After having weathered the ups and downs of the neighborhood for over half a century, the South Oxford Street Block Association has remained a positive, unifying presence on our blocks and in the greater Fort Greene/Clinton Hill community. Founded in 1950, the South Oxford Street Block Association is one of the oldest block associations in Brooklyn. The organization is comprised of residents who live on a two-block stretch of South Oxford Street that runs from Fulton Street to DeKalb Avenue, in the heart of the Fort Greene Historic District.
In the beginning, the organization was busy fighting crime and urban blight, which included pressuring City agencies to deal with the many derelict buildings on the block, of which only one remains (#44). In the early 1970s, the block association worked closely with the Fort Greene Historical Committee (now the FGA) towards the establishment of the Fort Greene Historic District by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1973. During the past years our organization was involved in helping to rezone Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. In 2007 we all celebrated the speedy passage into law of the Rezoning of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Wallabout. This historic rezoning protects a huge 99-block expanse of Brooklyn encompassing three neighborhoods against out-of-scale development. The total protected area comprises one of the largest continuous low-rise tracts of early 19th to early 20th Century architecture in the United States.
Today, the association continues to impart a sense of pride, ownership and empowerment to the residents of our blocks. Through our email database and internet presence we provide local news and other relevant communications to our members and beyond. We serve many civic functions, such as sponsoring meetings, cleanups, plantings, and neighborhood stoop sales; and more importantly addressing issues of local concern like traffic, crime, sanitation, over-development, pedestrian safety, film shoots, parking, and security; and participating in Brooklyn-based events like the annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest (we were 2nd Place in 2000). Our group regularly provides support for other local organizations and their endeavors, including the Fort Greene Association (the House Tour), the Fort Greene Park Conservancy (the Halloween Celebration and other park events), the Society for Clinton Hill (the House Tour and fundraisers) and the Green Fort Greene/Clinton Hill initiative (helping to plant street trees).
Some recent projects have included our annual “Spring Cleanup and Planting,” and our assistance in the semi-annual Fort Greene House Tour - which frequently features homes from our blocks. In 2008 we launched “ParkSmart,” our street parking initiative to remind Brooklyn drivers to maximize the limited street parking resources in the neighborhood and not be a parking space hog. (For more details go here.)
Our current fundraising campaign is loosely called “The Tree Guard Project.” Our goal is to nurture and protect our block’s street trees for generations to come, The proposal calls for the repair of all sidewalks adjacent to tree pits, the enlargement of all tree pits, and the installation of new uniform tree guards for every tree on our two blocks. In addition all trees with roots that are cracking and pushing up sidewalks will be trimmed back and get new sidewalks. We currently are in the process of completing this endeavor, which involved 68 trees and tree guards.
For more information email us at email@example.com.