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Council Hearing on Prospect Heights Tomorrow

The designation of the Prospect Heights Historic District is almost complete. Tomorrow the City Council’s Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses will hold a hearing on the designation. With 850 buildings, the district is the largest designated in two decades. It’s also one of the city’s finest unprotected brownstone districts, with blocks of beautiful late-19th and early 20th-century residential buildings (for detailed information, read the LPC’s incredible 488-page designation report). Given the strong support of Council Member Letitia James, we expect the Council to uphold the designation, but MAS will be on hand to urge the Council to affirm the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designationRead our statement here.

MAS made a video about the process of creating the historic district, featuring Councilmember Letitia James, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Robert B. Tierney, historian Francis Morrone, and Gib Veconi of Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC), and showing how we worked with PHNDC to survey the historic buildings and promote the area for designation. The result was not just the designation; the act of engaging residents in the process brought the community together and provided a new sense of neighborhood identity. Continue Reading>>


Prospect Heights: The Making of a Historic District

Last week, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the 850-building Prospect Heights Historic District, the largest district designated in two decades. MAS made a video about the process of creating the historic district, featuring Councilmember Letitia James, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Robert B. Tierney, historian Francis Morrone, and Gib Veconi of Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC), and showing how we worked with PHNDC to survey the historic buildings and promote the area for designation. The result was not just the designation, the act of engaging residents in the process brought the community together and provided a new sense of neighborhood identity. Continue Reading>>


MAS Applauds Prospect Heights Historic District Designation

191 sterling in prospect heightsToday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Prospect Heights Historic District. At 850 buildings, it is the largest historic district designated in two decades.

“MAS applauds the Landmarks Preservation Commission for moving to protect this very special neighborhood,” said Lisa Kersavage, senior director of advocacy and policy for the Municipal Art Society. “This is an important act that will protect one of Brooklyn’s finest and well-preserved historic neighborhoods. Designation will protect the neighborhood from pressure from the Atlantic Yards project and other developments.”

Prospect Heights is rich in historic architecture, with blocks of beautiful Italianate and neo-Grec rowhouses, interspersed with churches, small commercial and apartment buildings. Continue Reading>>


It’s Raining Landmarks at the LPC

The Landmarks Preservation Commission agenda is packed today with numerous worthy designation items. Check out our slideshow below of the items being calendared, heard, and designated today. MAS is particularly pleased with the proposed designation of the Prospect Heights Historic District in Brooklyn. For nearly three years, the MAS has worked closely with community members, elected officials and the LPC towards protecting the unique character of this largely intact neighborhood with landmark designation for over 800 buildings. Click here to read more about its history. Continue Reading>>


Show the Love at Tomorrow’s LPC Prospect Heights Hearing

prospect heights historic row houses italianate brooklyn new york architectureNow is your chance to tell the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) that you support the designation of the Prospect Heights Historic District. The LPC will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 28, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building. This hearing is the second step in protecting one of Brooklyn’s finest – and most endangered – historic neighborhoods.

Prospect Heights is threatened by the Atlantic Yards project, a proposal by the developer Forest City Ratner to build 16 towers and a sports arena on a 22-acre site that abuts the boundaries of the proposed historic district.

Encompassing roughly 870 properties, the proposed Prospect Heights Historic District is rich in historic architecture, with blocks of beautiful Italianate and neo-Grec rowhouses, interspersed with churches, small commercial and apartment buildings. Located just north of Prospect Park, the neighborhood has seen few changes since it was first developed in the late-19th Century. Click here to read more about the history.

MAS has worked in partnership with the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corporation (PHNDC) in advocating for the designation of this neighborhood since 2006 Continue Reading>>


Atlantic Yards Stalled

atlantic yards aerial 2L brooklyn urban planning new yorkThe Atlantic Yards development has been delayed again after a state appellate court did not dismiss the project opponents’ court challenge, says the New York Times.  While this derails Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner’s recent pledge to break ground on the project this December, Crain’s New York Business reports that Barclays bank, which would pay for naming rights to the stadium, remains committed to the project when it proceeds.  Read more about MAS advocacy on Atlantic Yards here

In other news, the new timetable for the World Trade Center site will be released by the Port Authority tomorrow – major delays are expected. Continue Reading>>


Mobile Art Pavilion to Come to Central Park and Keeping Climbers off NYTimes Building

sterling place romanesque prospect heightsMAS Issues in the Press:
- Preservationists and anti-Atlantic Yards groups are hoping the proposed Prospect Heights Historic District will act as a tool to preserve other areas against development pressures from the Atlantic Yards development (Brooklyn Paper). Plans to build a condominium at the site of the Kean House on Lexington Avenue is the impetus for petitioning the expansion of the Upper East Side Historic District (New York Sun).

- The mobile art pavilion , designed by London architect Zaha Hadid, will reside at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park this fall (New York Times). The Tribeca section of the Hudson River Park is complete and will open to the public on Wednesday (New York Times).

- At Coney Island USA President Dick Zigun’s “State of Coney” address last Sunday, he considered advocating a single-ownership/gated theme park model for Coney Island (Brooklyn Paper). Continue Reading>>


SAVED! – The LPC Budget

new york landmarks preservation commission budget lobby dayFor the third year in a row, the Landmark’s Preservation Commission budget will include $300,000 to fund six positions to survey NYC’s neighborhoods for potential landmarks and assist with other critical LPC duties.

In past years, this funding was instrumental in enabling the LPC to give many unprotected historic neighborhoods the attention they deserve. It was because of this funding that the LPC was able to survey and begin the process this week of designating the Prospect Heights neighborhood, a project MAS had urged them to take on. Continue Reading>>


MAS Maps Make History in Prospect Heights

prospect heights brooklyn historic district boundary mapMAS and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corporation (PHNDC) recently partnered to advocate for a new historic district in Prospect Heights. This hands-on collaborative experience resulted in LPC’s consideration of 750 contributing buildings, and the decision to move forward with the designation a new historic district in Prospect Heights. The partnership revolved around a community mapping initiative that produced a unique tool that anchored discussion among multiple stakeholders and helped mark the boundaries of the district proposed to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Continue Reading>>


St. Vincent’s Future Unclear and Protests of the Lower East Side Rezoning

prospect heights brooklyn new york historic districtMAS in the Press:
MAS Director of Advocacy and Policy Lisa Kersavage speaks about the likely designation of Prospect Heights as an historic district, a long time project of MAS and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corp (Brooklyn Daily Eagle). MAS Urbanists celebrated sustainability in preservation last night at a fundraiser at the new LEED certified Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, Brooklyn (DUMBONYC, Gothamist).

MAS Issues in the Press:
- Celebrity neighbors of St. Vincent’s Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins spoke out against the proposed redevelopment at the Landmarks Preservation Commission (NY Times) however City Council speaker Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, state Senator Thomas Duane, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler spoke out in support (Crain’s NY Business). Continue Reading>>


Prospect Heights Historic District: LPC Takes First Step in Making it Official

prospect heights brooklyn new york historic district landmarkOn Tuesday, July 15 the Landmarks Preservation Commission will “calendar” the Prospect Heights Historic District, the first step toward protecting one of Brooklyn’s finest – and most endangered – historic neighborhoods.

“MAS applauds the Landmarks Preservation Commission for moving to protect this very special and threatened neighborhood,” said Lisa Kersavage, director of advocacy and policy for the Municipal Art Society. “The process by which the historic district was created is a model of civic partnership coupled with cutting-edge technology.”

Prospect Heights is rich in historic architecture, with blocks of beautiful Italianate and neo-Grec rowhouses, interspersed with churches, small commercial and apartment buildings. Located just north of Prospect Park, the neighborhood has seen few changes since it was first developed in the late-19th Century. Today it is threatened by the Atlantic Yards project, a proposal by the developer Forest City Ratner to build 16 towers and a sports arena on a 22-acre site adjacent to the neighborhood. Continue Reading>>


Atlantic Yards or Atlantic Lots?

atlantic yards aerial 5L brooklyn urban planning new yorkToday, MAS released a set of renderings depicting the potential impact of interim parking lots and empty land on the Atlantic Yards site in Brooklyn. You can view the new renderings in the New York Post by clicking here.

Recently, Forest City Ratner (FCR) announced that key elements of the project will be delayed because of market conditions. Currently, FCR intends to begin constructing only the arena and one residential building on the Western end of the project. They plan to demolish the entire Eastern section of the site to create seven acres of “temporary” surface parking lots that could be with us for 15 or 20 years. MAS is deeply concerned over the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods of vacant lots on the west of the project and giant parking lots on the east. Continue Reading>>


Good News for the Prospect Heights Historic District

prospect heights historic row houses italianateOn Wednesday, April 9, the Landmarks Preservation Commission held a community forum on the district and shared their proposed boundaries for a 700-building district. The Commission may move as soon as this year to calendar the district, the first step in the designation process.

In April 2007, MAS and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corporation submitted a survey of the historic architecture of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to the Landmarks Preservation Commission along with a request that the area to be studied for designation as a historic district. The application was submitted because the Atlantic Yards proposal was moving ahead, making it crucial that Prospect Heights gain protection through historic district designation before spill-over development pressures permanently altered its intact historic character. Continue Reading>>


ACTION ALERT: Historic Prospect Heights Needs Your Help

prospect heights historic row houses italianateMAS and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Corporation recently submitted a survey of the historic architecture of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to the Landmarks Preservation Commission because we believe it is threatened by development pressures from the adjacent Atlantic Yards site. The survey, and an accompanying request for the area to be studied for designation as a historic district, is only the first step. Read on to find out how you can help us save Prospect Heights’ historic resources.

Prospect Heights is an area rich with the historic architecture that helps shape Brooklyn’s special identity. The neighborhood contains blocks lined with beautiful Italianate and neo-Grec rowhouses, interspersed with churches, small commercial buildings and multi-family structures. Originally a quiet farm area crossed by the historic Flatbush Turnpike Road, Prospect Heights became a residential neighborhood in the second half of the nineteenth century after the completion of nearby Prospect Park. The area is widely recognized as an important historic neighborhood, and indeed, part of the neighborhood is listed on the National Register.

With the Atlantic Yards proposal moving ahead, it is crucial that Prospect Heights gain protection through historic district designation before development pressures resulting from the project permanently alter the its intact historic character. Continue Reading>>


Looking Up Miss Brooklyn’s Skirt

prospect heights brooklyn historic building district surveyWalk along the brownstone-lined streets of Prospect Heights in Brooklyn and you will be forgiven for thinking that you are in a historic district. Located just north of Prospect Park, the neighborhood is filled with Neo-Grec and Italianate style row houses built in the late 19th century. While the neighborhood has seen few changes since it was first developed, a major transformation is coming in the form of the Atlantic Yards project. Continue Reading>>