Wallabout


Today the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Wallabout Historic District, which encompasses approximately 55 buildings on Vanderbilt between Park & Myrtle Avenues in north Brooklyn. Wallabout contains the largest concentration of pre-Civil War era wood-frame houses in the entire city, and many of them have been lovingly preserved despite a lack of landmark protections so far. Two beauties are 143 & 145 Vanderbilt Avenue (shown above), built together in c. 1850.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission had this to say about the development of wood-frame houses in Wallabout:

“Residential development began in the early 19th century and accelerated with expansion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard along Wallabout Bay in the middle of the century. Since the flatlands along the river were not considered to be as prestigious for residential development as the uplands several blocks inland, much of the construction in Wallabout was of wood houses rather than the more expensive brick or stone dwellings that typify the adjacent Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods.”

For in-depth historical information on each building in the Wallabout Historic District, read the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation report (warning: PDF).

Today’s vote is a huge step forward for the preservation of wooden houses, as it ensures that none of the buildings within the historic district’s boundaries may be altered or demolished without permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Thank you to the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project, the Historic Districts Council, and the City for recognizing and preserving this little treasure trove.