Restoration projects in Brooklyn honored at Conservancy Awards

Five Brooklyn buildings will be recognized for the sensitivity of their restoration at the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards on Thursday, April 30.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy (NYLC) announced the winners of the 25th annual awards at the beginning of the month. This year, the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, the Conrad B. Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse, the Grace Episcopal Church, the Kings Theatre, and 1000 Dean and Berg’n are all being honored.

“The Moses Awards celebrate terrific preservation projects,” said Peg Breen, president of NYLC. “Several of this year’s award winners demonstrate how historic buildings can be adapted to meet contemporary needs and add economic vitality in neighborhoods across the city.”

According to NYCL, the awards, dubbed the “Preservation Oscars,” are the Conservancy’s “highest honors for excellence in preservation.” In the past, the awards have recognized over 250 individuals, organizations and building owners for their contributions to the city.

The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph was renovated in 2013. The Spanish-Colonial style building was built in 1912 and renovations restored and improved the structure with repaired murals and brand new artwork.

The Conrad B. Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse was originally built as the Brooklyn Post Office in the 1890s. The 600,000 square foot building was added to in the 1930s and renovated again in 2008, boasting 75,000 square feet of replaced granite and terra cotta facades, 25,000 square feet of slate roof, sheet metal flashing and gutters, and 1,200 wood windows.

Grace Episcopal Church was built from 1847 to 1849. Nestled in Brooklyn Heights, the building received new pendant lighting fixtures based on the originals, a new sound system, electrical rewiring and controls for the original ducted heating.

The Kings Theatre is a historic staple in Brooklyn and features renovations that took two years to complete. Originally one of the five “Loew’s Wonder Theatres,” the building shut its doors in 1977 due to deterioration. During renovations, plaster in the auditorium was restored, decorative statues were repaired, and ornamental fixtures that had been lost were recreated.

1000 Dean and Berg’n, once a Studebaker service station and adjacent garage, began renovations in 2012 – an effort between a group of investors attempting to convert the 1920s building into “creative offices” and studios. Berg’n is now a food-hall style eatery.

Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $40 million, leveraging more than $1 billion in 1,550 restoration projects throughout New York, NYCL documents reveal. The Conservancy’s work has saved some 2,000 buildings across the city and state.

“[The Landmarks Conservancy] is the only preservation organization in New York that empowers Brooklyn property owners with the financial and technical assistance they need to restore their historic homes, businesses, cultural, religious, and social institutions,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “[We] thank the New York Landmarks Conservancy for their financial and technical assistance that helps save the distinctive art, architecture, and history of Brooklyn.”

Adams even named April 2015, Brooklyn Landmarks Month, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law signed in April of 1965. Because of the Landmarks Law, Brooklyn boasts 21 historic districts, two interior landmarks, and around 140 individual landmarks.


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