Sunday, December 31, 2006
Brick Houses, Winding Paths and Unexpected Sharp Elbows
The New York Times ran a piece today entitled, "Brick Houses, Winding Paths and Unexpected Sharp Elbows" about Sunnyside Gardens. It seems that certain residents of the neighborhood would like to see it designated an historic district while others don't. It's no surprise that Prof. Meiklejohn of Hunter College's Urban Plannning Department is leading the opposition to landmarking. She is the person behind the Corona and Dutch Kills studies that said those areas need massive upzoning for immigrant influx. I guess Sunnyside Gardens should look like Elmhurst in her opinion. There are already two historic districts near the 7 train, we can't have another! Professor Meiklejohn did expose a dirty little secret, however: Landmarking increases, not decreases property values, and is used to help rich people keep their neighborhood rich, or to gentrify targeted areas. Photo is of Sunnyside in 1900, when the Gardens was still decades away from being built.