The City Planning Commission voted unanimously in support of outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz’s plan to revamp the former Childs Restaurant in Coney Island and turn it into an amphitheater and upscale eatery, Brooklyn Paper reported.
However, local residents are less than thrilled about the plan, which will require $53,000,000 in city funds to transform the landmarked but dilapidated 89-year-old building. Neighborhood activists told the newspaper that the money would be better spent repairing Coney’s hurricane-shattered infrastructure, which still suffers from occasional heat and power outages, in addition to sewers that flood when it rains.
And others worried about the traffic and noise from the planned venue, which Markowitz hopes will host 40 concerts a year. The community board voted down Markowitz’s plan two months ago, and Landmarks approved it over the summer.
Name: Originally Public National Bank of New York, now Bank of America Address: 47-49 Graham Avenue Cross Streets: Corner Varet Street Neighborhood: East Williamsburg Year Built: 1921-1923 Architectural Style: Neo-Classical Architect: Eugene Schoen Other works by architect: other branches of Public Nat’l Bank; several synagogues, and factories. Best known as a furniture and interior designer. Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (2012)
The story: The Public National Bank was founded by Joseph S. Marcus, a German-born clothing manufacturer on the Lower East Side, in 1908. By 1930, there were thirty branches in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. It was the one of the largest banks in the entire United States with a predominantly Jewish clientele. In February of 1921, the New York Times and other publications noted that the bank had purchased a plot on the corner of Graham Avenue and Varet Street with the intention of building a new Williamsburg branch. Public National already had a branch in Williamsburg, just two blocks away, but business had grown to the point that they needed to build a larger bank in order to accommodate their customers. Later that same year the architect of the new building was announced: Eugene Schoen.
Mr. Schoen was a big deal in the architecture and design world of the early 20th century. He was born in 1880, in New York City to Hungarian Jewish immigrants. His father had come to America in 1878, and was a highly revered teacher and the Grand Secretary of the Independent Order of B’rith Abraham, a fraternal order similar to the Freemasons. He was a graduate of the Manual Training School in Brooklyn, more recently called John Jay High School, and then went on to Columbia University, where he studied architecture. He worked in the offices of McKim, Mead & White during his university summers, and then worked as a teacher of art and architecture in the public school systems of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In 1904, as a delayed honeymoon, Eugene and his wife travelled to Europe and visited Vienna. That city was at the center of a new architectural and artistic revolution, home to an Austrian branch of the Art Nouveau movement called the Vienna Secession (Wiener Secession). Artists such as Gustav Klimt and Max Klinger had joined with architects such as Otto Wagner, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Josef Hoffmann to rebel from the staid Austrian conformities of the past, and were creating new and innovative works. While in Austria, Schoen met with Otto Wagner who introduced him to Josef Hoffmann and artist Alphons Mucha. Schoen was especially taken with Hoffmann’s work, and was highly influenced by it. When he returned to NY, he worked many of Hoffmann’s influences into his own work, both in architecture and interior and furniture design. (more…)
Drug treatment and psychotherapy center New Directions lost its lease and plans to relocate to 500 Atlantic Avenue in March. The substance abuse treatment program has been headquartered at 202-206 Flatbush Ave between Bergen and Dean since 1983.
More than a dozen neighbors came out at last night’s community board meeting to voice their opposition to the move. Community Board 2 supported the relocation plan, noting that many people in the community benefit from drug treatment services.
Neighboring property and business owners at the meeting said that they didn’t want another health service on this stretch of Atlantic, where there are already medical and dental offices, a hip center and transitional housing for the homeless. Business owners, as well as the Atlantic Avenue BID, said the block needs retailers or restaurants that would draw more foot traffic to the area.
“We’ve seen crime go up… I hear people screaming down the street, and I think it affects my business,” said Karen Zebulon, the owner of a craft shop, Gumbo Brooklyn, across the street. ”I think I would do better on a different block. We need more retail on the block.”
Several neighbors said they are worried recovering addicts and alcoholics will bring safety issues and crime to the area. However, New Directions Executive Director Mark Solomon said the program had never needed to call the police or been cited by the state. And he emphasized that the center offers psychiatric services, group therapy, art therapy and criminal justice services, but it isn’t a detox or methadone program.
“There’s really been no negative impact [on our current neighborhood],” said Solomon. GMAP
This house has some amazing architectural details, although it’s going to take a bit of polishing to restore it to its former glory. A buyer might want to undo some unfortunate alterations, such as exposed brick, popcorn ceilings, and a modern tile floor in one of the bathrooms.
We think it’ll be worth it: The house has some exuberant Aesthetic Movement details you don’t see every day, including kicky fireplace tile, elaborate crown moldings over the doors and windows, mahogany inlay floors, impressive geometric ceiling medallions, seven original light fixtures, and scenic stained glass in the bathrooms.
Happily, it also has a relatively new roof, boiler, windows and hot water heater. Do you think it’s a good deal for $1,200,000?
Hot stuff! The penthouse at 24 Monroe Place is pretty darn impressive, with a massive wrap-around terrace complementing the Classic Six layout. In addition to the killer views, this place has a great prewar pedigree and lots of entertaining space. Only thing not to like: The $4,770 monthly maintenance. Asking price is $2,395,000.
This three-bedroom, 2.5-bath short-term rental in Carroll Gardens is bright and modern, and it comes furnished. It’s a penthouse unit in the luxury rental development at 360 Smith Street, which was fully rented by the summer of 2011. The furnishings look lovely if you like pink and purple, and the apartment seems quite spacious. The kitchen is well-sized with a large island for entertaining. Meanwhile, the master bathroom, painted lavender, has a double sink, glassed-in standing shower and a separate bathtub.
Apparently the third bedroom is smaller than the other two, appropriate for a guest room or a large office, the broker notes. There’s also a private terrace! The building has a fitness center, and parking costs $300 per month. How do you feel about the $7,900 a month rent? Seems like a sweet pad if you’re renting on the corporate dime.
A Sleep Inn Hotel is going up at 2590 Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, Amusing the Zillion reported. The Sleep Inn will have 12,989 square feet of space on a 13,000-square-foot lot.
The building will be four stories with 53 units, according to a new building application for which permits were issued in October. Based on photos from Amusing the Zillion, looks like the foundation is in and the walls are starting to rise. It will be the area’s “first new hotel in many decades,” said the blog.
We took a tour around Forest City Ratner’s fascinating modular apartment factory at the Navy Yard yesterday, where reps from FCRC said they’ll begin shipping out the fully constructed units next week. They’ll stack the units to create the first Atlantic Yards residential tower, the 32-story building under construction next to the Barclays Center that is known as B2. When work finishes next year, the 363-unit tower will be the tallest modular building in the world.
Currently, Forest City expects construction to wrap by December 2014 — a faster pace than normal construction, which would take at least another 18 to 20 months. They also estimate that building modular units will be 10 percent cheaper than typical residential construction, but they hope it will become even less expensive and more efficient as they build more developments in the Atlantic Yards project. The tower will be a 50-50 mix of market rate and affordable housing, of which 20 percent will be low-income housing.
Architects SHoP and Forest City Ratner collaborated on the design and building process for the apartments. Each nut and bolt piece of the apartment is installed before it leaves the Navy Yard facility, including the electrical wiring and plumbing, hardwood floors, appliances, and even the towel bars. The hallways and stairwells are being built at the modular factory as well. Rooms in the apartment are often assembled as separate modules, e.g. bathrooms, bedrooms, and living room/kitchen could all be separate pieces. The variety of shapes allows for 25 different layouts.
After the unit is stacked in the building, contractors and electricians will connect each apartment’s utilities to the building’s common lines. The exterior sides of the apartments have the facade already attached (see pictures after the jump), and the facade will be “self-sealing” because the pieces fit together with seals between each unit.