The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

Help preserve the East Side Park Lands Apartment House District
Posted: October 12, 2017 - 10:30am

In southeastern Prospect Heights lies a district of 82 apartment buildings built between 1909 and 1929. The buildings along Eastern Parkway, Lincoln Place, St. John’s Place, Butler Place and Plaza Street are of similar design with varied ornamental flourishes, giving the district a high degree of design consistency. The district was promoted at the turn of the 20th century by the Prospect Park Commissioners with a view to attracting high quality development to complement and be complemented by the Park, Museum, Botanic Garden and Library. It represents a unique period in Brooklyn history when building patterns shifted and a new type of urban dwelling was built for a rising middle class. Built on land that had remained vacant for decades, these apartment houses attracted people who wanted to live near Brooklyn’s cultural center and Prospect Park, sought the advantages of apartment dwelling, and wanted rapid access to downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan via the soon-to-arrive subway.

Since their construction, the buildings of the East Side Park Lands Apartment House District have seen relatively little change, presenting a window into the changing urban life of Brooklyn at the beginning of the last century. Unfortunately, current and future development pressure may now threaten the character of this unique section of Prospect Heights that each year welcomes thousands of visitors to Brooklyn’s premier cultural institutions. Excess development rights, combined with a superheated real estate market, make many properties with the East Side Park Lands district potential targets for uncharacteristic additions, or even redevelopment.

Our community has a chance to preserve this part of our history before it is too late. By designating an East Side Park Lands Apartment House Historic District, we can work to ensure this unique part of the architectural legacy of Prospect Heights will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for many years to come. But your support is critical.

Here's what you can do:

Watch a presentation on the history of the East Side Park Lands, and find out why it's important the area be designated a historic district now.

Sign our petition calling on Mayor de Blasio and Landmarks Preservation Commissioner Srinivasan to designate the East Side Park Lands a New York City Landmark District as soon as possible. We’ll make sure you’ll be kept up to date on our progress as this initiative moves forward.

Volunteer to help us complete the research and outreach necessary to move this campaign to the next stage.

Make a tax-deductible contribution to support this preservation effort.


Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the East Side Park Lands, and for your support of this important community-led initiative!