East New York Police Station Is Among Four Brooklyn Sites Winning Preservation Award


Four historic properties in Brooklyn join more than a dozen receiving the 34th Annual Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards from the New York Landmarks Conservancy next month. The awards honor outstanding adaptive reuse, preservation, or restoration projects for historic buildings of all kinds in New York City.

One of the winners, a castle-like structure at 486 Liberty Avenue in East New York, served as the 75th Police Precinct Station until the 1970s. It was recently purchased by an LLC in a crumbling state, and its orange and brown brickwork and terra-cotta ornament now gleam. Completed in 1891, the Romanesque Revival-style building was designed by engineer George Ingram, although it is often attributed to architect Emile M. Grewe.

preservation awards - exterior of powerhouse arts along the gowanus canal

Powerhouse Arts in Gowanus is one of the Brooklyn projects being honored at the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards. Photo by Susan De Vries

people inside the great hall

The interior of Powerhouse Arts in Gowanus in May of 2023. Photo by Susan De Vries

Over in Gowanus, Powerhouse Arts has revived from the brink the old Batcave — aka the abandoned Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company Central Power Station Engine House building — at 322 3rd Avenue in a stunning feat of adaptive reuse. Cleaned up and with an addition, the arts hub preserves the large central space ringed by bits of old graffiti. It opened last year as a fabrication center, ceramics studio, and venue space.

In one of Bed Stuy’s historic districts, a pair of early 20th century houses were preserved by their longtime owner and architect Michelle Todd. The scope of work included repointing brick and rebuilding crumbling exterior features, whose materials include brick, stucco, and stone (both cast and natural).

brick houses

The Ridges Residences in Bed Stuy. Photo by Owens Ridges via New York Landmarks Conservancy

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, not far from the Bushwick border is Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church at 333 Hart Street. After years with boarded up windows and dirty stonework, the huge Romanesque Revival church is now standing proud again with windows with red sashes, stained glass, and a pale blue-painted cornice and trim. Designed by Patrick Keely, it opened in the 1880s with impressive frescoes, bronze chandeliers, and marble and onyx altars.

stone church with boarded up windows

Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in 2019, before restoration. Photo by Susan De Vries

brick church

Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church at 333 Hart Street in Bed Stuy. Photo by Zaskorski & Associates Architects via New York Landmarks Conservancy

Roberta Brandes Gratz — author, preservationist, and urbanist — will also be honored with the Preservation Leadership Award for her work on the Landmarks Preservation Commission and to restore the Eldridge Street Synagogue.

The celebration takes place April 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Plaza, and a ticket costs $95. The New York Landmarks Conservancy funds preservation and saves buildings in New York State with loans, grants, and pro bono technical advice.

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