Sunday, March 16, 2008

Designating Victorian Flatbush

THERE was great excitement last fall in the part of Brooklyn known affectionately as Victorian Flatbush when the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission recommended that Midwood Park and Fiske Terrace, two neighborhoods within this network of communities south of Prospect Park, be designated a historic district.

Peaked Roofs, Crossed Fingers

Barring any last-minute change of heart on the part of the commission, only a rejection by the City Council or the mayor would undo the designation.

The effort to protect these two communities, with their trove of turn-of-the-century wooden houses adorned with hand-cut gables and fronted by spacious porches, has been almost a decade in the making.

And it has been watched with a mixture of happiness, envy and impatience in neighborhoods throughout Victorian Flatbush. Many of these communities are also fighting to preserve their own history and distinctive nature, and they are fearful that the city bureaucracy will move so slowly that by the time they are considered for protection, there will be nothing left to protect.

Yeah, we know what that's like.


Anonymous said...

Here's hoping they move quickly to protect this marvelous neighborhood, before it becomes another Jamaica Estates. Seems people in Brooklyn are smarter than those in Queens. At least they know what is worth saving.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how Richmond Hill,
also a treasure trove of Victoriana,
was snubbed (maybe because it's in Queens) .

Do some of LPC's staffers live in Brooklyn?

and Broadway/Flushing
(already a national historic district)
seems to have been pushed to the back of the line
by the LPC until 2009 or is it 2010?

Anonymous said...

Seems people in Brooklyn are smarter than those in Queens. At least they know what is worth saving.

The communties in Queens are being hollowed out for develpment.

How does this happen?

The problem in Queens is that information does not get to the people. There is a strong push for conformity to the party line. Keep your head down and your mouth shut as your community falls down around you.

The biggest problem is the inept leadership in Queens - small minded, and interested only in their own backyard. And, like most second stringers, afraid of their own shadow.

And all but ready to cut a deal with the same system that will, as part of the package, consign their unlucky neighbor down the road to disaster. It seems to beyond their creativity and intelligence to grasp that their neighbor's demise will spell their own doom a few years later.

Queens needs new leadership in preservation. The only way that this can happen is with outside help.

The blueprint for borough wide preservation can come from what is happening at the Queens waterfront.

Local waterfront groups are formed by catalysts that spread out in different neighborhoods. They are financed by groups as the Parks Conservency.

Why is this being done while the rest of the boro rots?

It is important because this is part of the effort to prepare the waterfront for the rich to displace the locals already living there.

Will this happen in Queens?

No. Every outside group that can help Queens knows that its in their best interest to keep Queens asleep.

No point in stirring an sleeping giant to compete with resources - (unless of course, the community is being prepared for rich people that don't even live there yet).

Anonymous said...

The problem in Queens is that information does not get to the people.

Actually, it does get to the people, only to be followed by MISinformation from civic leaders who don't want landmarking, because it will keep "rich" people from coming into the area and building multi-million dollar McMansions. There are some civic "leaders" (I use that word loosely) who see the outpouring of big bucks by developers and other buyers who want to tear everything down and build monsters as making the neighborhood more desirable, more upscale.

Amazing how ignorant people can be. Don't they read the articles about the increase in real estate values in landmarked areas?