Park Slope Gets Expanded Historic District, Still Not Satisfied

park slope historic district Park Slope Gets Expanded Historic District, Still Not Satisfied

Black=existing historic district, Green=expanded historic district, Brown=new, proposed historic district

Though many thought it was not possible, Park Slope is becoming even more perfect. (And no, the ice cream trucks have not agreed to vacate Prospect Park.)

Today, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a sizable expansion of the Park Slope historic district, making it one of the largest historic districts in the city, according to a release from City Councilmember Brad Lander.

The extension will include some 580 buildings and will stretch from roughly 7th Street to 15th Street, mostly between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenues. The brownstone bedecked South Slope blocks also include the former Ansonia Clock Works factory and the factory workers’ homes.

“These are some of the most beautiful streets in New York and, with today’s vote, we know they will be enjoyed by generations to come,” Mr.  Lander said of the decision.

You would think that the first expansion of the historic district in more than 38 years may have been hailed as victory and celebrated with a pint of local microbrew or a cup of single pour coffee. But no. In Park Slope the drum of desire never ceases to beat—one can always seek a more intense yoga class, a fresher farm-to-table experience, a bigger historic district.

Wasting not a moment to bask in the glory of its most recent victory, the Park Slope Civil Council has announced that it plans to advocate for a much larger historic district that would include hundreds of additional buildings above 5th Avenue in North Slope.

“The historical and architectural integrity of Park Slope, its sense of place, remains an ongoing concern of the neighborhood,” the otherwise celebratory announcement warned gloomily, perhaps seeing the grim ghost of Christmas Future in the retail chains and bank branches of the Upper West Side.

Hoping to avoid such a fate, the Civic Council announced that it had already requested that the Landmarks Preservation Committee initiate formal action to extend the historic district in the North Slope “whose buildings constitute the earliest development of the neighborhood.”

In fact, the Civic Council won’t rest until all of Park Slope is landmarked. “The Park Slope Civic Council is laying the groundwork to have all of Park Slope eventually considered,” according to their website.

kvelsey@observer.com