Tish James says Yea; CB2 says nay - what'll it be?
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
To be or not to be … a city landmark?
Lovers of Victorian architecture will have to wait until the new year to find out whether the historic 88th Police Precinct Station House gets the nod from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The preservation agency heard testimony at a public hearing Tuesday for – and against – designating the Clinton Hill cop shop at 298 Classon Ave. a protected property whose facade can't be changed without the LPC's okay. The Commissioners will make their decision at a later date.
The red-brick building with a picturesque turret was built in 1889-1890, and at that time was the 4th Precinct's station house. It was designed by George Ingram, whose eye-catching station houses are sprinkled throughout Brooklyn.
Outgoing City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Crown Heights), who is the city's new Public Advocate, sent a letter voicing strong support for the designation.
Community Board 2 came out strongly against the landmarking of the handsome building, which is considered cramped and inefficient for modern-day police work. Last week, the board voted to oppose its designation until the New York Police Department constructs a new station house.
“For Community Board 2, it is not a question of whether architect George Ingram's Romanesque Revival building is worthy of being designated a New York City Landmark,” Robert Perris, district manager, said at the hearing.
“The question for the community board is whether the 19th-Century edifice is worthy of a 21st-Century police precinct. It is the community board's opinion that it is not.”
Since fiscal 2007, building a new station house has been a CB2 capital budget priority.