When a building or place is of major historical significance in the United States, it often becomes a part of the National Register of Historic Places, a division maintained by the National Parks Service and the U.S. Department of Interior. A number of those places include many of the brownstones in NYC.
About the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is an official list kept by the National Parks Service and the U.S. Department of Interior. This list identifies historic places worthy of preservation. This program was authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Currently, there are over 80,000 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places that represent over 1.4 million individual resources.
Approximately 30,000 properties are added to the National Register each year as part of districts or through individual listings. The National Register’s goals are to help property owners and groups, such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, coordinate, identify, and protect historic sites in the United States. Old Slater Mill, a historic district in Rhode Island, was the first property listed in the National Register on November of 1966.
Brownstones in NYC
A number of the brownstones in NYC are currently on the National Register of Historic Places, with a majority of those buildings located in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Even the quarry that mined the brownstone building material for the brownstones in NYC, the Hummelstown Quarry just outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is even on the National Register. The largest collection of brownstones in NYC can be found in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant.
The entire Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope roughly bounded by Prospect Park West, Berkeley Pl., 15th St., 6th, 7th and Flatbush Avenues was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1973 and the National Register of Historic Places (#80002636) in November of 1980. The brownstones in NYC, and specifically the Park Slope neighborhood, are often at the top of the list of places to visit for those interested in the architectural history of New York City.