A freestanding former kindergarten in Carroll Gardens may in fact be saved from the wrecking ball now that the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has decided to consider the building for landmark status.
The building in question is the now single-family residence at 236 President Street; also under consideration is the neighboring red-brick building at 238 President Street, which is currently an apartment building.
Last month, Carroll Gardens residents began rallying to save the former Hans S. Christian Memorial Kindergarten, which is to be demolished in favor of a six-story condo building. Development firm Avo Construction was set to close on the sale of the property last month, but local residents have been fighting to prevent its destruction.
On Tuesday, the LPC calendared both 236 and 238 President Street. Calendaring a property is the first step toward potentially designating a building. This will be followed by a public hearing, and LPC Commissioners will then vote on the structures.
238 President Street is an Italianate style house that was built for businessman Edward Kellogg in the mid-nineteenth century. Neighborhood resident Elmira Christian purchased the building and the neighboring lot in 1897. The building she donated to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and on the adjoining lot she built the kindergarten. The French Renaissance Revival-style building was designed by architects Hough & Deuell, and was the first purpose built kindergarten in Brooklyn.
The church owned both the buildings until they were sold in the 1970s, and converted into residential buildings. One of the Commissioners at Tuesday’s meetings expressed concerns that the buildings had changed too much over the years to make them landmarks worthy. LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan countering saying she had walked by the site herself and noticed that the buildings retained much of their original character, and that the changes did not detract from the architectural beauty of the buildings.
The Commission will now hold a public hearing on the buildings at a yet to be determined date.