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MAS Works to Preserve Buildings in Downtown Brooklyn

liebman brothers buildingThe Municipal Art Society’s Preservation Committee, working with the Brooklyn Heights Association, has identified 28 buildings in the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning area that are worthy of designation as New York City landmarks. In May 2005, the City Planning Commission approved a major redevelopment plan that includes rezoning a large swath of Downtown Brooklyn. Keenly interested in the future of the neighborhood, the MAS has been working to ensure that preservation of the area’s significant buildings is an integral part of the redevelopment. Historically, Downtown Brooklyn was the borough’s central shopping and entertainment district, with Fulton Street its main thoroughfare. Many of the area’s historic buildings, including former department stores, theaters and restaurants, remain today, but several have been altered on the ground floor, and others are covered in large signage. To date, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated only four of these 28 buildings: the New York and New Jersey Telephone Company building, at 81 Willoughby St.; the New York Telephone Company building, at 101 Willoughby St.; the Offerman building, at 505 Fulton St.; and the A.I. Namm and Son store, at 456 Fulton St. Integration of the area’s distinguished historic resources into the new development will greatly enhance Downtown Brooklyn and help ensure the lasting vitality and sustainability of the neighborhood.