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					                                                The Park Slope Civic Council

                                                Civic News
                                                June/July 2009 Volume LXXI, No. 10        www.parkslopeciviccouncil.org




                                                         The Little School
                                                     That Anchored a Village
                                                                PS 133 and ‘The Battle for Baltic Street’

I
     n 1972, PS133 was the last building standing amid six acres             “Widespread deterioration was… precipitated by the razing of
     of rubble stretching from 5th to 4th Avenues, from Baltic Street    over 400 units between Fourth and Fifth Avenues to make way for a
     across Butler and halfway to Douglass. The site was so barren,      new school that was never built,” wrote neighborhood activist Fran
PS133 so isolated, that 78th Precinct police called it “The Little       Justa in her 1984 doctoral dissertation, a long chapter of which was
School on the Prairie.” The only reason the 1898 building had not        entitled “The Battle of Baltic Street.” “The sudden loss of the families,
shared the fate of dozens of its neighbors — row houses, storefronts,    and the increase in surrounding abandonment, was disastrous for
warehouses, small factories — was that the city was going broke, and     Fifth Avenue.”
it had run out of money to build the massive new elementary and             Through the 1970s, Justa reported, the number of abandoned or
middle schools that were supposed to fill the vast, empty space.         demolished buildings rose from 32 to 105 in the blocks surrounding
   In 2009, PS133 is again slated for demolition and replacement by a    the six-acre dump.
massive new school, and its fate will be decided by the City Council        Finally, in 1977, a group from the Baltic Street Block Association
this summer. Just as happened four decades ago, it has become the        approached the Park Slope Civic Council and asked for help cleaning
focus of fierce arguments over good and bad development, class           up a portion of what had come to be known as the Baltic Street Lot
divisions and neighborhood character. The arguments are enlarged         to create a community garden. Trustee Joan Ryan jumped on the idea
by the involvement of a lush and spacious 30-year-old community          and helped the group apply to the Astor Foundation for a grant.
garden that would be buried under the new school and replaced by            “Brooke Astor liked the idea,” recalls Ryan, who succeeded Goetz
a smaller garden halfway up Butler Street.                               as Civic Council president in 1980. “I’ll never forget it: She sent her
   The major difference today is that what happens to PS133 will         grant officer, a real East Side matron, who walked all around the lot
have enormous impact on its immediate neighbors, community               with me, beautiful clothes and all. She gave us whatever we asked
gardeners, several hundred school children and those who care                                                                         ...See Village, page 6
deeply about historic preservation, but most people would likely see     In 1983, 11 years after 6 acres of homes and businesses had been cleared from around
its demolition and replacement as simply one more example of what        PS133, construction began on 56 new townhouses. The city wants to replace the
Park Slope has become in the last 30 years. In the 1970s, by contrast,   historic school with one three times as large.
antagonists on all sides saw the fight over PS133 and its environs as



                                                                                                                                                                Fifth Avenue Committee
a struggle for the soul and future of the neighborhood. Those older
conflicts offer context for what is happening today.
   In 1972, when Jim Goetz and his wife, Diane, moved close by on
Sterling Place, two brownstones still stood, like broken teeth, as the
sole survivors of a once-vibrant block. Those last holdouts were soon
gone, Goetz recalls, and then the site entered a prolonged, wasteland
limbo as New York’s economy went sour. The city was losing popula-
tion as well as money, meaning it didn’t need new schools even if it
could afford to build them.
   “We used to joke that first they tore down all those homes and
displaced all the families who lived there, then they wondered
where all the kids had gone,” said Goetz, who soon became active in
neighborhood affairs, helped found the Fifth Avenue Committee and
served as president of the Park Slope Civic Council in 1979-80.
   The giant lot became a garbage dump and a home for stray dogs.
Rival Puerto Rican gangs used it for rumbles. PS133 stayed open
but sank further and further into disrepair. The city had promised
urban renewal but instead accelerated urban decay.
                                                 News & Notes for the Civic Minded
To the Editor:                                                                                                       A Tree Dies in Brooklyn: On June 22, Parks Department
   I have been hoping that somehow, somewhere, someone would find                                                    workers cut down a dead American elm on 3rd Street between
a way to stir the Civic Council into action. I find it almost impossible to                                          7th and 8th Avenues. A crowd gathered to watch the last
believe that despite all the changes in Park Slope since 1973, the city has                                          moments of a tree described by Joe Ferris as the oldest
not expanded the boundaries of the landmarked community.                                                             and largest elm in Park Slope, its age estimated
   I see apartment houses going up all over. The April issue of the Civic                                            at between 125 and 150 years.
News says nothing about that. There is a piece about Snapper Garrison,                                               Ferris should know: In the
an 1880s jockey. After that there is nothing about the protection of                                                 1960s, working with the Civic
today’s elegant and endangered Park Slope, with cheesy apartment                                                     Council and block associations,
houses rising at its fringes.                                                                                        the former state assemblyman
                                                              –Everett Ortner                                        spearheaded efforts to plant
   We apologize to Mr. Ortner, whose late wife, Evelyn, led the effort to create                                     hundreds of trees around the
the Park Slope Historic District. Our intention had been to provide an update                                        Slope.
in each Civic News on the progress of our Historic District Expansion Com-                                              Ferris, who shared the block
mittee, but we have been remiss of late. The committee is deeply engaged in                                          with the elm tree for many
expanding the district; regular updates may be found on our web site and,                                            decades, wrote this “Ode to a
we promise, in future issues of the Civic News.                                                                      Near and Dear Friend”:

                                                                                                                       Always there in all seasons:
                                                                                                                       – Spring boughs, a budding
                                                                                                                          harbinger of warm sunny days
                                                                                                                       – Summer plumage, a verdant canopy of this majestic monarch
                                                                                                                       – Autumn — a burst of golden reds and rich dark browns
                                                                                                                       – Ah, winter, its silhouetted arms captured the diamond stars in the
                                                                                                                          mysterious cobalt sky night. And a late March storm turned ice and
                                                                                                                          rain to shimmering crystals.
                                                                                                                       The gentle moon through all these wondrous times orbited in her arms.
                                                                                                                       For 47 years, I have stopped many a day and night, gazed up to travel
                                                                                                                          on her outstretched arms into the heavenly sky.
                                                                                                                       Now gone. But, in thankful memory, always there.
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2 • Civic News Vol. LXXI No 10 • June/July 2009
                                              Honors Well Earned: The June 4 Annual Meeting was devoted to the presentation of
                                                awards and scholarships, and the election of new trustees and the slate of officers for 2009-10.
                                                Each of the three well-dressed young women at the center of the photo above left delayed
                                                their arrival at their senior prom long enough to accept $1,000 scholarships for academic
                                                achievement combined with community service, given to students graduating from the high
                                                schools at John Jay. They are Fatoumata Bah (Secondary School for Research, the Park Slope
                                                Merchants Scholarship); Sachi Moncion (Secondary School for Law, the Mary Laverne Allman
                                                Scholarship); and Sidoney Flowers (Secondary School for Journalism, the Kazeroid Scholarship).
                                                They are flanked to their right by Scholarship Committee Members Tom Miskel, Nat Allman and
                                                Joan Emerson and to their left by their college counselors Amy Seponara (Journalism), Elizabeth
                                                Torres (Law) and Josh Steckel (Research). Trustee Lumi Michelle Rolley presented a posthumous
                                                Lovgren Award for outstanding volunteer service to the late Robert Guskind, founder of the
                                                Gowanus Lounge blog; it was accepted (top right) by his widow, Olivia Kissin. The second Lovgren
                                                Award, which goes to a community professional, was presented by PSCC President Ken Freeman
                                                to Catherine Bohne (left), owner of Community Bookstore, for her work reviving the Park Slope
                                                                              Chamber of Commerce, launching the Buy Local campaign, and many
                                                                              other efforts in service to the Park Slope community. New Trustees
                       calendar                                               John Casson, Linda Gnat-Mullin, Melinda Morris and Sarah Murphy
 For details and additional listings, go to parkslopeciviccouncil.org.        were elected, as were officers Ken Freeman (president), Lauri Schindler
                     PCCC Monthly Meeting                                     (1st vice president), Gilly Youner (2nd vice president), Eric McClure
   Thursday, Sept. 10, 7pm, New York Methodist Hospital Executive             (treasurer), Judith Lief (recording secretary), Michael Cairl (financial
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                                                                                                     Civic News Vol. LXXI No 10 • June/July 2009 • 3
                                                                         C_ad_3,75x4,5_OK.indd 1                                               6.1.2009 21:05
                                                  Viewing Brooklyn: A Look Back in Postcards and Pictures
                                             Mack Trucks and Prospect Park
                                G    rowing up in Brooklyn, I often
                                     heard people shout, “Come on,
                               you could get a Mack Truck through
                                                                          made for Mack’s 60th anniversary.
                                                                             By 1901, when the firm had built eight buses, the business was
                                                                          on a roll (on rubber wheels with wooden spokes). They changed
                               that!” Usually, they were stuck behind     their name to the Mack Brothers Company in 1902, but the buses
                               a line of cars trying to get past a gar-   were marketed in 1904 under the trade name “Manhattan,” prob-
                               bage truck (long before they were          ably to distinguish them from the company’s horse-drawn product
                               officially supposed to be called sani-     line, which was still being manufactured in Brooklyn. They soon
                               tation trucks). But I never realized       introduced the concept of placing the cab over the engine, which is
                               how the story of Mack Trucks and           still seen in many buses and trucks today.
                               Brooklyn were really intermingled             In 1905, the Mack brothers, now numbering five, moved their
      From the collection      until I found a post card of a Mack        headquarters and factory to Allentown, Pa. In 1909, they built
          of Bob Levine
                               Bus at Prospect Park.                      America’s first engine-driven fire truck, with extension ladders and
   In 1890, John M. Mack had gotten a job at Fallesen & Berry, a          hooked poles. They delivered it to Morristown, N.J., where it ran
carriage and wagon company on Atlantic Avenue. In 1893, John and          until 1926.
his brother, Augustus (better known as Gus), bought the company.             During World War I, Mack delivered more than 6,000 trucks to
In 1894, a third Mack brother, William, joined the company.               Allied forces. British soldiers admired their ruggedness and would
   On Apr. 2, 1900, the Mack brothers started a new business making       call for someone to “bring up one of those bulldog trucks.” The firm
motor vehicles on Atlantic Avenue and their first sale was to Har-        has used the bulldog symbol ever since.
ris and McGuire, concessionaires at Prospect Park. They bought a             John Mack died in a car crash in Weatherly, Pa. in 1924.
40-horsepower, 11-passenger, open sightseeing bus that took visitors         Mack Trucks, Inc. is still doing well (certainly compared to other
around the park. Bus No. 1, as it was called, operated for eight years    vehicle companies in the news today). It is still headquartered in
before being converted into a truck, logging over a million miles in      Allentown, though it became a subsidiary of Renault in 1990, then
all as it trekked around the park. A sister vehicle was delivered in      was bought by Volvo in 2001.
1901 and served uninterrupted until it was retired in 1924. It is now        There are several stories about how the Macks came up with the
in the Mack Museum in Allentown, Pa. A fancier bus, which had a           idea of motorized “trucks.” One is that John, on a fishing trip to Long
canopy, seven seats, and held 20 passengers, was built in 1904. The       Island, decided that there had to be a faster way to get there than a
picture of the 1904 model shown here is from a special set of prints      buggy ride that took most of the day. He wanted a vehicle that would
                                                                          enable him to get in plenty of fishing over the weekend and be back

      Brown Harris stevens                                                at work on Monday. By motor vehicle, he figured he could
                                                                          reach his destination in about an hour (though not on the
                  100 Seventh Avenue                                      LIE today). So John and Gus set to work.
                  Brooklyn, NY 11215                                         At first they tried steam-powered and electric motors, but
                                                                          what convinced them to start building gas-powered vehicles
                                                                          was an invitation for a ride in a new 2-cylinder Winton
                                                                          automobile. The Winton was owned by John’s neighbor
                                                                          Theodore Heilbron, captain of William Randolph Hearst’s
                                                                          private yacht, who lived at 33 3rd Ave., a block from the
                                                                          The Mack Brothers’ Bus No. 1 (below) and in a 1904 postcard at Grand Army
                                                                          Plaza (below right) was built in 1900 and was Mack’s first sale of a motorized
                                                                          vehicle. The print (right) of a 20-seat Mack Bus bought for Prospect Park in
                                                                          1904 was made for the Mack Truck Co.’s 60th anniversary.




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                    lryan@bhusa.com
4 • Civic News Vol. LXXI No 10 • June/July 2009                           Bob Levine Collection
Mack shop on Atlantic Avenue. They were impressed by the Winton’s
superior performance.
   Although Mack now only makes trucks, for the company’s first
60 years buses were a major product line, when it often used the
advertising slogan “The first Mack was a bus and the first bus was a
Mack.” We can add that the first bus was used in Prospect Park.
                                   •
   As summer starts here in Brooklyn, we can still see much of what
the sightseers saw in 1900 on their ride on Bus No. 1. Thanks to the
Prospect Park Alliance, most of the vistas in the Park have been
restored to the way Olmsted and Vaux created them, and they will
be preserved for the next generation.
   As I finish my last column for the publishing year, I want to thank
all those who gave me ideas and helped me check the facts. These
include Amy Peck, the archivist at the Prospect Park Alliance, Francis
Morrone, our local architectural historian, Tom Miskel, who seems
to know everyone and everything about the Slope, and such people
as Linda Gnat-Mullin, who generously offered to let me use photos
from her collection. I have also really appreciated hearing neighbors
say, “I read your column — thanks.”
   One more thing: If you want a photo of your house from 1939-
41, the Department of Finance documented just about every house
in the city for tax purposes. It was done again in the mid 1980s (in
color). You can order a copy of your house’s photo at:www.nyc.gov/
html/records/html/taxphotos/home.shtml. It will cost from $35 for
an 8x10 black and white to $60 for an 11x14
color print. You need to know your block and
lot number, but if you don’t they’ll look it up
for an additional $5. I have not seen any of the
color prints from the ‘80s, but the photos from
1939-41 are worth the price (and make great
gifts as well).
      –Bob Levine, Trustee and PSCC Historian




                                                                         Civic News Vol. LXXI No 10 • June/July 2009 • 5
...Village, continued from Page 1 ...                                     to the Brooklyn Democratic Party” and Borough President Howard
for. It was a real triumph.”                                              Golden. Rentar, builders of the Albee Square Mall on Fulton Street
   Maria Grimaldi is now an organic farmer in Sullivan County but,        (demolished in 2008), drew up plans for a shopping center that would
in 1977, she was an employee of the Horticultural Society assigned        surround PS133 with a large, regional supermarket, stores, and park-
to work on the Baltic Street Community Garden. She tells how the          ing for 357 cars. (In a bit of uncanny historical parallelism, “Rentar”
garden used Astor’s money to buy tools and hire several local teen-       is “Ratner” spelled backwards, though there is no obvious connection
agers, including a former gang leader named Armando. Armando              between the Arthur Ratner who headed Rentar and the Bruce Ratner
wasn’t just some mischievous kid, she says, but someone who had           who has his own grandiose designs for Brooklyn today.)
committed serious crimes and spent time in Attica.                           Rebecca Reich, FAC’s first director, remembers those days vividly:
   “At first Armando thought it was a joke, but then he and the other     “PSIC members were mostly middle-aged men who had been able
kids began to interact with the Puerto Rican families on Baltic Street,   to buy houses cheaply and wanted real estate prices to rise. They saw
and with some of the black people in the neighborhood who were            any work that we did as a threat to the worth of their homes.
from the South and knew lots about farming. They showed the kids             “They launched ad hominem attacks on me in letters to the news-
how to garden. When they got a crop in, they developed a whole            papers that would have made Karl Rove proud. Two of their leaders
different attitude.                                                       were on the Community Board and used that forum to spout these
   “The police couldn’t believe some of these kids were so into gar-      things, too. It was hard not to attack them back, but I was young
dening,” says Grimaldi. “They’d sit in their patrol cars and laugh.”      and I shrugged it off. I figured it came with the job.”
   With the help of the local congressman, Fred Richmond, the gar-           In her dissertation, Justa quoted from a letter by PSIC vice presi-
deners got another major boost: a $12,000 Community Development           dent Fred Baer published in the now-defunct Brooklyn Phoenix: “The
Grant. They also got the help of Cornell University Argicultural          Rebecca Reichs, the Doris Clarks [another FAC founder and a long-
Extension Agent John Ameroso.                                             time Civic Council trustee] and the Fran Justas are trying to develop
   Ameroso tells how Richmond had been placed on the Agriculture          an empire of buildings and public funds to ensure the financial base
Committee almost as a joke: what less desirable assignment could the      that will enable them to pursue the socialist propaganda that will
House leadership give a freshman congressman from Brooklyn? But           continue to encourage hatred and economic depression.”
Richmond used his position to support the community gardening                FAC had put together a plan that was radically different from
movement, which was just beginning to take off. Thanks to money           PSIC’s and Rentar’s. Commercial development would be limited
won by Richmond, Ameroso became one of the first extension agents         to a small supermarket with a 50-car parking lot. A new PS133,
hired to work with community gardeners in the inner city — a job          financed with bonds rather than city money, would sit among rows
he still holds today.                                                     of affordable, owner-occupied townhouses, each with two rental
   “The first time I saw the lot, I went, ‘Huh? We’re supposed to turn    units filled by low-income, Section 8 tenants.
this into a garden?’” recalls Ameroso. “It was like a war zone. But it       “We spent a year-and-a-half dealing with Mayor Koch and with
turned out to be great. It brought the neighborhood together.”            the Department of Housing Preservation and Development,” recalls
   That first garden was on the site now occupied by Key Food on 5th      Reich. “Their party line was that the market was going to take care
Avenue, slightly softening the moonscape surrounding PS 133.              of Park Slope and they were not about to put any investment into
   Around the same time, neighborhood activists had begun to think        the Baltic Street Lot.”
about others ways the vacant land might be used to help a struggling         Then something remarkable happened, as Reich describes it:
neighborhood: housing, shops, a new school. Many of those activ-          “We got involved in the National People’s Alliance, a group based
ists coalesced in 1978 as the Fifth Avenue Committee. FAC had a           in Chicago that was fighting redlining by banks and insurance
lengthy and complicated agenda — crime reduction, commercial              companies. Insurance companies refused to give policies in certain
revitalization, the maintenance of racial and economic diversity —        neighborhoods, including parts of Park Slope.
but the Baltic Street Lot occupied much of the organization’s time and       “They met with us and asked if we were seeking funding for any
energy for the next several years. The lot also came close to tearing     development projects. The Baltic Street Lot looked like the perfect
the organization apart almost before it got started.                      opportunity. I wrote up a proposal that was like a wish list for ev-
   There was general agreement within FAC that a supermarket              erything we were looking for, then got flown to Chicago, where FAC
should occupy some portion of the lot, but there were widely di-          was one of six groups from all over the country making presentations
vergent opinions about how the rest of the land should be used.           to AETNA, which was then the largest home insurer in the country,
One faction argued for subsidized housing to counter the creeping         and which had been a major target of the anti-redlining effort.
gentrification that was displacing large numbers of the Slope’s lower        “The next thing I knew, AETNA had agreed to provide below-
income residents. Another faction wanted the site used for com-           market-rate financing for buyers of homes on Baltic Street,” says
mercial development and market-rate housing.                              Reich, pointing out that mortgage rates were then in the mid teens.
   The arguments grew so bitter that a faction broke away to form         “We went almost overnight from wish list to ‘Here’s the money.’”
a new group, the Park Slope Improvement Committee, which                     The saga did not end, however, with AETNA’s largesse. FAC
launched a full-bore offensive against FAC. Justa quotes from a           continued to fight for affordable housing; the city, adopting the
letter PSIC President David Brennan sent to 10,000 area residents:        PSIC line, continued to resist. FAC and PSIC argued their cases in
“Those of us trying to revitalize the portion of the slope in great-      heated meetings of the Community Board and the Civic Council,
est need (the Fifth Avenue corridor) are appalled that anyone can         whose trustees included members of both groups. (Justa writes
encourage these [subsidized housing] projects which will only serve       that PSIC tried but failed to get several more members elected as
to downgrade the vicinity.”                                               Civic Council trustees.) Finally, on March 1, 1981, the city issued
   A 1980 article in City Limits magazine describes how PSIC brought      an RFP — a request for proposals — for a mixed-use development
in the Rentar Development Corporation, a company with “close ties         of a supermarket and 56 townhouses. Rentar did not respond to
6 • Civic News Vol. LXXI No 10 • June/July 2009
                                                                                                                                                       Mike Stein/www.photomike.com
In 1982, 10 years after an urban renewal project went sour,
ground was finally broken for the first new building: the Key
Food Supermarket on the 5th Avenue side of the six-acre
site. This photo is from an exhibit at the Central Library
of photos taken by Mike Stein for the Prospect Press, a
neighborhood paper published from 1982-87.

the RFP; FAC’s one small victory had been the
city’s rejection of the Rentar plan for a shop-
ping center. But the townhouses were to be
sold at market value and the rental units would
not qualify as Section 8 housing — both huge
victories for FAC’s opponents.
   Also, the city suddenly found money to re-
furbish PS133; funding a new school had been
the gaping hole in PSIC’s plans.
   FAC felt betrayed and considered walking
away from the project. Justa quoted one angry
FAC member arguing at a community meeting:
“Ten years ago, people didn’t ask the city to tear
down housing, and we have a right to ask the
city to put back the same housing for the same kind of people who           trying to decide whether to take the gamble, the school was the only
still live in the neighborhood.”                                            building on the block, a big beacon. It added solidity and perma-
   In the end, FAC decided to salvage what it could from a bad situ-        nence. We glommed onto it, architecturally, emotionally. Almost
ation: It would develop the townhouses while another developer              all of us can see it from one of our windows. I can’t think of anyone
would build a large supermarket and 107-car parking lot. AETNA’s            who doesn’t love it.”
money would bring down the interest rates, making the townhouses               The Department of Education’s School Construction Authority
slightly more affordable. Each townhouse would include two rental           wants to tear down the 264-student PS133 this fall and construct a
units, which would help the new owners pay the mortgage. The                building three times as large accommodating 950 students in two
houses had to be owner-occupied to qualify for AETNA’s assistance,          schools, one in District 13 to replace PS133 and a second in District
which would contribute to neighborhood stability.                           15 to accommodate the anticipated student growth from the high
   Ground was broken for the supermarket in 1982, and work began            rises that have sprouted along 4th Avenue. The SCA, which is largely
on the houses in 1983. The community garden moved from the Key              exempt from city laws regarding zoning and public review, has few
Food site to a large plot at the corner of Baltic and 4th Avenue. (“We      hurdles to jump before it begins construction, but it must win ap-
were told the new site would be the garden’s permanent home,”               proval from the City Council and that’s where people like Avery and
recalls Ameroso, “but it was an Italian handshake agreement — noth-         Conway are making a last stand. They want the SCA to consider an
ing in writing — which is too bad.”) The houses, while still under          alternative plan involving restoration of PS133, construction of an
construction, went on the market for $137,000, and most of them             annex and preservation of the cherished community garden, which,
were soon under contract.                                                   Ameroso points out, is the only bit of open, green space for dozens
   There were lots of problems with the contractor and the quality          of blocks along 4th Avenue.
and timing of his work, recalls Pat Conway, who was a community                On June 4, Civic Council trustees passed a resolution “recognizing
organizer with FAC back then and is now secretary to the FAC                the need for additional seats in District 15 and improved facilities
board (and a mainstay in the fight to save PS133). “We’ve learned           for PS 133” but asking the City Council to reject the current plan
a lot since then about being a partner with a private developer, but        “so that the SCA can involve the community in a more meaningful
this was our first project.” FAC has gone on to develop many highly         fashion, explore alternatives to the demolition of the existing histori-
praised affordable housing projects.                                        cally significant school building and provide an adequate accounting
   Despite everything, says Conway, the project was a net gain for          to the community of the analysis it conducted for the site in terms
the neighborhood. “It gave moderate- to middle-income folks the             of expansion of the school population.”
opportunity for home ownership, and it continued the neighborhood              “They called it Park Slope Village,” says Avery. “You had your
tradition of live-in owner-landlords. It gave stability to an enclave       school, your garden, your low-rise houses, your supermarket. They
that, for years, had been a eyesore and a point of contention.”             say that your sense of place is determined by your sense of the ho-
   S.J. Avery, who bought one of the new houses and has lived there         rizon. The thought of them replacing PS133 with that much mass, a
ever since, says bonds developed among the homeowners even be-              boxy wall — they want to take out something lovely and treasured
fore they moved in, thanks to numerous meetings provoked by the             and put a box in its place. It breaks my heart.”      –Ezra Goldstein
contractor’s missteps. That neighborly feeling has grown over the
years, with many homes still occupied by the original owners.                  You can read arguments for the new school and see renderings in
   All along, at the center of it all, has been PS133, a classic building   the Environmental Impact Statement: http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/
designed by legendary architect Charles B. J. Snyder, many of whose         SCA/Reports/EIS/EIS-PS133.htm. For arguments on the other side,
New York City schools have won landmark status.                             go to http://hdc.org/blog/2009/06/15/park-slope-neighbors-on-ps-133.
   “The beautiful old building is an anchor to the neighborhood,”           To sign a petition against demolition of PS133, go to http://www.ipeti-
says Avery. “When we looked at the empty lot, when we were all              tions.com/petition/4thAveLandmark.
                                                                                               Civic News Vol. LXXI No 10 • June/July 2009 • 7
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CIVIC NEWS (ISSN 0031-2169) (USPS 114-740) is published monthly from September to June for $40 per year, including membership, by the Park Slope Civic Council Inc (founded
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