brick facades and wooden beams, while later buildings possess terra cotta ornament, steel framing, and, eventually, reinforced concrete. The area is also characterized by the arches supporting the Manhattan Bridge approach, and the presence of original street paving, sidewalks, and railroad tracks. Landmarks’ research department addressed the district’s historical significance, calling it “a reminder of Brooklyn’s and New York City’s industrial heyday.”

LPC: DUMBO Historic District (LP- 2273) (July 24, 2007).

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