Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

11th Street: Another One Bites the Dust

A reader has brought to our attention news that the old building at 561 11th Street, on the north side of the block between 7th and 8th Avenues, is no longer with us.

Below is the original building, as captured in our comprehensive photo archive of Park Slope, winter 2007-2008:

561 Eleventh Street - 2008

We don't have the "vital stats" (date, builder, architect) on the original building, a two-story-over-basement single-family house. The stoop appears to have been a modern reconstruction. It was clearly a historic, "vintage" building, dating from the late decades of the 19th century, during Park Slope's first wave of construction.

Thus we suspect the original building would have been considered a "contributing" building, had it been included in a historic district, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission would have given careful review, and would perhaps have denied, an application for a permit to demolish this building. In which case it would have still been with us today.

Instead, a new, small apartment house is rising on the site:

561 Eleventh Street - 2010

We have no idea if the new building is great architecture or not. Personally we prefer the old building. One wonders, though, what has really been gained in this process? The new building is not dramatically larger than the old one. The old building could have been a 1- or 2-family; the new building appears to be a 3-family. Perhaps we have managed to squeeze another couple of people into Park Slope, which is great. Probably someone has made a lot of money in this transaction, or hopes to.

But the one certainty is that we have lost a bit more of Park Slope's historic fabric and unique "sense of place".

If you know of any other losses underway in Park Slope, or if you would like to help us expand the Park Slope Historic District, please let us know through the contact link on the Park Slope Civic Council's website.


spqrxxi said...

The new building is not "great" architecture. It is not even "good." It is lousy. Pity the people who will live in this modernist hulk.

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