Linden Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn (photo courtesy Landmark Preservation Commission)

The Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick is getting its first official historic district, New York City’s Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) announced this week. The new district encompasses a block of 32 row houses on Linden Street at its intersection with Bushwick Avenue, close to the Gates Avenue subway stop.

A raised subway line came to the Gates stop in 1885, transforming Bushwick from a rural outskirt into a city-linked neighborhood. Bushwick was one of the first areas of New York to be colonized by the Dutch, and in 1661 it was one of the first six Brooklyn towns to be chartered. After the subway line arrived, developers built homes in a speculative boom, including the ones in the new Linden Street Historic District, which were constructed between 1885 and 1901. The first people who lived in the homes were lower and middle-class New York natives or immigrants from Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, or Australia, according to the LPC.

An Italian population moved onto the block in the 1950s, then people from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador, among other nations, immigrated to the area.

The LPC calls the row houses “remarkably intact” and notes their intricate cornices and terracotta exteriors. The houses were all created by the same developer, but designed by different architects, each of whom rendered the homes according to their tastes. Ultimately, the 32 homes represent a hodgepodge of styles: Neo-Grec, Queen Anne, Renaissance Revival, and Romanesque Revival. The LDC, however, calls the cluster a “cohesive” streetscape.

“Bushwick’s rich history is unfortunately often overlooked,” City Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez said in the LDC’s announcement.

“With so few landmarks remaining in Bushwick, lost to fires, gentrification, and speculation, it is all the more important that we protect and celebrate the ones that remain,” she added. “I am delighted that this harmonious streetscape will be recognized as a landmark for generations to come.”

Elaine Velie is a writer from New Hampshire living in Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian at Middlebury College and is interested in art's role in history, culture, and politics.