DoB Approves 383 Himrod Street Expansion and Loss of Cornice History

An architectural crime.

There’s an alarming trend happening in New York, and that’s the loss of our historical cornices. Cornices are those decorative horizontal features that adorn the prewar facade/roof corner. The latest tragedy at 383 Himrod Street serves as a grim reminder of the architectural consequences when cornices are removed for the sake of adding an extra story.

383 Himrod Street is owned by two trustees, recently transferred in April 2014, according to ACRIS. The DoB filings indicate the structure will be enlarged from a 3 family to a 5 family building. While the neighborhood may gain rental space, the community has lost yet another architectural charm. As presented, there is no transition from the prewar building to the building’s current iteration. The addition was preformed without regard for the building’s history, or the ornamental cornice that proceeded the current “design.” There was no attempt to save or integrate the cornice, which may have offset the blatant scar that exists above the 4th story.

Once a fine example of Brooklyn architecture. Not any more.

It’s unfortunate the owners or architects couldn’t come up with a workable solution to both maximize the property’s income potential and also preserve history. But that’s not the name of the game in New York real estate, and the DoB will not interfere with an otherwise valid job application. In the mean time, we’re left with an architecturally destroyed building and little to show for it other than images from its past.

Center building – 383 Himrod Street and better days.

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