FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
COMMISSION APPROVES LANDMARK STATUS FOR EAST NEW YORK SAVINGS BANK; EMPIRE STATE DAIRY BUILDINGS ON THE ROAD TO LANDMARK DESIGNATION
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission today voted unanimously to designate the East New York Savings Bank Building at 1117 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, as a New York City Landmark. Commissioners also voted unanimously to formally consider the Empire State Dairy Co. Buildings in East New York for landmark designation, and calendared the property for a public hearing.
Built between 1927 and 1928, the East New York Savings Bank is an impressive neo-Romanesque-style building with Art Deco details, located on a prominent corner at the juncture of Weeksville and Brownsville. Designed by Holmes & Winslow, New York City architects who specialized in bank design, the structure was the bank’s second and most architecturally ambitious building. Celebrated architectural sculptor Rene Chambellan created the remarkable bronze doors that face Eastern Parkway, which incorporate stylized figures accompanied by traditional symbols of abundance. Other significant features include the building's monumental arch with medieval details, which gives the tan sandstone structure an impenetrable, fortress-like quality despite its other classical design aspects.
“For decades, this impressive building housed an institution that was instrumental in the development of our city,” said Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan. “The building’s striking, monumental qualities coupled with its corner location on Eastern Parkway, a prominent boulevard in the Borough, make the East New York Savings Bank building a commanding neighborhood landmark. Today we are proud to give it the protection it deserves.”
The Commission also voted to calendar the Empire State Dairy Co. Buildings along Atlantic Avenue in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Chair Srinivasan noted that this action was an important step in the agency's initiative to identify preservation opportunities in East New York and other rezoning areas.
The Dairy's industrial buildings, fronting on Atlantic Avenue, were originally built as a dairy distribution center for the Empire State Dairy Company (1914-1915). The buildings are particularly notable for its two large, intricate panels featuring colorful ceramic tiles depicting pastoral scenes of cows and dairy workers. The orange brick-and-masonry building at the northwest corner of the site (2840-2844 Atlantic Avenue; 181-185 Shenck Avenue) is the oldest and most architecturally distinctive structure in the complex, notable for details including round- and segmental-arched window openings. The buildings stand today as century-old reminders of this once prominent New York company and of the city’s industrial past.
“The Empire State Dairy buildings are some of the most impressive and historically significant in East New York,” said Chair Srinivasan. “The agency is actively considering historic resources in neighborhoods undergoing change throughout the city, and today’s action vividly illustrates that preservation and development can go hand in hand.”
"Cypress Hills and East New York are making headlines as the first proposed rezoning in the Mayor’s Housing New York plan, but I’ve said all along that we must preserve the existing character of our neighborhood as well. The Empire State Dairy is known across the community for its distinct appearance and is an ongoing reminder of East New York’s industrial past. I’m working hard to make sure that industrial business thrives in East New York once again, and it is my hope that through this rezoning process we can not only protect buildings like the Empire State Dairy from demolition, but make sure they play a key role in our industrial future,” stated Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the mayoral agency responsible for protecting and preserving New York City's architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. Since its creation in 1965, LPC has granted landmark status to more than 34,000 buildings and sites, including 1352 individual landmarks, 117 interior landmarks, 10 scenic landmarks, and 138 historic districts and extensions in all five boroughs. Under the City's landmarks law, considered among the most powerful in the nation, the Commission must be comprised of at least three architects, a historian, a realtor, a planner or landscape architect, as well as a representative of each borough.
Contact: Damaris Olivo / 212-669-7938