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Large portions of brownstone Brooklyn are designated “historic districts,” designations which limit the types of new construction that can occur in said districts. Because many of my Brooklyn New Leaf Journal content comes from Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens, it is worth noting that most of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill are historic districts, whereas most of Carroll Gardens is not. With that being said, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens blend together where Cobble Hill gives way to Carroll Gardens at Degraw Street, and the brown street signs that designate streets within historic districts would not look out of place in much of Carroll Gardens.

Below, you will find a map centered on the intersection of Clinton and Degraw Streets. Degraw street is the demarcation line between Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens.


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One of Carroll Gardens’s nicest streets is 4th Place. The stretch of 4th Place between Hicks and Court is lined with large trees – now with tags to tell passers-by what kinds of trees they are – and large residences. To be sure, it has a different feel than Cobble Hill, much less Brooklyn Heights, but it is a very nice block – one that has already yielded one New Leaf Journal article.

New Camera, New Leaf, New Leaf Pictures

After I experienced some technical difficulties with my nearly-fourteen-year-old Nikon D40 camera – technical difficulties that I am not sure that I will be able to rectify – I purchased a much cheaper Kodak PIXPRO AZ421 camera so I would still have a real camera to take pictures with on site. Although I have not used the camera too much yet, you can see the growing selection of articles featuring its pictures in our Kodak PIXPRO AZ421 tag.

I took my very first picture with my new Kodak PIXPRO camera at the intersection of Henry and 4th Streets in Carroll Gardens.


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The subject of the picture, seen below, was a large, domineering, modern building looking over the pretty residences on 4th Place, as if it were watching its pedestrians.

A tall apartment building on Nelson Street in Red Hook looming over 4th Place in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gadens.
Picture taken with my KODAK Digital Still Camera. While it is a touch on the fuzzy side, I think that it came out well enough for a first picture with a new camera on a hazy October afternoon. Photo was kindly edited, as usual, by Victor V. Gurbo.

When viewed less ominously, perhaps the new building just likes to enjoy 4th Place’s pretty trees. I have somewhat embarrassingly forgotten the exact location of the looming apartment building, but I think it is on Nelson Street, two blocks down from 4th Place and Clinton. The building is within five minutes from the location of a previous article about spotting a pristine L-shaped desk for the taking on Hamilton Avenue.

On Large Buildings Looming Over Historic Districts and Other Scenic Places

If we think of Carroll Gardens as a quasi-historic district, a neighborhood that is mostly not a historic district, but follows from Cobble Hill so naturally that many people who know that Cobble Hill is a historic district may assume that it continues into Carroll Gardens, the towering apartment building looming over 4th Place stands as an example of how overpowering tall buildings can be. Even though that apartment building also overlooks the busy and dirty Gowanus Expressway from its windows opposite 4th Place – an area that no one would mistake for a historic district of any kind – it is nevertheless part of the scenery of 4th Place. To be sure, however, the large apartment building is not a bad building, and is admittedly aesthetically well-above replacement-level for apartment buildings in areas of Brooklyn without landmark protections. But in the context of the outer-edges of Carroll Gardens, it sticks out quite a bit with its appearance and height.

There are far better examples of decidedly non-historic district type buildings looming over actual historic districts from their outskirts – Brooklyn Heights, New York City’s first historic district, sits in the literal shadows of many examples of the phenomenon. But since my first Kodak PIXPRO AZ421 picture was of a large building looming over 4th Place and Henry Street in Carroll Gardens, I will use this as the example of the phenomenon for the day.