BHA’s Stanton: Landmarking is Good runs two dueling Op-Ed pieces this week about landmarking.  On the “con” side is Carroll Gardens resident Michael Cassidy, on the “pro” side is Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Judy Stanton: When the push began for a historic district, Robert Moses was on his urban renewal program and was sweeping away townhouses on the east side of Henry Street, one of which was the house where Walt Whitman had lived. If we hadn’t stopped that with landmarking, the destruction of other housing stock in Brooklyn Heights would have continued. There would not be a Brooklyn Heights as we know it, and also probably not a Cobble Hill or a Boerum Hill or a Park Slope or a Carroll Gardens as we know these neighbors today.

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  • nabeguy

    Minor historical correction. I don’t believe that Whitman ever lived within the Heights proper, but the first edition of “Leaves Of Grass” was printed in a small shop on Cranberry Street between Henry and Fulton Streets. He did, however, live at 99 Ryerson Street. See the attached:

  • Wake-up Call

    Interesting debate.

    We must be very careful when allowing any bureaucracy, including the BHA, to make decisions over private property. More checks & balances, as well as effective avenues of redress are needed, IMO.

  • ashton

    I don’t think you have to worry much about the BHA they are powerless. In fact, I sometimes wonder if developers actually wish to be opposed by the BHA, because of how unpopular they are with the land-use agencies. The BHA may have had oomph at some distant point in the past, but today they are a joke. That is why we need a new credible community group ladies and gents. A group made up of the non-geezers who really could be influential. It is a possibility. Look at the Greenwich Village Group, they are so effective and young and smart. If we wish to actually influence public policy in 2010 we have to let go of 1964.

  • Andrew Porter

    Hey Ashton, nice to see you’re so consistent in your trollish remarks. Yeah, we need a new group, and in that group you would be…???

  • nabeguy

    ashton, I’m all for your efforts to find a voice for the “we like shiny, metal things” contingent in our neighborhood, but do remember one thing. Most of the bricks and mortar are owned by us old geezers…or the Witnesses.

  • Heather Quinlan

    I like shiny, metal things!

  • MartinLBrooklyn

    For a deeper understanding of the menace of super-developer Moses and the destructive profiteering of absentee landlords to the neighborhood and, how the Heights came to be one of the most desirable urban places to live in the U.S. please see Then we may more intelligently discuss the historic preservation of NYC’s 100 districts and their positive role in urban life today.