Designated May 12, 1970
The Magnolia grandiflora is an evergreen Magnolia species that grows with a straight trunk to a height of over seventy feet. This Magnolia was grown from a seedling by William Lemken in the mid-1880s and planted in front of his house at 679 Lafayette avenue. Beginning in the 1950s, Hattie Carthan, affectionately known as “the tree lady,” led a campaign to protect the tree, which is now sheltered by a wing-wall to the north. Of the three neighboring houses, numbers 678 and 679 are nearly identical three-story neo-Greg residences built in the 1880s. Number 677 was built in 1890 from designs by the New York architect L.C. Holden.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
The Bedford-Stuyvesant community in northwest Brooklyn is a residential area, home to ornate rows of brownstones, early middle-class apartment buildings and several institutional structures. Bedford-Stuyvesant is characterized by its wide, tree-covered avenues and low-scale residences; generally only church spires and school towers rise taller than...Explore the Neighborhood >
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society
"HDC has begun a series of projects to highlight the Bronx's architectural and cultural history. From booklet's and research highlighting specific sites and historic districts to the HDC's symposium in October 2018 to the latest community-based committee to look into further possible sites to qualify for landmarking, the HDC has established projects that will serve the Bronx community well."
City Lore, Folklorist
Bronx Music Heritage Center, Co-Artistic Director
"Welcome2TheBronx is grateful for the advocacy done by the Historic Districts Council on behalf of the people of The Bronx. Through their deep connections and understanding of the importance of preserving our local histories, The Bronx has been able to have several spotlights shown on endangered communities as gentrification creeps into the borough."
Ed García Conde,
founder and Executive Director,