Preservation Issues

Rare 19th-century Landmark May Be Lost for New School

- 1886 Romanesque Revival-style former Police Station

-Connecting Horse Stable Building

June 2017

Sunset Park will lose one of its few individual landmarks if a School Construction Authority (SCA) plan is successful. The Sunset Park Police Precinct is set to become the location for the new PS 557, with portions of the red brick facades incorporated into a new structure. The Conservancy commented on the plans in a letter to the SCA as part of the public review process. The letter was in response to a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that considered the impacts of the proposed building on many environmental factors, including historic resources.

The Sunset Park Police Precinct, will be substantially demolished for the school. While the building is in a severely deteriorated condition, it is a New York City landmark which could be restored. There are only three locally-designated individual landmarks in this area, a very low number compared with other neighborhoods across the City. As the Landmarks Commission’s designation report states, the 1886 Romanesque Revival-style Station House and Stable are “rare surviving 19th-century Brooklyn police precinct structures.”

We recognize that this school district is in dire need of new school seats. In 2016, we commented on the site selection process that evaluated other nearby locations in Sunset Park, and found that several were viable. However, the SCA has decided to purchase and then remove one of this neighborhood’s few landmarks, following years of owner neglect.  The Landmarks Commission typically defers to the SCA

While we do appreciate that portions of the landmark will be re-used in the new building, this is not an outcome that best honors the local history of Sunset Park.