Ridgewood South Historic District approved

New district in southern Queens provided high-quality housing to largely immigrant community in the early 20th century. On October 26, 2010, Landmarks approved the creation of the Ridgewood South Historic District in Ridgewood, Queens. The district comprises more than 200 buildings, and is generally bounded by Woodward Avenue, a line midway between Onderdonk and Seneca Avenues, and Catalpa Avenue and Woodbine Street near Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. The action follows the designation of the Ridgewood North Historic District in September 2009. 6 CityLand 141 (Oct. 15, 2009). Although developed slightly later than its northern counterpart, Ridgewood South shares a similar history and architectural character.

Between 1911 and 1912 Louis Allmendinger and the G.X. Mathews Company designed and constructed the rowhouses that characterize the neighborhood. The buildings, known as “Mathews Model Flats,” offered high quality tenement housing and attracted working class German immigrants, among others, from nearby Williamsburg and Bushwick. The Romanesque Revival and Neo-Classical buildings found throughout the district are clad in yellow and amber Kreischer brick, manufactured in Staten Island. The district also includes the St. Matthias Church complex, built between 1909 and 1926. At a September 2009 public hearing, elected officials, preservationists and residents expressed broad support for the new district.

At the October meeting, Commissioner Diana Chapin, Landmarks’ Queens representative, noted that the community “long awaited” designation and said the district represented a “solid example” of what is worthy for designation. Chair Robert B. Tierney noted that Ridgewood South was the twenty-second historic district designated since 2003, which sets a record for the number of districts created during the tenure of one mayor.

LPC: Ridgewood South Historic District, Queens (LP-2348) (Oct. 26, 2010).

Cityland Comment: At the same meeting, Landmarks calendared the proposed Central Ridgewood Historic District. The proposed district would include 900 buildings east of Ridgewood South.


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