As we reported last summer, the Friends of Greater Gowanus (FROGG) has been urging the New York State Board for Historic Preservation, a division of the the State’s Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (OPRHP), to create a historic district around the Gowanus Canal for some time now. In the past, FROGG has also advocated for the canal’s designation as a Superfund site and successfully got the area included on last year’s Historic Districts Council list of Six to Celebrate. (The idea of protecting the area goes back even further: In 2008 we wrote about the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s efforts to get the waterway itself declared a national monument.)
There was a community meeting at the Can Factory last month to discuss the creation of the New York State Historic District but we hadn’t realized how imminent the vote was (it’s Thursday) or how large the footprint is (it extends from Baltic Street to the end of Smith Street) until a reader sent along information, including the above map, yesterday.
As part of its decision process leading up to Thursday’s vote, the State must weigh the community group’s interest in preservation against any “adverse effect” on property owners that the designation might have. More specifically, in a document forwarded to us, the State describes how “maintenance, renovations and restorations that involve federal or state approval can become significantly more complicated and expensive, while simultaneously depriving the owner and local government of their discretion in the event a property is subject to OPRHP consultation.” The same document notes that, “While New York City’s listing process is separate from OPRHP’s, the proposed listing of the Gowanus Canal Historic District could make a LPC designation more likely.”
What do you think? Is this area deserving of Historic District designation? Letters seeking input were sent out to owners of the more than 400 properties in the 53 blocks of the proposed area asking just that question. Notarized owner objection letters along with general comments from the public are due by mail to the Historic Preservation Board by the end of the day tomorrow to be considered for Thursday’s meeting. Mailing instructions are included below. (more…)
A school bus carrying children overturned when a green cab hit it yesterday afternoon at the corner of Halsey and Marcy in Bed Stuy, a reader who sent in these photos told us. Six children and three adults went to Woodhull Hospital. One had serious but not life threatening injuries, according to The New York Post. More photos after the jump. (more…)
Brooklyn is among the areas hardest hit by a steep rise in housing costs in New York State, a report from the New York State comptroller found. From 2000 to 2012, statewide the percentage of renters paying more than 30 percent of their incomes to housing rose to 50.6 percent from 40.5 percent, while the percentage of homeowners doing the same rose to 33.9 percent from 26.4 percent.
Coney Island’s Luna Park held a ground breaking ceremony today, above, for a big new roller coaster called the Thunderbolt. The coaster, which is scheduled to open May 22, will be the first at the beachside amusement park since 1910 to include a loop, The Wall Street Journal reported. The ride will go as fast as 56 miles an hour with a 115-foot vertical drop, followed by a 100-foot vertical loop and five inversions.
The original Thunderbolt operated from 1925 to 1982, was sold to a fried chicken mogul and burned down, said the Journal. The ride was later made famous by Woody Allen’s 1977 film “Annie Hall,” and it was torn down in 2000 to make way for the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium.
Name: Row houses Address: 123-127 Lefferts Place Cross Streets: Classon and Grand Avenues (corner Classon) Neighborhood: Clinton Hill Year Built: 1882 Architectural Style: Neo-Grec Architect: Amzi Hill Other work by architect: Hundreds of houses and flats buildings in Clinton Hill, Bedford Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North, Park Slope, Fort Greene. Landmarked: No, but part of Clinton Hill South HD on National Register of Historic Places (1986)
The story: The corner house in this group, 127 Lefferts Place, was up until recently, the notorious Lefferts Hotel, a long time haven of drug dealing, prostitution and misery. Now it looks like it will have a new, and very much more upscale life. But before the squalor, there has to be a history behind this group of very attractive row houses. Before 127 was the Lefferts Hotel, it was a long-time boarding house with similar neighbors. Before that? Let’s see:
The group of three five story houses was built in 1882, designed by the prolific Central Brooklyn-based architect Amzi Hill. He designed other houses on this block, as well as all over Central Brooklyn, and was one of the most popular go-to Brooklyn row house architects of his day, especially active as this part of Brooklyn began rapid development in anticipation of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, which occurred in 1883.
Lefferts place was an upper-middle class enclave, sandwiched between the busy-ness of Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue, which also made it very convenient for public transportation via the omnibuses and trolleys on Fulton Street, and the LIRR on Atlantic Avenue. One could easily commute to lower Manhattan from here in under an hour, and when the bridge opened? Well, this was a great location, and these were large houses, with plenty of room for growing families and live-in servants. (more…)
This long-shuttered commercial space on the corner of Saratoga and MacDonough was being renovated when we passed by recently. Through the window at 83 Saratoga we saw a big room with a sanded wood floor and doors to two bathrooms. In 2012, a permit was filed for minor alterations to the interior.
The building, located in a part of Bed Stuy the city considers Ocean Hill, changed hands in 2012 for $485,000. GMAP
This mid-19th century Italianate in Prospect Heights makes up in width (24 feet across) what it lacks in depth (40 28 feet). The double duplex is nicely renovated and has lots of cute old details, including arched entry doors, floors, marble mantels, a wood burning fireplace, tin ceilings and wedding cake plaster decorations.
We’re guessing it probably gets a lot of light too because of the dimensions. The only thing we’re not liking is that step up to the dining room in the owner’s duplex. What do you think of it for $2,400,000?
We’ve featured a number of units in the old school building at 44 Cheever Place in Cobble Hill over the years and this one has to be the most tricked out of them all. The two-bedroom condo has double-height ceilings in the living room and a sleek, modern kitchen that looks like it belongs in a Richard Meier building. Asking price: $1,500,000.
We love this five-bedroom, two-bath triplex in Park Slope, which is both beautiful and expensive. There aren’t any kitchen or bathroom photos, but the listing says it has a “well-appointed galley kitchen.”
The double parlor, formal dining room and kitchen are all on the same floor. There are tons of original details, including five decorative fireplaces, built-in cabinetry, parquet floors, a coffered ceiling in the dining room, pocket doors and marble sinks and original cabinetry in the passthroughs.
There is also laundry in the apartment and a shared garden. Do you think it will rent quickly for $11,000 a month?
This yellow brick corner building at 240 St. Nicholas Avenue has been renovated with reclaimed wood paneling, oak floors, and stainless steel appliances and is for sale for $2,295,000. There is an owner’s duplex — unusual for a multi-family in Bushwick — four rental apartments and a two-car garage.
There’s also lots of FAR and the lot is 90 feet deep. At one point the building was a two-family with a doctor’s office. We couldn’t find a new C of O but permits indicate one for a five-family is in the works.
The building is located in a desirable part of Bushwick near the Dekalb L stop, close to bustling Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff Hospital and near the Ridgewood border. The current owners picked it up for $680,000 in January 2013. The configuration and size of the building is unusual, but if it sells near ask, it will be quite a jump for this type of building in the area.
Click through to the jump for more photos. What do you think of the renovations?