Brooklyn Gained One Historic District in 2023: Linden Street Became a First for Bushwick

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With 2023 almost at an end, we take our annual look back at the Brooklyn buildings and neighborhoods considered significant enough to merit designation by the Landmarks Preservation Commission during the year.

This year was a slow year for landmarking in Brooklyn, with the borough not gaining any individual landmarks. There are currently none proposed for designation in Brooklyn either, according to the LPC. That’s not due to lack of local effort: Bed Stuy residents mourning the 2022 demolition of the Jacob Dangler Mansion have submitted a request for evaluation for an historic district on Willoughby Avenue.

Meanwhile, Bushwick preservationists attempted to get the Ulmer row houses on Bushwick Avenue landmarked, but were rejected by the commission, which said the historic houses had been too altered to qualify, Dina Alfano of the Bushwick Historic Preservation Association told Brownstoner.

Brooklyn did, however, gain one historic district and it was an historic first for Bushwick.

six to celebrate - row houses in bushwick brooklyn

Linden Street in Bushwick. Photo by Susan De Vries

TheLinden Street Historic District includes a “remarkably intact group of 32 brick and brownstone row houses built between 1885 and 1901,” as the LPC put it, on the block of Linden Street between Broadway and Bushwick Avenue.

“Designed by Brooklyn architects, these distinctive row houses represent the highly successful integration of late 19th century picturesque styles: the Queen Anne, the Neo-Grec, and the Romanesque and Renaissance revivals,” LPC researcher Marianne Hurley told the commissioners at the Landmarks hearing.

The district covers areas on both sides of Linden Street, including 10 Queen Anne-style brick row houses with extraordinary terra-cotta decoration that run from 37 to 55 Linden Street and start at the corner of Bushwick Avenue.

Designed by architect Frank Keith Irving, the unusual row has motifs on cornices and terra-cotta not seen anywhere else in New York City. The quality of the decoration is also unusual for homes intended for middle-class owners.

They were commissioned in 1888 by prominent lawyer and one of the founders of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Samuel M. Meeker, Hurley said. Meeker, and later his family, developed much of the section of Linden Street that is now landmarked. The historic district, New York City’s 156th, is both architecturally and historically significant, Hurley said, and “stands out as a unified streetscape with a strong sense of place.”

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