Williamsburg residential rowhouse district designated

Fillmore Place Historic District. Image: LPC.

Built as housing for working-class waterfront laborers, neighborhood remains remarkably intact. Landmarks designated the Fillmore Place Historic District on May 12, 2009. The district, primarily located on Fillmore Place between Driggs Avenue and Roebling Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was privately developed during a period of rapid growth in Williamsburg during the 1850s. Although different developers likely had hands in Fillmore Place, the 29 rowhouses maintain cohesiveness in scale and design. The houses were built primarily for workers, largely German immigrants, employed along the industrializing East River waterfront.

At the March 24th hearing, a representative for Council Member Diana Reyna stated that she “enthusiastically” supported designation, and that the area was “surrounded by over-development and new construction.” Preservationists testifying that the district merited protection included Melissa Baldock of the Municipal Art Society, who stated that the 2005 Greenpoint- Williamsburg Rezoning failed to identify historic resources, and, as a result, there was “still work to be done” in the area. Historic Districts Council Executive Director Simeon Bankoff stated that Fillmore Place was important partially because it represented how “an average Brooklynite” would have lived.

Residents also responded positively. One stated that Fillmore Place had managed to retain its character as “an island in the midst of chaos” while the rest of Williamsburg rapidly changed. Several residents referred to the fact that author Henry Miller spent part of his childhood in Fillmore Place to indicate the area’s historical significance.

Landmarks voted unanimously to designate the historic district.

LPC: Fillmore Place Historic District, Brooklyn (LP-2333) (May 12, 2009).

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