When we first read that the Landmarks Preservation Commission was taking steps to preserve the stately mansions, row houses and churches of Crown Heights North, we weren't all that surprised. After all, the area's 19th and 20th century architectural gems span at least four distinct styles: Georgian/Federal; Renaissance/Baroque Revival; Romanesque Revival and Modern/Art Deco/Art Moderne.

When we visited recently, the day was clear, if hot, and the streets were quiet. First, we took in the Former Union League Club of Brooklyn, built at the corner of Bedford Ave. and Dean St. in 1892 by Lauritzen & Voss. The arches are typical of Renaissance/Baroque Revival buildings like this one, which, we think, now houses a senior center.


Then we headed over to the southeast corner of Bedford Ave. and Pacific St., where we couldn't help but notice the regal Imperial Apartments, a Renaissance/Baroque Revival building that boasts terra-cotta columns and arches. The 1892 building, with its orange barrier and plastic-covered door, is undergoing cosmetic improvements.


The Twenty-third Regiment Armory, built the same year, sits diagonally across the street. A Romanesque Revival structure, the men's shelter straddles almost the entire block.

2006_07_crownheights5ge.JPGWe also checked out the series of small neo-Georgian houses on St. Marks Ave. between New York and Brooklyn Aves. And, standing before the post-Colonial homes, we couldn't help wondering what took Landmarks so long.

But maybe things won't take as long anymore: The NY Sun has an article about the City Council once again attempting to become more involved in the LPC. Last fall, City Councilman Bill Perkins tried to have the public more involved in the process by requiring public hearings. Here's a link to the LPC's page on suggesting a landmark.