So You Want to Designate a Historic District

One of the main issues affecting Carroll Gardens residents centers around historic districts.

The neighborhood already has one designated. The current historic district was established in 1973, and includes parts of Smith, President, Carroll and 2nd Streets.

“During that time, the Landmarks law was very untested. The Landmarks law hadn’t been tested in the Supreme Court, and there were still concerns about whether or not a historic district could be regarded as a taking,” Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council, said.

But some residents are interested in expanding those boundaries. To do that, they must first establish an agreed-upon area prior to presenting the proposal to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC).

Bankoff said that the LPC gets around 300 requests a year. He stresses that these are people who are asking for 300 separate buildings.

“Out of that 300, they get 15 individuals and maybe four districts. And that’s actually an improvement on recent years,” Bankoff said of the LPC’s progess. He said this is due to campaigning for extra resources and that they now have a survey team.

He said communities looking to designate a landmarked district can aid in the process by providing photographs and a very clear map of the desired area with basic building information.

About Sarah Ewald

Grad student at CUNY J-school. I'm interested in writing, new media and entertainment (among many other things).
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