New street signs indicate that Ridgewood North is making history.
The area, constructed at the turn of the 20th century, consists of nearly 100 apartment buildings commonly referred to as the Mathews Flats. At the time of their construction, the buildings were seen as a step forward from the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions associated with Manhattan tenement housing.
The apartments are credited with transforming Ridgewood into a middle-class, urban neighborhood, according to Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.
“The Mathews Flats are an important part of the city’s history,” she said. “This historic district designation ensures that the architecture and historical significance of these buildings will be preserved.”
The signs were unveiled on Thursday, April 18 at a ceremony with Crowley, Councilmember Diana Reyna, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Chair Robert Tierney, New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation Chair Christina Davis and community residents. The foundation funded the initiative.
“This is a very exciting day for the community to gather together and celebrate this historic district in their neighborhood,” said Davis.
The district, bound by Forest Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Gates Avenue and Woodbine Street, is the third historic area in Ridgewood. It gained the designation from LPC in September 2009. It was approved by the City Council the following month.
“The historical district designation recognizes the deep cultural legacy that exists in Ridgewood and will preserve this legacy for generations to come,” said Reyna.
The LPC is also considering a proposal to make Central Ridgewood a historic district, The area is bound by Forest Avenue, Fresh Pond Road, Woodbine Street and 71st Avenue. The project would protect about 940 intact brick row houses built by German Americans in the early 1900s.