New York City has a new historic district. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, in a unanimous vote, designated the Bedford Historic District in Brooklyn. That means 824 more buildings now fall under the commission’s oversight. It also means the green street signs will eventually be replaced with brown ones.
The district is within the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and runs from Bedford Avenue to Tompkins Avenue and from Macon Street to Monroe Street, though it doesn’t include every building in that area. It contains most or all of Madison Street, Putnam Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, Hancock Street, and Halsey Street between Nostrand Avenue and Marcy Avenue, plus most of the south side of Monroe Street and Macon Street within those boundaries. Part of Arlington Place and Verona Place are also included. Click on the map above to check on specific buildings.
The area once consisted of parts of four farms owned by the DeBevoise, Lefferts, and Suydam families. Now, it is home to home to hundreds of row houses, plus flats, schools, and churches. Nearly all of the buildings in the district, which is really very beautiful, were constructed between 1870 and 1900.
Eventually, the district became a home for both African-American and Caribbean-American families. Churches followed, including the Siloam Presbyterian Church, which, in 1944, acquired the Central Presbyterian Church at Jefferson Avenue and Marcy Avenue. In 1964, Malcolm X paid the church a visit.
The district is remarkably intact, in part due to the hard work of its residents. After World War II, they banded together in block associations to help preserve it. “Its remarkable state of preservation is matched by few other areas of the city,” the commission said.
“This designation is a testament to our strong commitment to designating areas in all five boroughs that have a strong sense of place and illustrate the layered history of our city,” said LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan.
It took a little over three years for the designation process to be completed. It was calendared on May 15, 2012 and a public hearing was held on January 15, 2013.