Can Cobble Hill avoid Manhattanization? And what can be done to protect 'Brownstone Brooklyn?' These were some of the intriguing questions raised at an intimate reception and meeting held at Tuesday night.
Two distinguished New York City historians, and keynote speaker Christabel Gough, were honored by the for their significant contributions to the community.
"It's enormously gratifying to be honored," said Morrone. "Working on in itself is a reward. But awards like this to me are very meaningful because they come from people with whom you've worked closely and who you have a real connection with. And I really love Cobble Hill. It has such a rich history."
That history is in danger, at least architecturally, according to Christabel Gough, who ruminated on the topic in a keynote following her award.
"How do you Manhattanize a brownstone?" posed Gough, who was dubbed a 'patron saint of preservation' by CHA President Roy Sloane in his introduction.
"First you pay seven or eight-figure prices, then you destroy it—gutting it all except for the front facade," she answered.
From tearing out windows to changing floor levels, expanding rear gardens and extending roof terraces, Gough listed the number of ways she sees homeowners irreperably damage the very buildings that attract them to communities such as Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill.
This stance often pits those in favor of landmarking against members of the real estate industry, she said, who assert that homeowners should be able to renovate homes however they see fit.
"Brownstones need protection from the overscaled intentions of the so-called '1 percent,'" Gough said. "We need to preserve old road-house layouts and impress the importance of being able to see the sun, the sky and the stars."
How do you feel about massive interior overhauls of brownstones? Should further limitations be placed upon homeowners? What right does the city have to your property? Tell us in the comments section below.