The New York Post published an article today about our project to expand the Park Slope Historic District. We're right under an article entitled "Hairy Situation" about John Travolta's hair:
The article contained inaccuracies, to say the least... Brownstoner also reposted it, eliciting the usual mix in the comments section of gross misinformation and rare insight.
The first inaccuracy in the Post article is that it will take 10 years to complete this project. If only! At our current rate, it will be more like 20 years.
Next, civic organizations like the Park Slope Civic Council only submit a "Request for Evaluation" to the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. Basically, the "civic" (as the Post calls groups like ours) proposes a "study area" for the LPC to review. The LPC eventually responds to the RFE, and sometimes the response takes the form of a proposal for a new Historic District, or an extension of an existing Historic District. The final proposal for a new district or an extension to an existing district comes from the LPC, not from the "civic".
Why did the Park Slope Civic Council include all Park Slope in its RFE? We realize that not every building is landmark-worthy, nor do we expect that every building will ultimately be included in the Park Slope Historic District. But those decisions are for the LPC to make, not us. We are advocates for Park Slope, not architectural historians, and we would be remiss if we did not advocate for the entire neighborhood. Who are we to say that some blocks should be included, and some not? We must let the LPC decide that.
Next, the Post article inaccurately cites an initial review phase of 1,350 buildings, stretching from Flatbush Avenue to 15th Street. If only! That was our initial proposal for phase 1, which was immediately rejected by the LPC as being too large. The compromise phase 1, as documented on this blog, comprises under 800 buildings from about Union Street to 15th Street.
Finally, to return to the time span for this project: our initial phasing encompassed 3 phases, with an estimated project duration of 10 years. Since our first phase had to be cut in half to become manageable by the LPC, we now project perhaps six phases stretching over 20 years. We are in this for the long haul! But, "it's dogged as does it" and one has to start someplace. The point is to start, and then to keep at it. If anyone knows how to speed up the process, let us know.
So much for the Post article. We'll save the amazingly misinformed Brownstoner comments section for another day. We intend to maintain this blog for the duration of this project, so we will need a lot of new material. Responding to the 'Stoner commenters' misconceptions about this project should keep us going for a long time.