Historic Sunset Park Precinct House & Stable Eyed For Public School

The old 68th precinct. (Source: wikimedia commons)
The old 68th precinct. (Source: wikimedia commons)

The vacant Romanesque Revival-style castle on 4th Avenue has caught the eye of the Department of Education (DOE), to be turned into a public primary school, reports Brooklyn Daily.

If the DOE gets the building –, a former police precinct house and adjacent stable located at 4302 4th Avenue — it could fit up to 300 seats, which would ease overcrowding in Sunset Park’s backlogged school district.

The DOE reached out to the castle’s current owner, Yosef Streicher, according to his representative, Barry Shisgal, who added that he doesn’t know how the talks went.

“We need more than 300 [seats], so hopefully it’s the first of many sites,” said Naila Rosari, president of Sunset Park’s Community Education Council 15.

This building dates back to 1886, initially housing the 18th Precinct, which later became the 68th Police Precinct. It has been vacant since 1970, but was landmarked by the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission in the 1980s.

Over the years, the land has changed hands multiple times. Sunset Park Music Group and Brooklyn Chinese-American Association both tried to make the landmark a community center, but were unable to. In August 2015, Brooklyn Chinese-American Association sold it to Streicher for $6 million.

Streicher initially announced plans to turn the former precinct house into a community center, and cafe with 10 luxury condos added onto the premises for roughly $5 million. Streicher doesn’t want to give up the property but might not have a choice, according to Shisgal.

“It would be a shame if they turned it into a school where everything is obviously gated and closed,” said Shisgal. “But listen, if that’s what the city wants to do — and they can force us to sell — then we don’t stand a chance against them.”