The building collapses at 241 Carroll Street calls into question the workmanship and safety of 100-150 yr old brownstones. Landmarking is not is needed, what we need is that these buildings are brought up to date with newer engineering and safety codes.


Nora jone

The Wailing Wall without windows.

The Wailing Wall with windows.

Amazingly there are people in Cobble Hill that prefer the wall without windows!

I am sure most are lawyers – people with no aesthetic sense. They feel rules are more important than beauty.

About two weeks ago there was a meeting with Councilman Lander and several Cobble Hill residents and the residents were upset that the City Landmarks Commission approved the windows in Nora Jones’s wall. I have been told that Jones wanted ten windows and the Commission approved seven. I think they should have approved all ten. The wall looks so much better with the windows.

However people being people complain and complain and complain; we know they never actually look because if they did they would admit the Wailing Wall looks better with windows. In fact a friend told me they were threatening to sue both the Landmarks Commissions and Nora Jones. Why Nora Jones?? Jones applied and received all the proper permits. I think Amity  Street has too many lawyers living on with too little work.

This is another reason Historical Status is bad for your neighborhood: Not only do you need to get City permission BUT it seems now you need to get your neighbor’s permission to make changes to your house. Suddenly you no longer own your home BUT a committee owns your home – of cause none of them will be chipping in any money.

BTW, Nora Jones’s new CD is great; I recommend it.

I ran into Michael Cassidy on Thursday; he wa just back from Fire Island preparing his to open his beach house. He mentioned that he has tried to get a copy of Brad Lander’s letter to Robert B. Tierney, Chairman of Landmarks Commission. It seems Brad Lander handed out a letter from Chairman Tierney replying to that letter at a meeting, and Mike wanted to see what the Lander’s letter had said. He has now requested the letter twice and has not even received a phone call back from Lander’s liaison, Michael Curtin. I encouraged Mike to sue for the letter under the New York State Freedom of Information Act.  I wonder is Lander in the wrong political party; this seems a Republican Party attitude and not the attitude of the Democratic Party I and Mike belong to.

In the April 10 New York Post, Andrea Peyser had a piece about the landmarking of Carroll Gardens: ‘Mark’ of B’klyn’s Big, Bad Brother.  Our own John Esposito is quoted. The article can be found here.

IBO found clear evidence that after controlling for property and neighborhood characteristics, market value of properties in historic districts were higher than those outside historic districts for every year of our study.  . . . Finally, there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that districting itself causes higher prices or greater price appreciation.

So why the greater price appreciation in historic districts if they were not caused by the districting itself? Simply because these are ‘special’ neighborhoods: close to subways, close to Manhattan, better elementary schools, better single family housing, etc. It is not because the neighborhood becomes historic that raises the price appreciation BUT rather character of the neighborhood.

To answer some questions

March 18, 2010

Our group consists of people living and/or working in Carroll Gardens; we are not outside developers.
In fact two of the main backers of the landmarking of Carroll Gardens are people who do not live in Carroll Gardens.

Why we do not support landmarking?  Money and time. Landmarking makes renovation and repairs cost more and take longer for all of us not politically connected or wealthy. An easy example of how the wealthy and politically connected can get around landmarking can be seen is in Nora Jones’ ability to get around landmarking; do you think it might have something to do with the fact that she is famous and wealthy

All the rest of us would have lost.

Introduction: We are a group of Brooklyn homeowners, businesspeople, and residents who are against the planned landmarking of our neighborhood, Carroll Gardens. We believe that there will be few benefits for the added costs to any renovations or construction. We have meetings on the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at Sal’s Pizzeria, 305 Court St.