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The Conservancy Supports Willoughby-Hart Historic District

Brooklyn’s newest historic district is Willoughby-Hart, an enclave of two blocks in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to approve the District on June 25. This vote followed a June 11 hearing, where the Conservancy joined dozens of local advocates and elected officials to support the designation.

Read our Testimony.

Back in 2008, Conservancy staff surveyed the neighborhood and submitted research and documentation on this District to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). They found it eligible for listing on the State Register of Historic Places.

Research from that time noted that these two blocks sit just below where the 18th-century Cripplebush Road once ran northeast from the hamlet of Bedford to the hamlet of Cripplebush. Lying below and between industrial sections, well away from noise and congestion, the District was built as a middle-class residential development between 1865 and 1891. Both blocks form consistent streetscapes of masonry rowhouses in the neo-Grec, Second Empire, and Romanesque Revival styles, with attractive decorative details and strong cornice and roof lines.

As development pressures have increased in the area, residents came together to request LPC designation. A first step toward protecting this historic neighborhood went awry in 2022 when the Jacob Dangler House, a picturesque French Gothic-style mansion that once anchored the community, was demolished just as it was about to be designated as an individual landmark. This shocking loss catalyzed the neighbors to push on with their pursuit of historic district status. At the hearing, there was a small but vocal minority of residents opposing the designation.

The Conservancy looks forward to discussing our financial and technical assistance services with homeowners in the Willoughby-Hart Historic District.

Contact our experts with your preservation questions.

Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn New York

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