----- Original Message -----
From: Maria Pagano
Sent: Saturday, April 26, 2008 9:39 AM
Subject: [SecondPlaceBlock] Re: Approval of the "narrow street" amendment at CB6 last night
Thanks for the great post, Barbara!
As you so ably presented, there is both history and civics involved in the text amendment
presented at the CB6 meeting on Thursday night.
I can remember you presenting the Richard Butts survey and the deed restrictions when you raised the issue of maintaining the Place block courtyards at our TriBlock Association meetings. At that time, (the mid '90's?) a few front gardens on the Place blocks were paved over for parking. Over the course of years you (and Frank V) tracked and challenged the lack of enforcement of the courtyard use to the DOB/DOT impasse. DOT and DOB representatives addressed our TriBlock general meetings and repeatedly passed the buck to whichever agency wasn't present when enforcement was raised.
When I heard the text amendment read aloud this past Thursday, I realized your persistence and foresight has truly brought the Place blocks the recognition Butts intended. He designed the Place blocks with wide vistas; a planned community in the city of Brooklyn with front and back gardens.The Place blocks can now take their place in the architectural history of mid 19th and again in early 21st century Brooklyn: here are the only gates and front gardens in an intact brownstone neighborhood left in NYC.
Nowadays, no one is surprised when developers build planned communities. We accept that the "gates" of modern developers surround the whole community and these communities have their own regulations. Butts did too- and the City ignored them, stamping every NYC block with one set of rules. According to the City regs, the Place blocks are much the same width as Court St, without the commercial overlay.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it possible that under the existing wide streets designation, if a developer bought the right number of properties, couldn't a building the size of the Clarett (ILA) be built as of right on a Place block? Much like the 11 story building at 100 Luquer St?
You and Frank reminded us, fought with the City agencies and waved the facts in our faces, and didn't give up! Thank you- regardless of what the community does with the information, you have brought our gardens and our planned community to everyone's attention. We are the first! Our Place blocks are center stage,recognized for the prizes they are. Thank you!
(See Barbara's blog: Carroll Gardens History.com)