Volume 45, No. 14
Friday, April 12, 2019
Battling B’klyn gentrification, one building at a time By Lore Croghan
he nonprofit Bernell Grier leads has fought to protect low- and moderate-income residents from being driven out of gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods for longer than many of our readers have been alive. Members of Pratt Area Community Council launched Displacement Watch to keep tabs on this looming threat — a half-century ago. Today IMPACCT Brooklyn, as it’s now called, continues that work in several ways. One is through participation in Stabilizing NYC, a citywide coalition funded by the City Council to teach tenants how to organize and fight landlords who use “unsavory” tactics to push people out of their homes, said Grier, who is the executive director at IMPACCT Brooklyn. “We unleash the power within the community,” she said in a recent interview in her Crown Heights office. “It already exists. Let’s let it rise.” IMPACCT Brooklyn also fights gentrification-related displacement through its ownership of nearly 1,000 units of affordable housing. Its focus is preserving them as affordable units for the long-term and keeping them out of the hands of investors who are not community-friendly, said Grier, who was a banking executive before she joined the nonprofit world. As another means of fighting gentrification, IMPACCT Brooklyn and other nonprofit developers have formed an organization called the Joint Operating Entity, or JOE. “Its purpose is to … allow us to come together to leverage our united strength to be able to preserve, purchase and develop affordable housing,” Grier said.
“Mission-based development” IMPACCT Brooklyn does “mission-based development,” meaning it collaborates with churches and community groups on affordable housing projects. For instance, Grier’s organization is currently working with an entity called Providence House to renovate two Bedford-Stuyvesant buildings and partnering with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to build a seniors housing development, also in Bed-Stuy. Some IMPACCT Brooklyn properties are supportive housing for people who are formerly homeless or living with mental illness or chronic medical conditions. The organization either contracts with an agency that provides supportive services for residents or provides the services itself. Continued on page 2
Bernell Grier, the executive director of IMPACCT Brooklyn Eagle photo by Lore Croghan Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Eagle Group
A YEAR AFTER SAHEED VASSELL’S DEATH, HIS PARENTS ARE STILL SEARCHING FOR JUSTICE:
Family, friends and neighbors of Saheed Vassell took to the streets in Crown Heights last Thursday to march in remembrance Brooklyn Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane on the anniversary of Vassell's death. Visit brooklyneagle.com.
More than 50 B’klyn cops have been sued at least four times, data shows Visit brooklyneagle.com
Continued from page 1
Battling Brooklyn gentrification, one building at a time
IMPACCT Brooklyn is looking to expand its work as a services provider through new supportive housing it builds. The group also fights the displacement of low- and moderate-income Brooklynites from their neighborhoods by helping those threatened with eviction and teaching tenants how to navigate affordable-housing lotteries and become financially fit first-time homeowners. It also provides legal and financial services to small business owners.
From aspiring math teacher to banker Grier lives in a Clinton Hill co-op she bought in 1988. She said if she hadn’t bought the apartment then, she wouldn’t be able to live in the neighborhood now — she couldn’t afford a home at today’s prices. She was born and raised in Harlem and lived in the NYCHA’s Ralph J. Rangel Houses for 25 years. In the 1970s, while a student at City College of New York, she got a summer job as a teller at Chase Bank. After getting a high score on a test from the human resources department, she was invited to join the bank’s retail management-training program. Grier was planning to be a math teacher, but the city of New York was in fiscal crisis and was laying off teachers. So she enrolled in the bank’s program, switched her major from math and education to economics and finished her college degree through evening classes. After Grier graduated, she took a job with one of Bank of America’s predecessor institutions. It didn’t have a computer system. Grier asked if she could join the team that computer-
2 • The PHOENIX • Friday, April 12, 2019
ized the bank’s operations — and got a “yes.” “My parents always taught me the worst thing that anyone can ever say to you is no, so why not ask?” she recalled.
Men tried to poach her clients Along the way, a boss suggested she should try for a job as a relationship manager, which is another name for loan officer. So Grier completed a 16-month training program modeled like an accelerated MBA. She recalled being one of three black students in her training group of about 25. She finished the program at the head of the class in a tie with a white man. He was assigned to the national division; she was assigned to the metropolitan division. Her position involved cold-calling to sell the bank’s products and services throughout the tri-state area. “It was intense, but I was successful at it,” she said. At one point, loyal clients warned her that male colleagues were trying to poach them from her. “Why do you want this woman to handle your account? Don’t you want a man to handle your account?” the colleagues asked. She called them out on their behavior. Later, when Grier wound up working in Brooklyn, she decided to get involved in volunteer work in the borough. “I found that I really loved it,” she said. “It helped me to understand my passion really lay more in community than in banking.”
Turning 55 Grier turned to full-time nonprofit work in 2004 by becoming chief operating officer of Neighborhood Housing
Services of New York City, an institution that helps people shape up their finances and become homeowners. As its interim chief executive officer and then the chief executive officer, she guided the organization and its clients through the subprime mortgage crisis. Grier left Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City “at a time of strength” in 2015 and is
Founded in 1972, the Phoenix is an award-winning weekly that covered Brownstone Brooklyn and reform politics for two decades. Full archives of the Phoenix are being catalogued as a special project of the Department of Library Science at Brooklyn College. Today the Phoenix has a new mission to become the voice of the immigrant community in Brooklyn in the new century. Brooklyn Phoenix ( USPS # 5170) is published weekly, except the first week of January, first week of July, last week of August and the last week of December by EBrooklyn Media, 16 Court Street, 30th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11241. Subscription price is $ 35 per year/ $ 40.00 out of State. Periodicals postage paid in Brooklyn, NY. Publisher: TERRENCE LYGHT email@example.com
Managing Editor: JEAN DAVID HUBERT firstname.lastname@example.org (646) 683-1864
april Calendar of Events Week of the 11th to 17th
Art DIGITAL FAIRYTALES: VENGEANCE IS MINE When one encounters the term “Vengeance,” it is with excitement, suspicion and dread. For vengeance to exist, there must be a prior perception of victimhood, a grievance. The scale of which is determined by the protagonist, but the roles can quickly be flipped. And flipped and flipped again. The chain of vengeance can go on and on and, unless broken, lead to ever escalating levels of calamity. When: Mondays-Sundays through April 30th Where: DUMBO/Made in NY media Center (30 John Street)
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE/SHADOW LAKE Smack Mellon is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions, Katie Bell: A Place for Everything and
Everything in Its Place and Austin Ballard: Shadow Lake. Both artists create work inspired by the designed and built environment but adopt their own unique approaches. Katie Bell takes discarded and readymade objects to construct immense assemblages that match the industrial scale of Smack Mellon’s building. Austin Ballard, on the other hand, turns his focus onto household objects, specifically light fixtures and lampshades, to create a more intimate setting that resembles a suburban domestic interior. In both of these projects, however, the artists call attention to the way that architecture and design objects shape— whether dramatically or subtly—how we see and respond to the world. When: Wednesdays-Sundays through April 21st, 12 – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Smack Mellon (92 Plymouth Street)
GALLERY AND FRIENDS: EXHIBITION TO BENEFIT THE NEW SANCTUARY COALITION A passionate group of accomplished mid-career artists are mounting an exhibit in Brooklyn Heights to benefit New Sanctuary Coalition. The New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC is an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and individuals, standing publicly in solidarity with families and communities resisting detention and deportation in order to preserve family unity. The grass roots organization has grown from a half-dozen congregations to a City-wide Movement in only a few years. 50% of sales will go to the New Sanctuary Coalition. When: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays through April 28th Where: Brooklyn Heights/ McKinney Chapel Theater (119-121 Pierrepont Street)
TRANSCENDENTAL PATHWAY Featuring work by Rachel Cohen, Deanna Lee, Christina Massey, Elizabeth Riley, Christine Romanell, Linda Schmidt, Transcendental can be described simply as abstract. It has other definitions though from mathematical
use, such as incapable of being the root of an algebraic equation with rational coefficients, (π for example), or as relating to an experience determined by the mind’s makeup. Six artists in this exhibit take on different approaches to that definition through their individual styles of abstraction, be that from their intuitive creative approaches to inspiration from mathematical equations. When: Tuesdays-Saturdays through April 29th, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Gallery 55 (55 Water Street)
CATHERINE HAGGARTY -BENCHED An exhibition of site-specific work. When: Daily through April 29th, Where: DUMBO/Main Window (1 Main Street)
NYC TRASH!: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE SCULPTURE GARDEN The City Reliquary’s sculpture exhibition — in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit, NYC Trash!: Past, Present, & Future — presents the work of ten local trash artists whose works will be on display in the Reliquary’s backyard garden. When: Thursday-Sunday
through April 29th, 12 – 6 p.m. Where: Williamsburg/The City Requilary Museum (370 Metropolitan Avenue)
GOYA IN TIJUANA A collection paintings by modern contemporary surrealist painter Tony Geiger. Geiger’s work encompasses both classical surrealism with modern contemporary concerns. When: Saturdays through May 4th, 12 – 6 p.m. or by appt Where: Carroll Gardens/Court Tree Collective (371 Court Street)
LEA THOMAS -CURRENTS A drop of dark blue appears, its stain spreading over the surface. Tendrils stretch across, their circuits entwining and dispersing, carving lucid pathways in their wake. The deepest blue requires more than just one application, it is a multitude of layers blended into one another, with slightly different circumstances and results each time, as sapphire streams ebb and flow concurrently. The azure currents of time, energy, and memory upwell and merge in union. Lea Thomas applies this aesthetic philosophy in her practice, creating a pool of the deepest blue for her hand-woven textiles. With a lineage
harkening back to the traditional use of Japanese indigo in its process and symbolism, Thomas’s work echoes the motion of her predecessors, diving far under the waves of deep time. As the fibers submerge into a vat of natural dye, so does one’s consciousness surge in connection to our environment, our humanity, and the depths of our psyches. When: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday through May 8th Where: Sunset Park/Trestle Gallery (850 3rd Avenue)
A CERTAIN SET OF DYNAMICS Curated by Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer Featuring the work of Embodied Empathy, Christopher Mahonski, Valerie Shusterov, and Kristen Neville Taylor. Jurors: Will Hutnick and Gaby Collins-Fernandez Selected through UrbanGlass’ open curatorial call, a certain set of dynamics looks at artists using glass as a literal and metaphorical lens through which to explore human interconnection. When: Daily through May 10th, 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Where: Fort Greene/Agnes Varis Art Center (647 Fulton Street)
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Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 1INB
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Awards, United Photo Industries is exhibiting the work of two artists, Amelie Satzger and Lauren Menzies, in a dual exhibition at the UPI Gallery. When: Tuesdays-Saturdays through May 31st, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/United Photo Industries (16 Main Street, Suite B)
april Calendar of Events Week of the 11th to 17th continued from previous page
Jan Groover created her famous Kitchen Still Lifes in 1978 and 1979. Using a large-format camera, she transformed colanders, knives, spatulas and baking pans into objects of beauty that still hold a visual interest that transcends their common use. Her seductively modern color palette of greens, pewter, bronze and brown tonalities permeates the space dissected by kitchen paraphernalia. These take on a new visual meaning as a result of Groover’s juxtaposition of the elements. Although never unrecognizable as everyday objects, these utensils float into an abstract amalgam of planes and shapes. When: Tuesdays-Sundays through May 11th, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Janet Borden, Inc (91 Water Street)
EXPOSED AND PUNCHED A solo exhibition of new work by Odette England. This will be the artist’s second solo show at the gallery, and brings together a selection of artworks from three recently completed and ongoing projects. Home is the center-weight of England’s artistic practice, with memory and forgetting being the counterbalances. Her photographs are fragile, contemplative and temporal spaces. When: Wednesdays-Saturdays through May 11th, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Klompching Gallery (89 Water Street)
THE 2018 FEATURE SHOOT EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS To celebrate the announcement of the 2018 Feature Shoot Emerging Photography
RACE AND REVOLUTION: REIMAGINING MONUMENTS
Image courtesy of BAM
The show questions the relationship between historical memory and historical monuments and what the underlying implications are for those histories that remain absent. Seventeen artists were asked to envision monuments that add depth and truth to New York’s compelling history. Exhibiting artists include Alexis Callender, Ayasha Guerin, Chip Thomas, Damien Davis, Emmaline Payette, Kamau Ware, Kimberly Becoat, Lyra Monteiro, Maureen Conner, Maureen McNeil, Marilyn Nance, Rose Desiano, Sal Munoz, Studio Darn, Zaq Landsberg and Jennifer Mack Watkins. When: Fridays through June 14th, 3 – 6 p.m. Where: Park Slope/Old Stone House (336 3rd Street)
BAM presents Get Up, Stand Up! 2019 on Saturday, April 13th, 2 p.m. THREAT OF PEACE (HIROSHIMA!!!!!!) Art in General presents a major solo exhibition in New York by Tokyo-based collective Chim Pom (Ryuta Ushiro, Ellie, Yasutaka Hayashi, Masataka Okada, Toshinori Mizuno, and Motomu Inaoka), whose work traverses geographies to engage trans-historical moments that shape our conflicted present. When: Tuesdays-Saturdays through July 13th, 12 – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Art in General (145 Plymouth Street)
ONE: EGÚNGÚN One: Egúngún tells the life story of a twentieth-century Yorùbá masquerade dance costume (egúngún), from its origins in Ògbómọ,
Nigeria, to its current home in Brooklyn. Composed of over three hundred textiles from Africa, Europe, and Asia, this egúngún swirls into motion during festivals honoring departed ancestors. Centuries old, egúngún is still practiced in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, and in the Yorùbá diaspora. When: Daily through August 2019, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Crown Heights/ Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway)
BROOKLYN ABOLITIONISTS/IN PURSUIT OF FREEDOM This major, long-term exhibit explores the unsung heroes of Brooklyn’s anti-slavery movement–ordinary
residents, black and white–who shaped their neighborhoods, city and nation with a revolutionary vision of freedom and equality. The exhibit is part of the groundbreaking In Pursuit of Freedom public history project that features new research on Brooklyn›s abolition movement in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center and Irondale Ensemble Project. When: Wednesdays-Sundays through Winter 2019, 12 – 5 p.m. Where: Brooklyn Heights/ Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont Street)
Books & Readings
DIARY OF AN AWESOME FRIENDLY KID Greenlight bookstore is thrilled to announce that author Jeff Kinney, creator of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is coming to their Book store. Join the bookstore to meet Jeff at this special book signing for his newest book, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, which was just published. When: Thursday, April 11th, 4:30 p.m. Where: Crown Heights/ Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton Street)
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Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 3INB
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4INB • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019
FIND YOUR PURPOSE AS A FINANCIAL ADVISOR Does helping people reach their goals energize you? Would you feel rewarded in a career where you empower others to build stronger financial futures? Thrivent is growing in Brooklyn, and if you have a heart for service and a passion for helping Christians be wise with money, you can grow with us. A career as a Thrivent Financial advisor allows you to earn an attractive income while making a big impact in peoples’ lives. If you think you’d be a good fit for Thrivent Financial, or if you know someone who would, email Brooklyn@thrivent.com or visit thriventfinancial.com/brooklyncareers.
Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 5INB
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When you think of Damascus Bakeries you think of the freshest, healthiest and tastiest bread that’s always baked fresh daily. But there are so many incredible dishes you can create with that bread including your own homemade pizza. For example, the Fig, Fontina and Arugula Pizza is a light and delightful meal in itself using Bred in Brooklyn original, traditional or ancient grain pizza crust. Just add olive oil, pancetta or prosciutto, fresh figs, Fontina cheese, Mozzarella cheese and fresh arugula, and you’ll have the makings of a truly unique pie. Go to the website for the full recipe! www.Damascusbakery.com
With Easter right around the corner, there’s no better place to celebrate the holiday than Chadwick’s Restaurant in Bay Ridge. And the Grilled Baby Lamb Chops is the perfect dish to enjoy with family and friends. The lamb chops include a delicious fig and goat cheese croquette and parsley pesto! Just add a few sides like Whipped Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Olive Oil or Grilled Asparagus, and you have a world-class entrée you will remember long after the Easter Bunny has hopped away. www.chadwicksbrooklyn.com
Court Street’s Thai restaurant favorite Café Chili has one spicy good special on its menu. Its Puff Pocket is a dumpling you can relish. . . and it’s even served with cucumber relish. It just might be the most delish dumpling of curried chicken and potato wrapped in puff pastry that we’ve ever tasted! And now that spring has arrived, after your fabulous meal at Café Chili, you can take a walk to the Brooklyn piers or the Columbia Street waterfront! www.cafechiliny.com
THE BIZ By John Alexander
Three Guys from Brooklyn 6502 Fort Hamilton Parkway Brooklyn, NY (718) 748-8340
Spring is in the air and Three Guys from Brooklyn has some light and delicious recipes you will definitely enjoy. Three Guys only sells the freshest produce and that’s exactly what you need for its Roasted Tomato Avocado Toast recipe. You can pick up all the ingredients when you stop by, including plum tomatoes, avocado, lemon, cayenne pepper, cress and even the wholegrain or sourdough bread the recipe calls for. It makes for the perfect light and healthy springtime lunch! You can find the full recipe on the website! www.3guysfrombrooklyn.com
6INB • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019
ROASTED TOMATO AVOCADO TOAST INGREDIENTS
• plum tomatoes 4, halved • wholegrain or sourdough bread, 4 thin slices • avocado 1 small, peeled and stoned • lemon ½, juiced • cayenne pepper, a pinch • cress or baby rocket leaves, a handful to serve DIRECTIONS
Grill the tomatoes for 20 minutes until soft. Toast the bread. Using a fork, mash the avocado with lemon juice and cayenne, then spread it over the toasted bread. Top with the tomatoes and some cress or baby rocket leaves. Referenced from: OliveMagazine
Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 7INB
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Pet Adoption Corner
Sean Casey Animal Rescue has shared these photos of pets up for adoption with us. Shanti is a four-year-old Pit bull mix that came all the way from down south searching for her forever home. Can you be that special someone? Shanti is a calm sweet
girl with a lot of love to give. Frida is a seven-year-old Domestic Short hair. Frida knows she is a queen and likes attention only on her terms. Sean Casey Animal Rescue (718-4365163) is located at 153 East Third St.
Photos courtesy of Sean Casey Animal Rescue
8INB Section of Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/HomeEagle/Heights Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of April 11-April 17,Gazette 2019 • Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 8INB ••INBROOKLYN INBROOKLYN——A ASpecial Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint
Protecting Brooklyn Kids Celebrating World Immunization Week Don't wait until September to catch up on vaccinations. Make an appointment today to arm your children with protections against disease.
Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 9INB
Eye on REAL ESTATE
LEFT: Brooklyn resident Lisa Kersavage is the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s new executive director. RIGHT: This is Green-Wood Cemetery’s Fort Hamilton Parkway Gatehouse, which is landmarked. INBrooklyn photos by Lore Croghan
Carrying the preservationist torch in NYC Meet Brooklynite Lisa Kersavage, the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s new executive director By Lore Croghan INBrooklyn
Lisa Kersavage’s two-decade career journey has taken her from rural Pennsylvania to a top job at America’s largest municipal preservation agency. The long-time Brooklyn resident got a promotion in March to the position of executive director at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. “It is a dream job,” she said. “I really do believe in the importance of municipal government and specifically the ability of Landmarks to protect the city’s most important buildings and neighborhoods and to regulate them efficiently and then address issues related to sustainability and equity,” she said in a recent interview at her lower Manhattan office. The commission’s headquarters is — appropriately — in a century-old limestone landmark at 1 Centre St., designed by famed architectural firm McKim Mead & White. Kersavage worked at the Landmarks Preservation Commission for four years as director of special projects and strategic planning before her promotion. Her new job was open because Sarah Carroll, who held it, became the commission’s chairperson last fall.
Kersavage now oversees the agency’s operations and works closely with its chairperson to develop strategic plans for the agency. The majority of its approximately 80 staff members report to Kersavage.
‘PRESERVATION OPPORTUNITIES’ IN GOWANUS She has lived in Brooklyn for almost 20 years. She currently resides in a 1960s Kensington high-rise with a view of historic Green-Wood Cemetery. She can see all the way from Coney Island’s landmarked Parachute Jump to lower Manhattan. She previously lived in Downtown Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus. As Kersavage settles into her new job, looming Brooklyn-centric preservationist issues include the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition’s campaign to win protected status for historic neighborhood sites. “We are actively studying preservation opportunities in Gowanus,” Kersavage said. It’s too soon for her to weigh in on another big Brooklyn preservationist issue, namely the city Department of Transportation’s threat to demolish the landmarked Brooklyn Heights Promenade for BQE repairs.
“Until we have DOT plans that we can review, I can’t speak about this issue,” she said. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced the creation of a panel to study different scenarios for repairing the highway running beneath the famous esplanade.
HISTORIC SITES RESCUED FROM LANDMARKING LIMBO During Kersavage’s years at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, she developed a plan for evaluating landmark eligibility for 95 historic sites that were on the commission’s calendar for up to a half-century. “It was challenging. It was consuming,” she said. “But it was exciting.” She collaborated with Chairperson Meenakshi Srinivasan and Executive Director Carroll on the mammoth project. The preservationists did lots of outreach to property owners — and in many cases were able to alleviate their concerns about having their buildings landmarked, Kersavage recalled.
— Continued on page 11INB —
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The Williamsburgh Trust Company Building is now a city landmark.
Kersavage worked jointly with the Landmarks Preservation Commission on a plan to retrofit the 1830s Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side for greater energy efficiency. An important Brooklyn project she handled at the Municipal Art Society was sparked by development pressures on the brownstone area near the Atlantic Yards mega-development. She worked with the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council to muster community support for the creation of a landmarked district there.
INBrooklyn photos by Lore Croghan
Carrying the preservationist torch in NYC — Continued from page 10INB —
DEGREES FROM PENN STATE AND COLUMBIA
She was especially proud of getting several backlogged Brooklyn treasures designated as landmarks. These include St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church in Bushwick, the former Williamsburgh Trust Company Building on South 5th Street in Williamsburg, the Gravesend property known as Lady Moody’s House and Green-Wood Cemetery’s chapel and Fort Hamilton Parkway Gatehouse and Gatehouse Cottage.
Kersavage grew up in a small town in rural Pennsylvania called State College, where Penn State University is located. Her undergraduate work at Penn State stoked her interest in preservation. She earned a degree in art and architectural history. “So many of the great American buildings that we were studying have been demolished,” she said. Her career began with a job as a historic preservation intern for the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. After that, she got a master’s degree in historic preservation with a planning concentration at Columbia, where “the professionalization of preservation really started,” she said. Kersavage has worked for several important preservationist organizations.
This is the now-landmarked chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery. The Prospect Heights Historic District won landmark designation in 2009. Kersavage’s love of New York City burns bright after two decades of working here. She admires its “phenomenal” architecture, cultural diversity and stature as a “global city,” she said. “I remain passionate about how great New York City is,” she said.
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This landmark is known as Lady Moody’s House. Backlogged Manhattan sites she’s proud of getting landmarked include the IRT Powerhouse on West 58th Street and the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre. It also was gratifying to get the Vanderbilt Mausoleum in Staten Island designated. Another major project Kersavage spearheaded at the preservation agency concerned the rezoning of East Midtown. She got a dozen sites in that area landmarked — including the iconic Citicorp Center.
She counts herself lucky to have worked for eight years at the Municipal Art Society. Kent Barwick, who had been the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s chairman, was the society’s president at the time. “It was very informative to me as a preservationist to be there and see how preservation fits into bigger issues facing the city,” she said. For instance, she worked on an initiative on preservation and climate-change issues that found the conflict between the two is more perceived than real. “Old buildings can become more energy-efficient. They can be greener. And preservationists should be taking that on,” she said. There are ways to do this that aren’t financially ruinous and don’t hurt the historic character of the properties, she added.
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Brooklyn Daily Eagle cover from April 11, 1951
ON APRIL 11, 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Washington, April 11 (UP) — Angry Republicans raised threats of impeachment today against President [Harry] Truman and possibly Secretary of State Dean Acheson within hours after the president fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur from his Far Eastern commands. MacArthur, shorn of four posts by Mr. Truman’s surprise early morning action, announced that he will come back home in about three weeks to tell his side of just about the bitterest controversy that ever shook this capital. In a telephone talk across an ocean and a continent, MacArthur told House Republican Leader Joseph W. Martin Jr. that he would like to address a joint session of Congress. Martin put in his call to Tokyo at a 30-minute secret meeting in his office at which House and Senate Republican leaders demanded congressional foreign policy investigation followed by ‘possible impeachments.’ The Republicans did not explain the plural word ‘impeachments,’ but Martin said it was correct … In firing MacArthur, Mr. Truman said the five-star general failed to support United States and United Nations plans for defeating Communism.” ALSO ON APRIL 11, 1951, the Eagle reported, “Bishop Thomas F. Molloy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has been made an Archbishop by Pope Pius XII in recognition of the ‘distinguished service’ he has rendered to the church in the administration of the diocese, the Brooklyn diocesan office was informed today … In the announcement it was stated that the elevation to Archbishop was a personal honor, and that Archbishop Molloy’s new title is to be distinguished from the title of Archbishop which Cardinal Spellman enjoys as head of the Archdiocese of New York. Archbishop Molloy is the fourth American prelate to be given the title while head of a diocese. He presides over the largest Catholic diocese in the United States … He was made Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese in 1920 and consecrated in 1921.”
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