1/7/12

Bay Ridge Conservancy Honored by Historic Districts Council

Through an application submitted by local historic preservation group Bay Ridge Conservancy, Bay Ridge has been selected by citywide historic advocacy organization Historic Districts Council as one of its 2012 "Six to Celebrate: Six NYC Neighborhoods Meriting Preservation".

"Six to Celebrate" is HDC's annual list of historic New York City neighborhoods worthy of preservation, the only citywide preservation list.

The other 2012 selections are Victorian Flatbush, Far Rockaway Beachside Bungalows, Morningside Heights, Port Morris Gantries and Van Cortlandt Village.

The six were chosen from applications submitted by local groups, based on architectural and historic merit, threat to historic buildings, quality of local preservation advocacy, and the degree to which HDC could be useful.

There will be a "Six to Celebrate" launch party on Wednesday, January 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Bowery Poetry Club, at 308 Bowery at East First Street in Manhattan. For more information or tickets, visit www.hdc.org.

Here's how the HDC described Bay Ridge:
"Elegant rowhouses, Victorian-era mansions and pre-war apartment buildings combine with parks, vibrant commercial streets and impressive institutional buildings to make Bay Ridge a quintessential New York City neighborhood. For more than 30 years, the Bay Ridge Conservancy has been working to preserve and enhance the built environment of this architecturally and ethnically diverse area."
By bringing locally-driven neighborhood preservation advocacy into the spotlight, HDC hopes to highlight the threat to the city's historic neighborhoods posed by indiscriminate and inappropriate development. HDC intends "Six to Celebrate" to help raise awareness of local efforts to save neighborhoods citywide.

The HDC, which began in 1971 as a coalition of community groups from New York City’s designated historic districts, has become one of the city's foremost historic preservation advocates. It will partner with the "Six to Celebrate" neighborhood groups during 2012 to establish and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach programs, and publicity.

BRC member Susan Pulaski called the news that Bay Ridge had been recognized by an organization with citywide reach "wonderful".

The BRC grew out of the "Friends of the Bennett/Farrell/Feldman Site", responsible for saving one of the historic buildings at 95th Street near Shore Road in Bay Ridge. The BRC has also been involved in efforts to save a Victorian house on 80th Street and the stone bridges along the Belt Parkway in Leif Eriksson Park.

Serving as City Council Member Vincent Gentile's Preservation Committee, the BRC was involved in the campaign that resulted in the down-zoning of 400 blocks in Bay Ridge; in retaining the Bay Ridge Special District, originally envisioned by the Bay Ridge Community Council; and in drafting preservation legislation.

The BRC, in partnership with the HDC, hopes to see Bay Ridge become one of the best neighborhoods in New York City to restore -- rather than demolish -- a Victorian home.

For more information about the BRC, please call Victoria Hofmo at 718-748-5950.

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