Bruce Ratner’s mega-project isn’t only a catalyst for lawsuits. It’s also behind a push to create a historic district in Prospect Heights. “I think with the Atlantic Yards happening, there’s a real urgency to get it designated,” Municipal Art Society fellow Lisa Kersavage told Gothamist. “The development pressures are increasing dramatically.”

Last summer, Kersavage began working with the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council to survey the area, known for its nineteenth-century Neo-Grec and Italianate row houses and Romanesque Revival buildings.

Some 20 surveyors spent last summer photographing and taking notes on basic details of 1000 buildings – their BBL (Borough, Block and Lot) designations, their Floor Area Ratios, their depths, their land use categories, their façade materials, their window types, their decorative features and, yes, their sidewalk materials, among others. Here’s what the surveyors’ guide says about brick:

A recognizable building material in Prospect Heights, brick is a rectangular masonry unit. It was commonly treated for color, including the traditional red, in a variety of hues, and yellow. Modern buildings sometimes use glazed brick, which can be found in a broad range of colors, but most often white. Brick buildings are sometimes painted and the paint covers the mortar joints.

The surveyors' results were entered into a database, which was handed over earlier this year to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. According to communications director Lisi de Bourbon, the Commission recently conducted its own survey of 1,450 Prospect Heights buildings. The neighborhood, then the western edge of Crown Heights, was surveyed in the 1970s, but other historic districts took precedence. Part of the neighborhood is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places - as many as 305 buildings over 105 acres.

Kersavage and the surveyors have moved onto collecting primary sources of the area's buildings.

Old images, anyone?

Photograph of 577 Carlton by Jill Priluck