Community Planning Final Report

Documents generated by the community planning workshops: 


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22-36 Caton Place

22CatonPlans have been filed for 22 Caton Place with DOB and are under review. This is the property that was the site of the chalkboard and corkboard factory and which underwent the ULURP process in an attempt to upzone to R7A. Zoning of the property was granted at R7B in a compromise agreement (details elsewhere on this site). A complete report on the project can be downloaded here .

The text of the report includes unattributed copy from this website, written by me (Mandy), and includes information on our group's activities. It also has detailed floor plans of the building and data on the number and type of units. This photo rendering of the building came from the Empire Equities report; I borrow it without permission, but in the spirit of fair exchange of content.

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GALLOP Day at Kensington Stables

Image GALLOP and Stable Brooklyn join forces to offer therapeutic riding in Kensington Stables. About 30 GALLOP, Stable Brooklyn, and Kensington Stable volunteers gathered on Saturday, January 20, to clear an arena for Gallop's therapeutic riding program.

ImageKensington's arena had been pressed into use this past year as storage space after the Stables lost the "old gray barn" to luxury condo developers. Full of spare wood, equipment and riding tack, and even a temporary stalls for a horse, the space could not be used for riding lessons. It was a messy, dusty job, but the volunteers got it done. As a bonus, an office area was also cleared.

ImageNow that the arena is clear, GALLOP will begin lessons for disabled riders, starting the first week of March. GALLOP's program will help maintain Kensington Stable in the neighborhood and will serve disabled children and adults it the neighborhood. The goal of GALLOP¹s program is to provide horse-centered therapies to a diverse group of adults and children facing physical, cognitive, psychological, and educational challenges.

ImageStaffed by a riding instructor certified by the NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) and a licensed physical therapist, as well as a dedicated and experienced group of volunteers, the program offers a safe and supportive environment in which an individual can reap the many benefits of therapeutic riding.

ImageGALLOP will initially operate its program on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with each of the three sessions providing 45 minutes of lesson time. GALLOP's first ten-week term will run from March 6 to June 5, 2007, including a one week break and one week for make-up lessons.

ImageFor more information contact
646 413 0469

 Images courtesy of Julie Maris/Semel ©2007

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Caton Avenue Nursing Home

 In the early 1990s special permits were granted that
are tied to the lot and allow for a larger FAR than would normally be
allowed for a community building in the Ocean Parkway District. The
proposed building is a skilled nursing facility designed in the
traditonal style, with a central dining area and a central nurses’
station on each floor. The first floor is a designated Alzheimer’s care
unit. It is 84 feet high, with 380 beds. They expect to have
approximately 300 employees working in 3 shifts. Zoning regulations
require 1 parking space for every 14 beds. The building is designed
with 20 parking spaces, meeting this minimum requirement. A service
driveway will run the width of the block one way, from E. 7th to E. 8th
street providing access to the rear service entrances for ambulettes
and deliveries, as well as parking.

There are two outdoor areas. One on the roof and one on the main floor in the front (Caton Avenue side).  

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Stables Clean-Up Day

StableBrooklyn is teaming up with GALLOP and the Kensington Stables for
a stables spruce up in preparation for the launch of a therapuetic
riding program. Please join in this volunteer community event of
neighbors helping neighbors. Sat. Jan. 20th from 9 to noon.

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Community Planning Workshop Final Report

Thanks to all who participated in the Community Planning Workshops. The final document is now available:
Final Report: Stable-izing Stable Brooklyn

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NYTimes article on the history of horseriding

New York Times Article on the history of horseriding in the area.
Special thanks to Emily for convincing and encouraging the Times to do
the piece.  

When the Horsemen Passed By


THE VOICE; When the Horsemen Passed By

Published: June 11, 2006

YOU can smell the horses before you can see
them, although if you’re walking off the overpass that straddles the
busy Prospect Expressway in East Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, the pungent
odor of hay and manure seems out of place among the warehouses,
semidetached row houses and passing cars.

Kensington Stables,
at Caton Place and East Eighth Street, is the last stable remaining at
an intersection that was once home to several such enterprises. In
their heyday, at the beginning of the 20th century, hundreds of horses
were stabled there. But the Depression and the automobile transformed
horseback riding from a necessity into a hobby, one soon overtaken by
other leisure activities.

No one remembers exactly when the
changes started to take place — around the 1930’s or 40’s, old-timers
suggest. The first stable to disappear was converted into a
roller-skating rink, which later became a warehouse. The second was
converted into a bowling alley, which later gave way to a giant church,
the Calvary Cathedral of Praise. A third stable, known as the Little
Gray Barn, was torn down last year and is being replaced by

Because stables may change their name as often as
they change owners, it’s hard to say how many such businesses have come
and gone. Kensington Stables, too, is struggling with the challenges of
maintaining an agrarian sort of business in a crowded urban setting. A
recently formed group called Stable Brooklyn is trying to preserve
remnants of the neighborhood’s equestrian past and to resist high-rise
development in the area.

Residents past and present recall
long-departed landmarks like Prospect Park Stables, Harry Goldstein’s
and Jimmy Seelandt’s. Those were places to which New Yorkers traveled
from throughout the city to ride in nearby Prospect Park, places where
local children would feed and exercise the horses in exchange for a
dollar or, even better, a free ride.

Art Goldberg, 57, a
retired subway union executive, grew up on Cortelyou Road in Kensington
and now lives in Pennsylvania, in the Poconos.

the early days in the 1950’s, all they had on television was cowboys,
and I identified with the loneliness and the hard work they did. I
began saving money to buy a pony when I was 5 years old. I started
working at Harry Goldstein’s stable in 1960 when I was 12, taking care
of the horses and taking people out in the park. I was paid a dollar a
day for that.

”In those days there were 150 horses down there,
or more. With the bowling alley and the roller-skating rink, it was a
real gathering point for hundreds of people. There was also the bridle
path from Prospect Park to Coney Island, and people could ride horses
down Ocean Parkway.

”The horses more and more became the
center of life, and it was a real alternative to some of us who felt
there really weren’t too many options. It was a real ego boost and gave
us something to look forward to: taking care of the horses and being in
charge of something. It gave us a focus, and it helped a lot of lost

”We were inner-city kids. Many came from the downtown
area, and we didn’t have too much opportunity to experience animals or
to be around a park. So being out with the horses and being in the park
was like being in another world.”

Joel Vincent, 69, a guide at Kensington Stables, grew up in Midwood, Brooklyn, and lives in Manhattan near Gramercy Park.

would get the trolley to the stables with my aunt and uncle from Coney
Island Avenue. I would go riding maybe 10 times in a year, so it was a
rare treat. They had a system of guides that would take you into the
park, just as I take people in the park today.

”When people
ask how did I fall in love with horses growing up in Brooklyn, that’s
always a puzzle for me. Maybe it’s just they were more observable in
the street. Because of the war and rationing, there was a lot less
driving going on, and they were using horses more for doing work like
pulling delivery wagons and milk wagons. And somehow or other, these
big, fascinating creatures intrigued me.”

John Davenport, 74, a retired security director, grew up in Windsor Terrace and still lives there.

trolley used to end over here, and we used to get off and come down
here to make a little bit of money. The owners would bring their horses
back from the park all lathered up, and that’s where I would make my
tips, by walking the horse up and down the block until he got his
composure back and started breathing right.

”I would come home
all sweated up, and we didn’t have air-conditioning in those days. My
mother used to make me take my clothes off and leave them in the hall
after a day down here.”

Walker Blankinship, 37, the owner
of Kensington Stables since 1997, grew up in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens,
Brooklyn, and still lives there.

”For the first few years
after I took over the barn, quite a few people would come in telling
stories, but now they’re all gone. Usually the stories were tragedies,
like the one about a fire here in the late 40’s. One man who used to
live around here said that when they put a horse down, they would use
it for anatomy classes. He remembers sitting on a dead horse right
outside here eating a sandwich while they dissected the legs for a

Muriel Bissell, 74, a homemaker, lives in the Windsor Terrace house where she grew up.

police stabled their horses here, and they used to line up like
soldiers all in a row every morning and go down to different areas of
the city. My sister used to bring the horses apples every day.

was a terrible fire once, and I saw the horses being shot because they
were all badly burned. I was a kid, and all I remember is hearing the
sound go off and the horse falling. They had to take them out on
garbage trucks. It went on for days.”

George Bissell, 74, a retired banker, moved to Windsor Terrace from Flatbush in 1959, when he married Muriel Ferrari.

really miss the police horses. We used to see them in action, and the
guys always had a few yarns to tell. There was one guy who chased a man
who had committed a robbery. The robber was in a car, and this police
officer was on horseback chasing him down Parkside Avenue and taking a
few shots at him. Just like the old West.”


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CB7 Supports Downzoning by Passing Resolution

Following is the text of the resolution passed by Community Board 7
in response to our petition. We need to follow up by writing letters to
Regina Myer, director of the Brooklyn office of the New York City
Department of City Planning. If  every member of this community
writes a letter, it will send a very strong message that we care and
want to see our neighborhood developed sensibly.

“Community Board #7 urgently request that the Department of City
Planning examine the issue of rezoning the area bounded by Caton Avenue
and Coney Island Avenue, Ocean Parkway and the Ocean Parkway Service
Road, commonly known as East Windsor Terrace, to determine what changes
can be made to the local zoning to protect the character of the low
rise residential homes and to immediately right the past wrongs done to
this section of our Community District when the Special Ocean Parkway
District passed in April 1993”

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Baptist Church 30th Anniversary, Sunday, May 21

The International Baptist Church has invited the neighborhood to
their 30th Anniversary Celebration this Sunday, May 21st at 10:15 am.

church is located at the corner of Caton Place and Coney Island Avenue.
They will be serving lunch and the choir will be performing.

Please attend and support our neighbors who have so generously supported our efforts.  

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Concert with Billy B, Saturday, May 20


Help us raise money to fight irresponsible development in our community

South Slope Coalition has taken on a developer who is trying to build
12- and 14-story buildings on our 3-story blocks. We hired a lawyer and
took the developers by storm at the March 29 hearing at the Board of
Standards and Appeals. The hearing is still pending, but we’ve got to
pay our lawyer fees.

Go to for more information about our ongoing fight against this developer.

Saturday, May 20
4 pm

WITH BILLY B The Natural Science Song & Dance Man

Download the South Slope Coalition Fundraiser Flyer


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