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NIMBYs Rally to Save House from 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'

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The Jackson Street Settlement House is neither an individual landmark nor is it in a landmark district, which means that Williamsburg residents are facing an uphill battle as they try to save it from demolition at the hands of nonprofit The School Settlement Association. The Association wants to replace the historic three-story building, which was featured in Betty Smith's famous novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, with a four-story building that will be better suited to accommodate the group's after-school and summer-camp programs for local children. You know, just the classic kind of development that we can all rally around halting.
As is often the case, the neighbors aren't thrilled about the prospect of a 113-year-old building being destroyed to make way for a (marginally) larger structure, although some might be opposing it for the not-quite-noblest reasons. A petition on misrepresents the planned new building as a "four-story-plus Penthouse Community," while permits filed with the Department of Buildings show that it is not being developed for residential use. The petition also includes a dubious claim about the existing house having been built by Jane Addams herself. A Brooklyn Paper commenter who goes by the name Mike from Williamsburg wrote that at a recent community board meeting, residents voiced opposition to the project citing reasons like adversely affected parking, obstructed views, and general anti-development sentiment. So, while this building may well be worthy of attention from preservationists, that doesn't necessarily appear to be the type of attention it's gotten thus far. Also, it's For The Kids, so maybe everyone should just relax a little bit.
· If a building falls in Brooklyn, it makes a tree grow [Brooklyn Paper]
· Save Williamsburg's historic 1901 landmark School Settlement building from Developer Destruction [Change]
· School Settlement Association [official]