Thursday, January 15, 2009

Altered house gets a pass from LPC

The Hubbard House in Brooklyn was designated as a landmark this past week, which is definitely a good thing. But the main reason given for its designation was quite interesting:

“The house retains an exceptional amount of original fabric,” said LPC Chairman Robert Tierney.

Really? Here are photos of the house:

1915

2002

Photos from the Brooklyn Museum.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The house retains an exceptional amount of original fabric,” said LPC Chairman Robert Tierney"

A staffer later pointed out to Tierney that the house was not actually made of fabric. Tierney looked stunned and replied "oh, well ... I guess it isn't that special then...but we can still landmark it. Its not like its in Queens or anything"

Anonymous said...

If this is a quote then its time we overturn this law..

Anonymous said...

No excuse. The altering house rejection arguement is full of crap - but the preservationists will never say that.

99% of the buildings in their communities have been altered since 1820 or 1880 or what ever.

New doors, new floors, etc.

But they would never never admit it, nor (god forbid) would they ever come out publicly on how unfair this is.

Landmarked communities are already approved after alterations. That is because they are in Brooklyn or Manhattan.

Joseph Ditta said...

The two-story addition to the Dutch Hubbard House dates from 1924. It is an OLD alteration, and a rather interesting one, as you will read once the LPC designation report is posted. The Lucchelli family, who bought the house in 1904, had several children plagued by tuberculosis. The upper floor of the addition contains "sleeping porches" that allowed the afflicted as much light and air as possible, according to the accepted treatments of the day. Thus, in altering their then 90-year-old Dutch farmhouse, an Italian-American family inadvertently recorded a piece of 20th-century immigrant history. This "alteration" is hardly in league with vinyl siding or asbestos shingles.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, vinyl siding and asbestos shingles aren't permanent alterations. Adding a floor onto a house is. This makes Tierney and company look even more foolish. Most individual landmarks have had alterations, even major ones. But the "fabric" excuse only seems to be trotted out when the building stands in the way of development and is in an outer borough.

Joseph Ditta said...

The 1830-35 portion of the Hubbard House DOES contain, as Tierney said, much or its original fabric (fabric = clapboards), and the 1924 addition stands, essentially, as built.

Anonymous said...

Are they the original clapboards? See, in Queens, they'll get you on a technicality like that. And the 1924 addition would definitely make it ineligible in Queens. Additions are apparently only ok if they were done after 1965 and LPC approved them via a permit.

Joseph Ditta said...

Yes, the clapboards are largely original (some deteriorated boards were replaced when the house was restored). You're getting hung up on Tierney's quote from the LPC press release. That the house "retains an exceptional amount of original fabric" is important, of course, but that really is not the "main" reason it was designated. This is a very rare, very late Dutch-American farmhouse on its original site that witnessed the progression from farming town to industrial neighborhood and somehow survived, due largely to the Italian family who occupied it for over 90 years. Again, I hope you all will read the designation report once it is available on the LPC website.

Anonymous said...

This is a very rare, very late Dutch-American farmhouse on its original site that witnessed the progression from farming town to industrial neighborhood and somehow survived, due largely to the Italian family who occupied it for over 90 years.
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Don't bullshit us.

The 1828 Astoria Institute, had its fabric intact, the namesake of the community and financed by John Jacob Astor, was rejected because 'it did not meet the criteria.'

What ever the hell that means.

Translation: Cong. Carolyn Maloney had financing reading for a senior barracks with party boss's DaMico son running it.

Joseph Ditta said...

Must every discussion here sink to nastiness? I'm not claiming Brooklyn (or any other borough) is better than Queens, and don't appreciate the "bullshit" comment.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, once again, the "fabric" b.s. is used conveniently to either landmark things that don't stand in the way of development or to reject them when they do.

How many years has the owner of this house been pushing for landmarking and the City just noticed it was designation worthy now that the market tanked?

And for your information, Sylvan Terrace was designated with siding and asphalt shingles and its restoration was funded with tax dollars, but its in Manhattan, so I guess its entitled to special treatment the rest of the City is denied.

Snake Plissskin said...

Must every discussion here sink to nastiness? I'm not claiming Brooklyn (or any other borough) is better than Queens, and don't appreciate the "bullshit" comment.

--------

I don't give two shits what you like or don't like. When I am paying taxes for a program that benefits mostly rich white people and me and my community are treated like a joke, let me tell you this: at my age I don't have time for anyone to bullshit me and give it to me up the *ss like you preservationists.

I will repeat it so even a dim bulb like you can get it: the entire presevation movement is full of shit and should be swept away.

We need a clean slate.

Once the good burgers in Brooklyn Heights and Landmarks West wakes up and find themselves in the same boat as Richmond Hill and Hunters Point we can start to talk.

Miles Mullin said...

The Landmark law takes public money and benefits rich white people.

It discriminates against people of color and communities that are lower on the economic scale.

It is unfair. It is not equitable.

It should be challenged and overturned.

Joseph Ditta said...

The intelligence level of the posters to this blog is pretty sad. Can't you discuss things without personally attacking those with whom you disagree? Probably not, so count me out.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when people are crapped on for decades. They really don't care who they offend. Try walking a mile in our shoes and then you can criticize how we conduct our discourse.

Anonymous said...

The intelligence level of the posters to this blog is pretty sad. Can't you discuss things without personally attacking those with whom you disagree? Probably not, so count me out.

-------

Sure, go over to HDC and talk insessently about 2 Columbus Circle or how just a few thousand more for LPC and everything is ok.

Go to a meeting of preservationists and hear discussions that are of no use to us. Go to Queens civics and hear discussions that are perfect for those in the eastern part of the boro, but not useful for the rest of us.

Mister, as the previous poster indicated, our communities have been treated like a joke for so long (ever been called an Archie Bunker?) that like the blacks of a generation ago there is a lot of anger out there.

Sooner or later its going to explode.

You can turn your back to us in scorn, but you had better watch it.

Sooner or later we will breach the walls of apathy, scorn, and ignorance heaped upon us.

Anonymous said...

Move to Queens Joe Ditto
and see what it feels like to get f----d up the ass sans Vaseline from the Bloomberg owned Tierney & Co. when it comes to not getting our fair share of LPC designations!

Maybe your pompous attitude will change and you'll soon find yourself turning resentful of a law that is not being equally applied in all the boroughs of NYC!

The landmarks law clearly discriminates against Queens.

Proof:

We're #4... way down on the list... of individual landmarks and historic districts we possess when compared to the rest of the boroughs of NYC!

Joseph Ditta said...

I never said LPC acted fairly or rationally. They clearly have a Manhattan-centric bias. I merely began by pointing out the architectural and historic features that make the Hubbard House--which stands, by the was, in a sadly forgotten corner of Brooklyn under an elevated train, NOT in rich Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights--interesting and worthy of landmark status. It's owner has worked long and hard to preserve his home.

I'm not sure how all this makes me pompous or deserving of the pleasures you have in mind, Anonymous, but I'm very sorry that you feel it necessary to attack me personally for no reason.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later we will breach the walls of apathy, scorn, and ignorance heaped upon us.



Look, anyone with any ability joins up with the organization - they are resume building while you think they are helping you. Any troublemaker out there gets reported back.

A few weinie roasts from the godfather, and there is no end of people ready to say the system works just peachy.

A reporter will give them complete attention bearly registering your complaints with more than a dollop of scorn.

No one cares how you think.

Miles Mullin said...

Hey Joeyboy, you are the one that said the people on this board are worthy of scorn.

You did not help your case by glibly ignoring what they said, or admitting the obvious: there is a two class system and not one measure for the entire city.

If this building was in Queens it would be torn down with scant attention by the preservation community.

Anonymous said...

Hey the LPC loves to also say that they are in the business of increasing tourism in the city and that's why not so many Queens sites are landmarked. But every once in awhile, they designate something "in a sadly forgotten corner of Brooklyn under an elevated train" and then they blow that excuse all to pieces, too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, this house is on my block. My family has been here for 90 years and I was somewhat involved in the process.

I share your dislike of LPC and the process which for sure is political. I also know that areas like Brooklyn Heights, the Village, etc. are treated differently than areas like yours and mine.

But your anger should be directed in the right direction. Ours in NOT a wealthy area, we are 3 stops from Coney Island, in an area most New Yorkers never heard of.

The owner is a preservationinst, but earns a very working class income. He lobbied for years for this designation and it was not easy.

It would seem to me that those of us in the outer boros should work together to improve the landmarking process. With the exception of 'Brownstone Brooklyn', I can assure you, we are all viewed with the same dismissive attitude.

Anonymous said...

It would seem to me that those of us in the outer boros should work together to improve the landmarking process. With the exception of 'Brownstone Brooklyn', I can assure you, we are all viewed with the same dismissive attitude.
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oh no, not the 4 boro crap. a bunch of 2nd stringers who want to be the landmarks commissioner for their boro. queensmarks came from that ilk.

they want to cut us off from the manhattan crowd when we should embrace them in a death grip and be underfoot every time they flush the toilet. we need to attack the mainline preservation community.

and you need to accept the anger of the have nots.

just cause you got yours dont think that you can talk down to us.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess you have issues that go far beyond landmarking. Instead of posting anger on the internet, try to do something constructive.

Perhaps take a ride to the Bronx and then tell me your problems.

Anonymous said...

Minimizing the issue by stating that people have worse problems than landmarking won't get you off the hook. So tell me again why its okay that places like the Bronx and Queens get shit on and Manhattan neighborhoods are preserved through edict of an agency that is supposed to watch out for the entire city.

Anonymous said...

I already acknowledged that they give great deference to Manhattan and 'brownstone' Brooklyn. In fact I was quite critical of the LPC.

You need to move beyond your Queens persecution complex and try to get things done.

I can guarantee that as western Queens gets gentrified, they too will get action from a number of city agencies. They organize, write letters, support candidates, they get involved.

But I think you really dont want progress, you actually like being misreable.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

"They organize, write letters, support candidates, they get involved."

This happens in Queens all the time. The reason the "gentrified" areas get more attention is simply because they have as much or more money than the developers and they vote. When a community is flooded with illegals who don't vote and don't spend a dime on donations to political candidates, then you get squat.

Anonymous said...

The reason the "gentrified" areas get more attention is simply because they have as much or more money than the developers and they vote.
---------

some areas are part of the clique, and others are left out.

the clique goes around making little lists and deciding (without the community imput) what is inportant and what is not. meetings are held, the right people are consulted, decisions are made all by the 'right' people.'

if the 'left out' guys try something, then the clique goes into the community and tells the developers and politicans its ok to ignore them - they will get no support.

everyone is happy.

the polticans and developers, well we know the song

and the clique gets to write grants for the five boros and spend it all on their backyard.

to say nothing about channeling development away from their communities into somewhere else

yes yes yes, everyone is happy, except the peasants, that is.

well the peasants might have their faces ground into the dirt but who cares?

no one will write about it, no one will comment, big headlines touting the latest development that is bulldozing their community into oblivion

and the new people brought in are told to look down on the old guard - indeed, they are a bunch of losers whose community sat there for the taking until the new people came in.

Anonymous said...

Instead of posting anger on the internet, try to do something constructive.
-----------

This is not anger. Its the truth.

Exposing the corrupt system is pure joy.

Certainly a more productivie use of time then trying to work within it.

Anonymous said...

"They organize, write letters, support candidates, they get involved."

Yes, look at St Saviours. Nice how the community got double crossed by the beep and Cyrstobal.

Well the land is empty, some wood is sitting in dumpsters, and millions and millions will be spent putting it back together.

A waste of money and time? Sure. The original purpose defeated. Of course.

But in preservation, as in politics, getting the job done is not as inportant as money flowing through the 'right' hands.

Honest graft.

And not a peep of this obscene outrage by the preservation community.

Anonymous said...

In fact I was quite critical of the LPC.

ooo! actual thoat clearing i am sure. now in another 30 years....

Anonymous said...

The intelligence level of the posters to this blog is pretty sad. Can't you discuss things without personally attacking those with whom you disagree?

Hear that? Sound of nail hit squarely on head.

Anonymous said...

Hear that? Sound of nail hit squarely on head.


Sure, the truth hurts.

Tough.

Snake Plissskin said...

The intelligence level of the posters to this blog is pretty sad. Can't you discuss things without personally attacking those with whom you disagree?
------



Interesting how this person resorts to personal attacts, as opposed to responding to serious charges on the corruption of the preservation 'industry.'

Hmmm...must be some truth to those charges for they seem to have hit a senative nerve.

But then, why should it be any different than anything else in NYC politics?

Let's revisit these charges again ... and again.

Go Crappy!

Anonymous said...

Its pretty clear why the losers on this sight get nowhere, they seem to hate everybody. One of you even seems to hate the people who live in Queens.

Somehow they got the idea that the people who live on the azz end of Brooklyn are their enemies. Have you been to that part of Brooklyn?
Does it look much different than say Woodhaven?

Whats wrong with you people. Of course you get shyt on in Queens. With people like the ones on this board, it is sure to continue.

I suggest you all move to New Jersey. I had not heard of the Queens inferiority complex until I read this board. At least in New Jersey, you will be part of a more well known state of ineriority.

I wish you continued failure, so you may continue to play victim. You seem to revel in it.

Anonymous said...

"Somehow they got the idea that the people who live on the azz end of Brooklyn are their enemies."

Nowhere in this thread was that insinuated or mentioned. I have been to this house personally. I know exactly where it is. It's not in a "pretty" part of Brooklyn. As mentioned before, the struggle to get this designated has gone on for years, and is only happening now because the market crashed.