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Tomorrow’s Yesterdays: Historic Districts of the Future
March 18, 6:30 PM
Shape Shifter Lab
18 Whitwell Place
When Brooklyn Heights was designated the very first New York City historic district in 1965, the architectural styles found there exemplified the types of buildings that the Landmarks Preservation Commission saw as worthy of protection. While protecting classic Federals and grand rowhouses has never gone out of style, over the past 50 years, the question of what types of buildings can be landmarked has slowly been re-examined. Beginning in 1973 with the designation of the SoHo-Cast-Iron District, acceptance has slowly warmed to the potential diversity of historic districts, including with vernacular or industrial buildings. This panel will include a presentation of the evolution of historic districts by architectural historian Francis Morrone, before considering the issues of the present and future. The panelist, urban plannerPaul Graziano, Gowanus advocate Marlene Donnelly and Ward Dennis, Columbia University professor and Brooklyn Community Board 1 member, will discuss potential historic districts, technological and bureaucratic strategies for looking ahead, and questions such as Can Gowanus ever be designated? and Is there a place for a historic district in suburban Queens?