Brooklyn Boro

Preservationists step up drive to landmark Walt Whitman’s house

July 17, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
99 Ryerson St., where Walt Whitman lived. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

Devotees of poet and former Brooklyn Eagle editor Walt Whitman have stepped up their efforts to landmark 99 Ryerson St. near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the only one of Whitman’s homes in Brooklyn that is still standing and the place where he worked on “Leaves of Grass.”

Columbia University professor Karen Karbiener recently took her students on a field trip to the home, which is still occupied, but were not able to get in and were told that “she’s [presumably the owner of the house] renovating,” according to The New York Times

Preservationists have been trying to have the house landmarked for years, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission has denied these requests, partially because 99 Ryerson St. has been outfitted with aluminum siding, “substantially altering its appearance.”

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Now that the longtime chair of the commission, Meenakshi Srinivasan, has left her position, the preservationists are resubmitting their application. Greg Trupiano, the founder and artistic director of the Walt Whitman Project, says the house represents “the pinnacle of the American Renaissance of literature.”


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