Certificate of Appropriateness Testimony

HDC@LPC – Testimony for LPC Hearing on February 12, 2019

HDC regularly reviews every public proposal affecting Individual Landmarks and buildings within Historic Districts in New York City, and when needed, we comment on them. Our testimony for the latest items to be presented at the Landmarks Preservation Commission is below.

Item 2

15 Garden Place – Brooklyn Heights Historic District


A Greek Revival style house built in 1846. Application is to modify entrance infill and windows, raise the roof and parapets, and excavate the rear yard.

The Historic Districts Council has no objections to this proposal with aesthetic grounds. However, with the significant amount of excavation this project entails, extending to the maximum legal depth of the lot, we are concerned about its effect of this building, and other fragile, adjoining historic structures.  These are reasonably ancient buildings with foundations which were not designed for this kind of project in mind. The Landmarks Commission has the authority to compel monitoring and the retention of a structural engineer, and we urge the agency to take the steps necessary to ensure that this excavation is done with the utmost care.

LPC Determination: Approved with Modifications

Item 6

283 St. Paul’s Avenue – St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District


A neo-Colonial style free-standing house designed by Charles B. Heweker and built in 1913. Application is to legalize the replacement of windows without Landmarks Preservation Commission permit(s).

The St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District was designated for its charming vernacular residential architecture of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the windows of these houses are an important component of the district’s special character. The replacement of the windows on this house should have been an opportunity to restore original character of this house, in this row of Charles Heweker-designed buildings from the 1910’s. It would have been wonderful to see the special windows restored at the attic story and the wooden sashes restored throughout the rest of the main façade. Instead, this illegal work further degrades the appearance and fabric of this house. Please work with the applicants to find an equitable solution that, even if does not lead to the restoration of the house’s historic windows, at least does not make the landmarked building worse.

LPC Determination: Approved with Modifications

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