Clinton Hill

Landmarks vote set for the Henry and Susan McDonald House in Wallabout — and the M.H. Renken Dairy in Clinton Hill

June 2, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This is the Henry and Susan McDonald House in Wallabout, which is set for a June 16 landmarking vote. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

I sing the body electric.

Mark your calendars, Walt Whitman fans.

On June 16, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on whether to grant landmark status to a stunning 1850s-vintage villa in Wallabout, the neighborhood near the Brooklyn Navy Yard where the famed poet lived.

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

At a public hearing Tuesday at its Lower Manhattan headquarters, the preservation agency set the vote date for the Henry and Susan McDonald House at 128 Clinton Ave.

A commission staffer called the Italianate frame house with Greek Revival-style columns on its front porch “an important reminder of the early development of Wallabout.”

At Tuesday’s hearing, preservationists spoke in support of landmark designation for 128 Clinton — whose next-door neighbor, the Lefferts-Laidlaw House at 136 Clinton Ave., is already a city landmark.

The owners of 128 Clinton didn’t testify about whether they support or oppose the landmarking of their property. According to city Finance Department records, they are spouses Joseph Delgado and Justine Fasciano, who bought the house for $2.189 million in 2006.

On Tuesday, commissioners also decided that June 16 will be the day they vote on whether to landmark the former M.H. Renken Dairy engine room building at 580 Myrtle Ave. and the dairy’s former office building at 582-584 Myrtle Ave.

The property — which looks like one big building — is in Clinton Hill, a few blocks away from the Henry and Susan McDonald House.

Neighborhood groups have been trying for several years to win landmarking protection for the Art Moderne-style property.

In the 1930s, at the time of the Myrtle Avenue buildings’ construction, Renken was the city’s third largest dairy, a Landmarks Preservation Commission staffer said at the hearing.

During the hearing, it was noted that the owner of 580 Myrtle opposes landmark designation for the property. Finance Department records identify him as Sam Wasserman of Sam Myrtle Realty.

The owner of 582-584 Myrtle didn’t testify to support or oppose landmarking. He is ID’d in Finance Department records as Howard Hershkovich, who heads two LLCs that bought the building last year for $3,822,222.


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