Sunset Park: History and Advocacy

Join tour guide Joe Svehlak on this tour of Sunset Park, whose built environment has shaped what is today a quintessential Brooklyn neighborhood: from the massive Bush Terminal and its associated workers’ housing to the construction of the 4th Avenue Subway, and from the establishment of the country’s first cooperative apartment buildings in the early 1900s to the Section 8 housing of the 1970s, which helped the neighborhood transition out of blight. For the past four years, advocates and residents have led a grassroots effort to push for the designation of a historic district in Sunset Park to pay homage to these developments and allow the neighborhood’s storied past to inform its future. While the effort stalls at the City level, many lessons can be learned in this case study about the power of community organizing and public participation?

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The Historic Districts Council (HDC) is the advocate for all of New York City's historic neighborhoods. HDC is the only organization in New York that works directly with people who care about our city's historic neighborhoods and buildings. We represent a constituency of over 500 local community organizations.

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