The Society for Clinton Hill Landmarks Committee presented their landmark application to CB2’s Land Use Committee on Feb. 20, but had no pictures of the 584 Myrtle Avenue apartment building to show the board members, forcing them to delay their vote on application for now.
“We generally do not vote to landmark without seeing pictures of the building,” said committee Chairperson Lawrence Whiteside. “Some of our board members do not live in Clinton Hill and have no familiarity with the area.”
The all-brick Renken building stands three-stories high, with brass doors on the corner of Myrtle and Classon avenues in Clinton Hill. Built in 1918, the apartment building is nearly 100 years old, and during the Great Depression of the 1930s was a major milk distributor.
Andrea Dibner, of the Society for Clinton Hill Landmarks Committee, urged the board to approve their application to get the Renken building landmarked and apologized for failing to bring photos.
“The Renken building is a part of the history of Brooklyn and New York City that goes back to the milk wars during the Great Depression,” Dibner said. “The art décor, modern building is quite refined, really a gem in the neighborhood and to lose it would upset the community.”
Dibner said she plans to bring photos of the Renken building to CB2’s general meeting next week. The building’s owner, she says, expressed no opposition to getting landmarked and is aware of their intentions.
Even if approved by CB2, the application would have to go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission for review and a final decision.
Residents will be affected if the Renken building gets landmarked. The building’s value could rise, rents could increase, and tenants would no longer be allowed to make any significant alterations to the property.
Even so, the community was largely supportive of getting the Clinton Hill property landmarked.
“I think it’s cool, as long as the rent does not go up,” said tenant Erin Moore, who moved into the Renken building from Los Angelese in August. “The buildings here are so much older and full of history, very different.”
Reginald Johnson concurred.
“Some things need to stay the same, it’s as simple as that,” said the 15-year Clinton Hill resident. “It is a really good idea, the building has been here for a long time. Look at the brass doors, the brick; it’s in good condition and it’s original.”