Adams proclaims April as Brooklyn Landmarks Month

Beep says1965 law has saved many iconic structures

April 15, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower is one of many official city landmarks located in Brooklyn. Photo courtesy New York Landmarks Conservancy
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Brooklyn boasts many famous landmarks, everything from the Cyclone to the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, Borough Hall and the Wonder Wheel and adding to the allure of these structures is the fact that they are also designated as official city landmarks.

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the adoption of the New York City Landmarks Law, Borough President Eric Adams has proclaimed April as “Brooklyn Landmarks Month.”

Widely admired as one of the strongest laws protecting landmarks in the nation, the New York City Landmarks Law was signed by then-Mayor Robert Wagner on April 19, 1965.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Landmarks in Brooklyn help attract tourists to New York City, according to Adams. In 2014, New York hosted 56.4 million tourists who contributed more than $60 billion to the local economy.

Brooklyn has 140 landmarks, as well as 21 historic districts and two interior landmarks.

The borough’s famous landmarks include: the Pieter Claesen Wickoff House, the oldest residence in the city; the Brooklyn Museum; Borough Hall; the Wonder Wheel; the Weeksville Heritage Center; and Prospect Park.

The historic districts around the borough include: Crown Heights North; Park Slope; Stuyvesant Heights; DUMBO; and Cobble Hill to name a few.

Brooklyn Heights was the city’s first neighborhood to be officially declared an historic district.  

In making the announcement about Brooklyn Landmarks Month, Adams also praised the work of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the non-profit organization that works to preserve landmarks. The Conservancy also provides financial and technical assistance to New York residents for community restoration projects.

“We’re grateful for the protection the law provides, and thank the New York Landmarks Conservancy for their financial and technical assistance that helps save the distinctive art, architecture, and history of Brooklyn,” Adams said. “Since 1973, the Landmarks Conservancy has disbursed grants and low-interest loans to Brooklyn residents totaling more than $14.7 million which has mobilized over $115.5 million in renovation projects, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus, and supporting local jobs throughout the Borough.”

The Conservancy is “the only preservation organization in New York that empowers Brooklyn property owners with the financial and technical assistance they need to restore their historic homes, businesses, cultural, religious, and social institutions,” the borough president said.

The landmarks preservation organization has worked on a broad-range of historic properties and neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn including Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights North, the Brooklyn Conservatory, Brown Memorial Baptist Church, Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Old First Reformed Church and Beth Elohim.

The group also provided emergency grants and technical assistance to neighborhoods hit hard by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, including the Union Baptist Church, the Jewish Center of Brighton Beach and St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gerritsen Beach.

“We are proud to help preserve and protect the rich architectural legacy of Brooklyn,” Conservancy President Peg Breen said. “We like to think of ourselves as the ‘ghost busters’ of preservation.  We are who you call for help to save your historic buildings.”

Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned out and granted more than $40 million toward 1,550 restoration projects throughout New York City.

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