Three New York City housing sites, a Hell’s Kitchen open-air market, and the Hunts Point rail station have been recommended by Governor Kathy Hochul for inclusion on state and national registers of historic places.
The sites are among 21 properties across New York that Hochul announced the state Board for Historic Preservation will recommend for recognition.
"As we reflect on the broad and diverse history of the Empire State, these nominations represent the places behind the inspiring stories from our past," Hochul said in a press release. "These additions to the historic registers will help ensure resources are available to protect historic sites so that the past can continue to inspire us today — and into the future."
One of the recommendations is the Kent Manor apartment complex next to Forest Park in Kew Gardens, built in 1937 in the area’s signature Georgian Revival style by Jewish architect Benjamin Braunstein.
The buildings housed Jewish families who fled war-torn Europe as well as other immigrants. The complex was rebranded Hampton Court in 1987 with 316 co-op apartments.
Two Brooklyn public housing sites were also recommended for historic recognition: Boulevard Houses in East New York and Fiorentino Plaza in Cypress Hills.
Built between 1949 to 1950, the 26-acre Boulevard Houses development was part of the city’s housing for veterans returning from serving in World War II. The complex holds 18 residential buildings with about 1,400 units on two blocks divided by a landscaped mall.
Fiorentino Plaza was built in 1971 as part of the Model Cities program. The development reflects a different philosophy for public housing with eight four-story buildings to match the surrounding low-rise neighborhood.
This “vest pocket” design approach was a marked difference from the NYCHA high-rise complexes that critics said “caused excessive neighborhood displacement and concentration of potential social problems,” Hochul’s office said.
The two complexes are also part of a $600 million renovation and infrastructure upgrade project by private developers, New York YIMBY reported in January.
The Hunts Point rail station was designed by Cass Gilbert, the famed architect who designed the Woolworth Building, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the New York Life Building. The station featured French Renaissance design and was built between 1908 and 1909 as part of the expansion of the Harlem River Branch line of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company.
Once the railroad went bankrupt in 1937 and ended passenger service to the station, the building housed retail stores for several decades. There are now plans to turn the station into an event space called Bronxlandia, the New York Times reported.
The former open-air Paddy’s Market on Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen flourished between 1885 to 1939, as immigrants flocked to the area’s tenement buildings. The market featured vendors selling food products from around the world on pushcarts and attracted throngs of shoppers once the elevated Ninth Avenue subway line was built, according to W42St.com.
The market lost its space after the area was marked for the Lincoln Tunnel in 1938. A proposed historic district would encompass not just the market but about 80 nearby tenement buildings with roots in the mid-to-late 19th century.
“In many cases, their storefronts remain intact, even as they continue to house food stores and restaurants,” according to the Clinton Housing Development Company nonprofit group.
Once listed on state and national historic registers, the property owners can become eligible for public preservation programs and seek financial assistance for revitalization via state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.