Demolition Set for Mansion on Bushwick Ave Historic Corridor to Make Way for New Apartment Building

Alec Meeker

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Editors note: Article updated on November 20th to include responses from Community Board 04 and the Landmark Preservation Society

The fences are built and a wrecking crew is set to descend on another house in the “Historic Bushwick Corridor.”  On the corner of Grove Street and Bushwick Avenue sits an eclectic standout yellow mansion which on Tuesday Morning a crew of construction workers could be seen building up the city mandated green construction fencing around the building.  The department of buildings work permit states clearly in a description of work stating, “FULL DEMOLITION – FULL DEMOLITION OF EXISTING HOUSE.”

Permits stapled to 1001 Bushwick Ave construction fencing

The demolition of the 1001 Bushwick Avenue has some upset with one longtime neighbor telling Bushwick Daily that, “this is a beautiful block full of historic buildings and architecture, it’s awful to tear it down.”

Photo by Alec Meeker

The expected demolition has some worried but what’s expected to follow has many residents outraged. According to building permits published by New York Yimby, the owners of the lot have filed a permit to build a “60-foot-tall development […] 21,964 square feet, with 16,653 square feet designated for residential space. The building will have 24 residences, most likely rentals based on the average unit scope of 693 square feet. The concrete-based structure will also have a cellar and 12 enclosed parking spaces.”

While not uncommon to see new developments sprouting up on almost every block in Bushwick. The Bushwick Historic Corridor has been the subject of several movements to have the street preserved with historic landmark designations. In 2011, the NY Daily News reported on attempts by community leaders to designate the entire block a historic district. The Daily News Reports, “Community leaders want turn the enclave in the Brooklyn nabe into an historic district. Brewers Row”, located around Linden Street, Gates Avenue and Bushwick Avenue, is an area in the Brooklyn nabe that community leaders reportedly want turned into a historic district before the buildings are altered, sold, or destroyed.” Then Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D–Bushwick). “Identifying buildings and blocks could … preserve Bushwick’s history and culture as well as encourage neighborhood pride,” Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D–Bushwick) told the Brooklyn Paper in a 2010 report. 

Today, the land falls under the jurisdiction of Council Member Antonio Reynoso in Brooklyn District 34. The Council Member told Bushwick Daily, “I am a strong supporter of land marking in my district and throughout New York City. That’s part of the reason why I embarked upon a community planning process for Bushwick which sought to downzone and landmark portions of my district. Unfortunately, the City refused to implement the plan. Furthermore, residents’ resistance to land marking has hindered efforts to ensure equitable growth and historic preservation in the district. Despite these hurdles, we have had some success with land marking in  Bushwick, most notably with the Huberty House. In order to landmark on a more significant scale, we need greater buy in from property owners,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

In the past, Councilmember Reynoso has supported historic landmark designations. In 2017, a neighboring mansion on Bushwick Ave received historic landmark designation and Councilmember Reynoso had this to say in a statement released by his office, “Thank you to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for recognizing the importance of preserving Bushwick’s historic character, of which the Huberty House is an outstanding example. Bushwick Avenue and the surrounding blocks contain many historic structures that deserve such consideration for preservation.”

At time of publication, the demolition of 1001 Bushwick Ave had not yet started and the exact time of scheduled demolition is unknown.

Activists have started a petition to have the building considered for historic landmark designation and they have also told Bushwick Daily that they will be attending the Community Board 04 meeting on November 18th to make their voices heard. 

UPDATE November 20th, 2020

The issue was brought up to Community Board 04 during their monthly meeting this week. On November 19th, District Manager Celestina Leon sent out the following statement. 

Good Evening Everyone,

Thank you for the calls and emails about 1001 Bushwick Avenue. Since my initial conversation with a neighbor earlier this week, I have discussed this with the board’s Chairperson, Robert Camacho, and the Housing and Land Use Committee Chairperson, Anne Guiney. I’ve also spoken with reps from both the Office of Council Member Antonio Reynoso and the Office of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.

We would like to convene a community info session/call soon, although we’re in the process of getting more information at the moment. I’ve Bcc-ed everyone that’s emailed us about this thus far to get us on the same page. In short, as you likely know, this is a private site that isn’t currently landmarked, although the board previously expressed support for a Bushwick Avenue Historic District. Thank you to Jon for reaching out to LPC (see attached acknowledgment) and keeping us in the loop. Based on DOB info it looks like they intend to build a seven story building, although the approval is pending.

As information becomes available we will certainly share more. Please feel free to chime in with other updates. The situation doesn’t look good however, we are trying to get a better sense of what is possible. If you know of others that would like to be added to this email chain, please email me directly and I will update the list. I can also remove you if you prefer not to receive these emails.

Additionally, the Landmark Preservation Committee sent a response to community activist, Jon Knox, who submitted a request for evaluation on the 1001 Bushwick Ave property. Their response is censored to protect private citizen information is below. 

We will continue to provide updates on this story as it unfolds. Read up on our past reporting through the links below for more information on Bushwick’s historic landmark buildings.

 Did You Know: NYC’s Oldest Dutch-Colonial House is in Ridgewood

Admiring Bushwick Historic Architecture at the Annual Photo Walk

Bushwick Native Seeks to Defend Historic Ridgewood Theatre From Real Estate Moguls

Spooky Mansion on Willoughby Ave Named a City Landmark

Bushwick’s St. Barbara’s Church is Slated for a Landmark Vote

Bushwick’s Huberty House Becomes an Official Landmark

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