Ridgewood block designated landmark

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Pauline Leblond, who has lived on the block for more than 35 years, is the president of the Stockholm Street Block Association. She has spent the last five years writing letters and petitioning the city to designate the block, which consists of 39 buildings, a landmark.

"It really was a labor of love," Leblond said in the living room of her house at 18-86 Stockholm St. "We all felt it was worthy. You look out there and you can see what kind of street it is. We want to keep this block going and we need to make people aware of their history and their heritage."

For months Community Board 5 heard requests from Leblond's organization. At a meeting in July, Gary Giordano, district manager of Board 5 said a designation by the city Landmarks Preservation Commission usually helps to further safeguard historic heritage and to stabilize property values.

Jennifer Raab, chairwoman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, said the commission decided to landmark the street for its distinct qualities, including its one-block ensemble of brick row houses, each with full-width wooden porches and columns and uninterrupted cornice lines. The street was designed in several phases from 1907-1914 by Louis Berger, a German-born architect, according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

"The special character of Stockholm Street has been appreciated and preserved by successive generations of homeowners," Raab said. "This unique block highlights New York's heritage and continuing role as a place of opportunity for immigrant families from all over the world."

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is a city agency responsible for identifying and designating landmarks as well as historic districts and regulating changes to the building it designates. It consists of 11 commissioners, including three architects, one historian, one city planner or landscape architect, and one realtor. The commission must also have at least one resident from each borough in its board.

The Landmarks Law was enacted in 1965 under Mayor Robert Wagner in response to New Yorkers' growing concern that the city's important historic buildings and neighborhoods were being torn down. To date, the Landmarks Commission has designated 1,052 individual landmarks, 102 interior landmarks, 9 scenic landmarks and 77 historic districts.

Dolly Rivera, who moved into her sister's home after she died three months ago, said she was flattered by the recognition the city has given her street.

"It reminds you of the old times years back," she said. "It's different."

Rivera said her family grew up a few blocks away from Stockholm Street, but she said her sister loved the block and wanted to live there.

"She always said she would buy a home on this block," she said. "She really loved it here."

Updated 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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