The idea of giving preservation legal weight was evolving in the late 1950s. In 1956, the State Legislature passed the Bard Law, which allowed municipalities to designate landmarks and historic districts. But it was not until 1965 that Mayor Robert F. Wagner established the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.
‘Moonstruck’ House Sells, Recalling Fight for Preservation
“The landscape of the city was quickly changing, and whole swaths of neighborhoods were being destroyed, due largely to plans put forth by public works commissioner Robert Moses,” said Kate Fermoile, the vice president for exhibits and education at the Brooklyn Historical Society. “One of these plans was the Cadman Plaza urban renewal project, a large-scale civic center that meant the destruction of houses in Brooklyn Heights. In response to the mounting threat, this amazing grass-roots effort began.”
The Historic Preservation Committee’s goal was to win legal preservation status for the neighborhood while trying to defend the area from redevelopment.