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Green-Wood Cemetery and Park Slope Church on Fast Track for Landmarking

By Leslie Albrecht | February 23, 2016 3:23pm
 The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted Feb. 23 to prioritize Green-Wood Cemetery for designation as a landmark.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted Feb. 23 to prioritize Green-Wood Cemetery for designation as a landmark.
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Green-Wood Cemetery

PARK SLOPE — A 19th-century neighborhood church and the borough's most famous cemetery moved closer to becoming city landmarks following a Tuesday vote by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The LPC voted to prioritize St. Augustine's Roman Catholic Church and parts of Green-Wood Cemetery for landmarking and will vote on the sites by the end of 2016.

The two are among 95 historic spots that have been languishing in the LPC's backlog for decades. The LPC moved Tuesday to either remove sites from the list of possible landmarks or push them forward for consideration.

Both St. Augustine's, on Sixth Avenue and Sterling Place, and three structures inside Green-Wood Cemetery were prioritized for landmarking.

The entire cemetery has been on the city's list for possible landmarking since 1981, but cemetery officials haven't sought the designation. Cemetery president Richard Moylan told the LPC in October that landmarking the entire 478-acre graveyard would make it difficult and expensive for Green-Wood to function as an active cemetery.

In a statement issued last fall, Moylan said landmarking could force grieving families to seek LPC permission to install gravestones and plantings. Moylan said Tuesday following the vote that the cemetery looks forward to working with LPC to landmark "extraordinary" structures within the cemetery: its historic chapel and gatehouses.

The 1911 limestone chapel was designed by Warren and Whetmore and "combines a Beaux-Arts plan with a Gothic style roofline and ornament, in keeping with the style of Upjohn’s main entry gates," said LPC spokeswoman Damaris Olivo. The entry gates, built around 1876, were designed by Richard Upjohn, the first president of the American Institute of Architects and have been described as "the finest example of High Victorian architecture in America."

For St. Augustine's Church, Tuesday's LPC vote was the latest in a 50-year odyssey.

The Gothic Revival church was one of the first buildings in Brooklyn to be proposed for landmarking in 1966, according to its website. The Diocese of Brooklyn protested the landmark designation back then, and LPC never voted on the matter.

A representative for the church could not be reached for comment Tuesday.