There are a total of 56 Neo-Renaissance limestones and brownstones on East 25th St between Clarendon Rd and Avenue D in East Flatbush. The uniform row houses display century-old facades and creative front gardens, thanks to the buildings’ original developer, Henry Meyer Building Company in 1909.
The block also has won first place in Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s “Greenest Block” contest more than any other block– in 2004, 2006, 2011 and 2016. In 2014, the block won the 1st place prize for the first-ever Best Children’s Garden Project. And in 2018, the block won the inaugural Garden Mentor Award.
“Although our contest judges do not consider architecture in their judging criteria, 300 East 25th Street’s unique character and cohesive sense of place are simply undeniable,” said Scot Medbury, the former president of Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.
But rapid development in East Flatbush already has begun to change the landscape. Century-old Victorian homes have been replaced with boxy buildings, and townhomes have been retrofitted with unsightly upper extensions.
And now, after a permit was placed to build in height on the adjacent block– which shares in the same Meyer Neo-Renaissance architecture– residents of East 25th St. and community leaders are moving quickly to get designation of their block by the Landmark Preservation Commission as an Historic District.
City Councilmember Farah Louis, who represents the 45th District that includes East Flatbush, agrees: “It’s imperative that we take the precautionary steps to ensure that these homes are kept out of reach from potential developers and will continue to stand for future generations,” she said.
The East 25th St Historic District Initiative started a petition and submitted a request for evaluation in November 2019.
“This is the fastest and best way to preserve our block and keep it in tact,” said Charles. “We’re hoping to be calendared for a hearing soon.”
The committee feels hopeful their organizing efforts will pan out, as everyone seems to be on board. That includes local city and state officials, as well as Community Board 17, which, on Wednesday, during its monthly meeting unanimously voted in favor of the East 25th St Historic District Initiative and submitted a letter of support to LPC.
“I fully support preserving the legacy of East 25th Street between Clarendon Rd and Ave D by designating it as a Historic District and I kindly ask the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to do the same,” said Assemblymember and Kings County Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte.
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