Two possible landmarks considered for southern Brooklyn

Southern Brooklyn might soon be able to boast two more historic landmarks.

Both Gravesend’s Lady Moody House and Coney Island’s Water Pressure Pumping Station are under consideration for designation as city landmarks by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which held a hearing on Tuesday, October 6 on the matter.

At the hearing, local Councilmember Mark Treyger offered his support for the designations, which effectively protect the properties from demolition and inappropriate structural alterations as all changes and renovations must be approved by LPC.

“The Lady Moody House is one of the most historically significant structures in southern Brooklyn,” said Treyger. “The structure’s mere presence acts a constant reminder to residents of the area that there is culture and history in southern Brooklyn, too.

“The Coney Island Pumping Station symbolizes our community’s strength and perseverance,” he continued. “This structure provided an invaluable utilitarian service to this community, and it merits recognition based on that alone. But its significance from an architectural and artistic perspective also deserves consideration.”

According to Treyger’s office, the Lady Moody House, a privately-owned home at 27 Gravesend Neck Road that dates back to the 1660s, stands on property that was once owned by Lady Deborah Moody—credited with establishing the community known today as Gravesend, one of old Brooklyn’s six towns, and the only one that wasn’t Dutch. Moody was one of the first women to ever own a land patent in the “New World.”

The Coney Island Water Pressure Pumping Station, which was built in 1937, was constructed in order to boost water pressure, something that helped the firefighters of the time go up against blazes that ravaged the neighborhood. The structure was designed by architect Irwin Chanin in the Art Deco-style.

Treyger hopes to see the station repurposed if the landmark distinction is granted.
“While I support the external landmarking of the station, I believe granting this status needs to be done with the public good in mind,” said Treyger. “I can only support landmarking the station if its future involves an internal renovation for the purpose of being put to recreational use. Its aesthetic significance cannot be doubted, but it will not do this community enough good if it simply continues to occupy space without serving our residents.”

The Moody House was first considered for landmarks designation in 1966; the nearby Old Gravesend Cemetery was designated a landmark in 1976. The pumping station was first considered for landmark designation in 1980.

Other Brooklyn sites currently under consideration for landmark status include Green-Wood Cemetery and St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church and Rectory in Park Slope.

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