Proposed Expansion of Greenpoint’s Historic Districtby on
Greenpoint’s historic district should be expanded to include all of Franklin Street from Calyer Street to Dupont Street. The current Greenpoint Historic District includes Franklin only from Noble Street to Java Street.
The currently excluded sections of Franklin Street have significant architecture worth saving, featuring the architectural styles popular between 1850 and early 1900s especially Italianate, Greek Revival and neo-Grec. According to the Landmarks’ original report these styles are particularly evident on Franklin Street. There are many Italianate buildings, which are the most common in the historic district. These usually feature masonry and arched doorways, and in preservation language: “pilasters topped by triangular or segmented pediments supported on ornate foliate brackets.”
Later buildings from the 1870s are often in the style known as neo-Grec. This style reflects a movement away from fluid, curvaceous forms of the Italianate to sharper, more angular and more geometric taste.
Franklin Street also features some unique styles from the turn of the century. “Correct Classicism” is evident at the The Mechanics and Traders Bank at 144 Franklin (corner of Greenpoint), which was influenced by ancient and Renaissance styles. This building, which is featured as the header on the Brownstoner blog is already included in the historic district. There are also the American Romanesque Revival buildings at 168, 170, and 172 Franklin Street. This style features rough-faced and smooth-faced stone with thinner Roman brick above.
With the high-rise developments planned for the waterfront, just one block from Franklin, it is now a crucial time to protect the original character surrounding these planned developments. In 1982 when the original district was formed, such a threat was not an issue and therefore may be the reason areas of Franklin were omitted. The buildings in the omitted section of Franklin are part of the same history and include the same architectural details as the buildings included in the original district.
If interested in the expansion effort, please contact Jennifer Trontz.