Around The Neighborhood
Crown Heights North Threatened- HDC
Demolition permits have been applied, but not yet issued, for 669 St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights North. A “boutique condo” development may take its place, and, as a part of a zoning lot merger, its neighbor at number 673 is also endangered. Both historic structures were designed by architect E. G. W. Dietrich in 1888 as private commissions, and include rare, surviving carriage houses on their lots. Both mansions are significant architectural contributions to this block, which, at the turn of the 20th century was considered one of the most desired blocks in the (then) City of Brooklyn.
The Crown Heights North Association (CHNA) submitted a Request for Evaluation to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to create the George Poole Chappell Historic District, comprised of St. Marks Avenue, between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues, where these properties are located. The LPC identified this block as having landmark potential in a 1976 survey, which documented the block as architecturally significant. HDC strongly supports this request and urges you to do so as well.
Developers want to add on to the Dean Sage House - a famous protected landmark house in Crown Heights. Read more about it HERE
We need your support for Bill 58-23 - Requires notice to adjoining owners of construction, excavation or demolition work at the same time such application for approval is submitted.
Please call or write your representatives.
More information and contacts- click here
The Fight to Protect the Dean Sage House ART 78 ACTION
On 12/21/17, the Court heard the presentation of closing arguments in the Art 78 action, Hilbertz v CNY (Kings Supreme: 520815/2017). Petitioners are seeking to prevent the erection of a new building designed to envelope the landmarked Dean Sage Residence at 839 St Marks Ave (between Brooklyn and Kingston Aves) by occupying the garden, a defining attribute of the Mansion. Dean Sage was a friend to Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by the pen name Mark Twain (writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer). Twain periodically visited his friend Dean Sage and lounged in the garden surrounding the Mansion, according to the Mark Twain papers collected by UC Berkley. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885).
Under the expert representation of Phillip Solomon, Esq, of Jacqueline McMickens & Associates, the action has been framed as a matter of first impression where the Court must examine the rationale of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in departing from its Charter-mandated mission of historic preservation to focus instead on affordable housing, which is what LPC did it this matter in permitting the construction of a new building of institutional design (looks like a jail) to envelope a singularly unique and highly significant architectural jewel in Crown Heights North.
The Court had previously instructed Respondents - Institute for Community Living (ICL), not to proceed with those components of the project related to a new building; & the Court extended that instruction for at least the next two months while the matter is under review.
Petitioners support the construction of truly affordable housing in the community district and encourage ICL to build higher on other properties that they own and/or work with faith communities in the District to use moribund properties (vacant lots & boarded up buildings) to create housing that people can really afford (not where, as ICL proposes, one has to pay 30% to 57% of one's income for shelter).
This legal contest is undertaken to avoid setting an unfortunate precedent that will allow developers to fill-in every nook and cranny in an area that is already more densely populated than areas of the City that are not designated as historic districts. (See Place Economics study at
To help raise awareness, please donate generously at www.crownheightsnorth.org."