The Real Deal New York

Fledgling preservation organization attracts support in East NY

Preserving East New York hopes to work with the Mayor’s rezoning plan

January 31, 2016 12:31PM

91 Pennsylvania Avenue

Zulmilena Then and the former East New York Savings Bank at 91 Pennsylvania Avenue

With Mayor Bill De Blasio’s plan to rezone East New York pending and the historic East New York Savings Bank destroyed, an organization has emerged to preserve the neighborhood’s architectural gems – and it’s already attracted an important backer.

East New York native and junior architect Zulmilena Then founded Preserving East New York (PENY) last year. The organization now has six members, but more importantly, it has attracted the support of the preservation nonprofit Historic Districts Council, according to Brownstoner.

HDC works with local groups like PENY, developers, the Landmarks Commission and community members to protect historic and architecturally significant spaces.

However, Then isn’t fighting the Mayor’s rezoning plan.

“The Mayor’s rezoning plan has taken a holistic approach by working with other city agencies, with the exclusion of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, to address the various strategic goals in the East New York Community Plan,” Then said. “However, if historic preservation is included within this plan, the various strategic goals targeted will be further enhanced and strengthened to empower our communities.” [Brownstoner]Christopher Cameron

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