SOS: Save Brooklyn’s Historic 18th/19th Century District!

We are reaching out to you because we need your help to fight a new enemy threatening NYC’s beloved Brooklyn Academy of Music Historic District- i.e. Brooklyn’s ‘Lincoln Center’.

Here in human-scale Fort Greene, Brooklyn one of the most livable neighborhoods in New York City, a proposed 24-story luxury condo skyscraper will have a devastating impact on the entire historic district. There’s no question that it will be highly visible to people walking along and living amidst Hanson Place, St. Felix Street and Ashland Place and beyond.

Brownstones directly across the street

It will be an offensive source of shadows and block the views of the landmarked and iconic Williamsburg Bank Building for the residents of St. Felix as well as stealing some of the sky for the adjacent residents throughout the historic district.

The NYC administration & too many of our electeds are eroding our neighborhoods in favor of their campaign funding Big Real Estate ‘masters’. Neighborhoods in the outer boroughs such as Brooklyn where predominant minority residents live are being overrun by luxury unaffordable apts.

In our case-the Brooklyn Academy of Music Historic District in Fort Greene-which was designated as such in 1978 for it’s unique character and context.

However-because the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (appointed by Mayor deBlasio-who never met a development he didn’t love) did a U-turn and acceded to the developer of a 24 story skyscraper on a block of 3 & 4 story historic modest row-houses, the unapologetic hostage taking of a unique part of New York history is about to be destroyed.

130 St Felix-a 24 story luxury skyscraper is planned

Adding to the unconscionable land-grab is the developer’s disingenuous rationale that it is being developed to help folks buy ‘affordable’ condos. There are 120 units planned –all but 35 are for the very rich as market rate apartments…a mere 24 are for incomes ranging from $75-110K-hardly by anyone’s –except the most wealthy- realistic standards for ‘underserved’ New Yorkers. The excuses for this tower hold no credibility whatsoever.

In order to reclaim our neighborhood, we formed a non-profit community organization:
Preserve BAMs Historic District and hired a brilliant attorney –steeped in historic precedent law. Preserve BAMs Historic District’s goal is the preservation of this historic landmarked footprint, with its iconic landmarked Williamsburg Bank Building -one, which has served all New Yorkers as a treasured cultural center and connotes the essential character of our Brooklyn patrimony. In so doing, we also intend to prevent even more Black displacement, which has been going on in this ‘hot’ real estate market and neighborhood in recent years.

Shamefully, because we couldn’t rely on the very Agency mandated to steward our historic protections, our only option was to stop this destructive project and preserve the Historic District ourselves! On Dec 3rd , 2020 we filed an Article 78 lawsuit against the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in NY State Supreme Court. If we prevail, hopefully other treasured contextually zoned NYC locations threatened by developers of luxury housing will benefit from our precedent.

But…we will need your financial and moral support to help us see this through.

What can you do?

A lawsuit such as the one we are engaged in costs money and we are asking you for your generous contribution to this fight. If we are to have success in reclaiming our neighborhoods, we must engage others to work on matters that concern us and to do this we need your financial support, noting that no amount is too small.
As a 501c (3) non-profit, you are permitted to deduct your donation.

As a 501c (3) non-profit, you are permitted to deduct your donation.