This Thursday, the last horse stable near Prospect Park is set to be auctioned off in a bankruptcy sale. But City Council Member Brad Lander is trying to keep the Kensington Stables, built in 1930, from becoming just another prize for the highest bidder.
According to a property ad, the stable’s Windsor Terrace warehouse building, at 55 Caton Place near East 8th Street, is listed as a “redevelopment opportunity” with bidding starting at $2 million, first reported by DNAinfo. The sale is scheduled for February 23.
But Lander, whose district includes Windsor Terrace, Kensington, and Park Slope, pleaded with potential bidders to preserve the “longtime community institution” and vowed to oppose any rezoning that did not preserve a stable there.
“I am writing to make clear that the community strongly supports the preservation of a horse stable at this location and that bidders should be clear about this expectation,” Lander wrote in a letter released today.
The Kensington Stables, built in 1930, has been offering trail rides along the 3.5-mile bridle path in Prospect Park as part of a riding academy first founded in 1917. It is one of the few remaining stables in New York City, and the only one serving Prospect Park.
This decades-old stable nestled between warehouses and new condos developments would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the occasional whinnying, writes Corner Media’s Melissa Akar.
But it seems like the building could use a little love. In 2016, complaints filed with the Department of Buildings mark the address with a leaning structure, water leaks, and a partially collapsed roof.
Just last week, Untapped Cities announced via twitter that the stables Kensington Stables will be featured in their next book, Secret Brooklyn: an unusual guide.
But can the historic meaning and community support save the beloved stables from the development boom?
We reached out to the Kensington Stables for a comment and will update as we learn more.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that horses from Gallop NYC were stabled there, but they haven’t since 2013, according to a GallopNYC representative.