Walt Whitman’s BK house not worthy of landmark status, city says

Poet didn’t spend enough time there, according to Landmarks

TRD New York /
Dec.December 18, 2017 02:20 PM

Walt Whitman and 99 Ryerson Street

Famed poet Walt Whitman may have spent some time in Brooklyn, but the city has ruled it wasn’t enough time to make his house a landmark.

Whitman spent part of his life in Clinton Hill at 99 Ryerson Street, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission has determined that, because he lived there for a short amount of time and because the home now looks markedly different, it is not worthy of being a landmark, according to Brownstoner.

Whitman’s mother bought the Brooklyn house on May 24, 1855, and sold it six months later, according to the commission. This means that Whitman was living there when his most famous work “Leaves of Grass” was published.

Lawyer, poet and preservationist Brad Vogel had submitted a request for evaluation to the commission in October, and the organization’s decision did offer some hope for the future, saying that “we remain open to further evaluation should additional information come to light.”

Vogel told Brownstoner he is not going to give up the fight.

“The commission rejected our initial request for evaluation, but this is not over — not by any means,” he said. “99 Ryerson Street is an incredibly significant building.” [Brownstoner]Eddie Small


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