The Prospect Heights Apartment House District remains a document of Brooklyn’s transition from row house and low density residences into the modern apartment houses of the early twentieth century. The district’s legacy as a part of the original plan for Prospect Park, combined with its intentional proximity to Brooklyn’s premier cultural institutions and convenience to mass transit, cause its history and architecture to be enjoyed not just by its residents, but by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Unfortunately, development pressure may threaten the preservation of its historic architecture. Most of the lots in the district are underbuilt relative to allowable density under their current zoning by at least 25%, and in many cases by 50% or more.
The former Green Point Savings Bank at 856 Washington Avenue was designed by Francis George Hasselman in 1928. Other Hasselman buildings appear in the National Register of Historic Places. The bank's lot had significant excess development rights, and the bank was demolished in 2016 to be replaced by a condominium building currently under construction.
When buildings in the Prospect Heights Apartment House District are marketed today, brokers often refer to the available additional development rights. The lovely apartment house at 372 St. Johns Place was sold to a new owner in June of 2016. The new owners quickly moved to file plans to build an additional floor, completed in 2018 as shown at right.
Landmarking will help ensure other historic buildings in the Prospect Heights Apartment House District are preserved for future residents to enjoy.