|Welcome To Sunset Park|
|Map of Sunset Park|
The Sunset Park community was primarily made up of modest three-story, two-family houses, originally designed for working class families during the late decades of the nineteenth century and to the first half of the twentieth century. The rowhouses were designed in the neo-Greek, Romanesque, and Renaissance revival styles, partially attributed to the firm of Pohlman & Patrick. Interestingly, these styles were quickly going out of popularity in Europe, where they originated, and being replaced by first experiments in modern architecture. The rowhouses were built n a combination of brick, limestone, and brownstone. If you've never encountered a brownstone building, you're in for a real treat. The warmth and character of these buildings just oozes out of its pores, begging you to come closer and touch.
|Sunset Park Rowhouses|
In 1988, Sunset Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places (http://www.nps.gov/nr) for its architectural/engineering significance. The neighborhood's periods of significance was 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899. Its historic function was commerce/trade, domestic, and landscape and a historic sub-function of business, multiple and single dwellings, and park. Currently, Sunset Park retains its primary and secondary functions. At the time of designation, the area was the largest historic district in Northeastern United States with 3,237 registered buildings and approximately bounded by 4th Avenue and 7the Avenue; 38th Street and 64th Street. The landmarks committee was established in the spring of 2012.
Project Manager Lynn Massimo stated that she helped put together the committee because, "the rowhouses in Sunset Park are beautiful, they make the streets feel special and they embody a sense of place. Insensitive changes to the rowhouses take away from that." Ms. Massimo has resided in Sunset Park since 2000 added that the group was started by a local neighbors who were witness to the houses being taken down. The group felt that someone had to preserve the houses and it didn't seem like anyone was make an attempt at preservation and creating a historic district.
Attachment and sentiment, two of many reasons for local preservation. Indeed, when you walk down the streets and stop to admire the rowhouses, you can't help but think about who lived there, when they lived there, and what were their experiences. These were/are people's homes. It is/was where happy and sad moments took places, the whole range of life cycle events. Insensitive development would strip away these moments, or wouldn't they? Let me stop here for a moment and digress. Where do our memories of life cycle events reside? In the place where they occurred or in hearts and minds. A building is a physical object, which we attach sentimental significance to. Memories, on the other hand, reside in conscious and subconscious. While I'm certainly not advocating razing these beautiful buildings and putting yet another high-rise condominium development, what I am asking you to consider is the emotional attachments we have to a place.
|Study Area Map of Proposed Historic District|
|Former 68th Street Police Precinct House and Street|
|Former Sunset Park Courthhouse|
Sunset Park is no doubt a lovely neighborhood in Brooklyn. It is a thriving community with a great of pride in the place. The grassroots campaign to get parts of the community designated a historic district highlights citizen participation in historic preservation. Really, all historic preservation activities are citizen driven. In this case, we have an example of the direction of historic preservation. More and more communities are beginning to realize the value of their resources. My question to the SPLC is regarding the ethnic communities in Sunset Park. There is strangely no mention of the historic contributions of the primarily Asian and European communities that have settled in the area. It would be interesting to see how the SPLC intends to address this issue.
|Sunset Park at sunset|