Today is a big day for the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront. The City Council planned to vote earlier today on the 10-tower Greenpoint Landing complex, and the full board of Community Board One is voting tonight on Two Trees’ Domino proposal.
The City Council has set a date of December 19 for its postponed vote on 77 Commercial Street to give Council Member Steve Levin more time to try to broker an agreement with developer The Chetrit Group.
The photo above shows the area where Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street would be located.
Name: Laboratory and Administration Building, now Administration Building and Visitor’s Center, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Address: 1000 Washington Avenue (Mailing address, also used for the Steinhardt Conservatory, a past BOTD) Cross Streets: Corner of Crown Street Neighborhood: Crown Heights South Year Built: 1912 Architectural Style: Tuscan Revival Architect: William Kendell of McKim, Mead & White Other buildings by architect: Municipal Building, Manhattan Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (2007)
The story: When Prospect Park was first conceived in the 1850s, it was supposed to include the land that now makes up most of Prospect Heights, as well as Mount Prospect, where the Brooklyn city reservoir was. It also included the land in between the reservoir and Grand Army Plaza. That includes the land upon which now stand the Main Branch of the Brooklyn Library, the Brooklyn Museum and the Botanic Gardens. As we all know, Olmsted and Vaux changed those plans, (see today’s Walkabout) and the city held onto the land where these great institutions now stand.
A grand Botanic Garden had long been in the city’s plans too, but Prospect Park became such an expensive and all-consuming project that nothing was done and the Botanic Garden’s fields became literally, an ash dump. Finally, in 1897, as the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Science saw their enormous building going up, today’s Brooklyn Museum, the State Legislature approved saving 39 acres of land adjoining the Institute for the creation of a Botanic Garden. But then Brooklyn was consolidated into Greater New York City a year later, and plans were put on hold.
In 1909, an agreement between the Brooklyn Institute and the newish City of New York was finalized, and the Gardens could proceed. It didn’t hurt that philanthropist Alfred Tredway White, of Riverside Apartment fame, donated significant funds to building a scientific garden, either. The firm of McKim, Mead & White was called on to design the laboratory, administration building, and greenhouses for the Gardens. That illustrious firm’s work was already in the area, seen in the design of the Institute building, as well as the design of the park entrance at nearby Grand Army Plaza. The Olmsted Brothers, the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, were commissioned to design the gardens themselves. (more…)
Dunkin’ Donuts is everywhere, and soon that will include Clinton Hill at the corner of Myrtle and Grand. It’ll be interesting to see how they make over this spot, which is located at 513 Myrtle Avenue. Thanks to a tipster for sending in the photo. GMAP
It’s not often we see a house in Williamsburg with any details left, but this one has some. There’s a mantel, a tin ceiling, and some wood door and windows moldings. We’re not sure what’s going on with the brick bas-relief walls in the living room, but it’s probably removable textured panelling covering up the plaster.
The listing says “bring your architect immediately,” which sounds a little bit dire. Only 16 feet wide, the house is set up as a three-family. The listing says the mechanicals have been updated. There are no pictures of the kitchens or baths.
Do you think it’s an interesting renovation opportunity for an ask of $1,155,000?
This new listing in the Clinton Hill Co-ops is either a big one-bedroom or a small two-bedroom, depending on how you’d use the dining nook. Despite being on the second floor, the apartment seems bright and the kitchen has been modernized (though not exactly lavishly). The maintenance is $837 and the asking price is $399,000.
You don’t see many unconverted lofts on the market in Brooklyn these days, but this 2,500-square-foot two-bedroom pad in Clinton Hill seems like the real deal. Although it’s currently configured as a two-bedroom, renters could probably build out an extra bedroom or two to offset the cost.
There are some very high tin ceilings and large, wonderful banks of windows. The kitchen and bathroom both look pretty standard for a rental, and the kitchen has nice dark wood cabinets and a dishwasher. Given the amount of space, the price doesn’t seem too bad. It also sits next to the now-vacant Clinton Hill legend, the Broken Angel (visible at the far left of the exterior photo).
There might be a catch, though: The loft is in fact so authentic it seems to still be classified as a factory rather than residential, according to PropertyShark. What appears to be its most recent certificate of occupancy dates from the 1950s and is for two factories. What do you think of it for $4,200 a month?
For years, we’ve been dying to go to the house tour in Newburgh, N.Y., called the Candlelight Tour, and this year we finally did. A few years ago, we’d heard of Newburgh because we read the blog Door Sixteen, but we didn’t know anything about it. One day we were tagging along with a friend who had business in town, and were simply agog when we stepped out of the car. The streets are like an outdoor house museum, with picture postcard examples of different architectural styles spanning the 18th through the early 20th century.
Newburgh’s perch overlooking the Hudson makes it extremely scenic as well as important militarily. It was a key spot during the Revolutionary War (George Washington’s house there is now a museum) and it became a fancy resort town in the late 19th century. It fell on hard times about 90 years later. Its history has been well documented here and here by the blog Big Old Houses.
The house tour, which took place Sunday, was brimming with friendly folks, above, all of whom seemed to know each other and have interesting stories to tell about their houses. We wish we could have stayed for hours more. We highly recommend the tour — and lunch at the always delicious Mexican restaurant the Maya Cafe in nearby Fishkill. Has anyone else attended the tour? Click through to the jump for tons of pictures. (more…)
In 1859, a commission was formed by the New York State Legislature, charged with finding locations for parks in the rapidly expanding city of Brooklyn. James S. T. Stranahan, a wealthy Brooklyn businessman, was president of this Brooklyn Board of Park Commissioners. Washington Park, in Fort Greene, was the city’s first park, but the city needed more. They wanted the equivalent of Central Park, the enormous greensward which had just been completed across the river in Manhattan. The commission wanted something big, and after looking at six different locations, they thought they had just the place for it.
The glacier that cut through Long Island millennia before had left a terminal moraine that sliced through central Brooklyn, creating its highest points. One of them was Mount Prospect, the site of the city’s main reservoir and its water supply. Nearby was Battle Pass, the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, during the Revolutionary War. What a great place for a park for the people, a landscaped reserve that would protect and celebrate these important locations. The park would also protect the reservoir from being surrounded by too much development. The eastern portion of the park, surrounding Battle Pass, would be perfect for attracting wealthy people to a new upscale neighborhood that could be built for them. It was perfect. (more…)
Demo started Friday for the crumbling wood clad house on Smith Street, neighborhood blog Pardon Me For Asking reported. As you may recall, the three-story mixed-use building at 159 Smith Street between Wyckoff and Bergen recently filed permits for a two-story addition, and PMFA feared its intact facade would soon meet the wrecking ball.
No permits have been filed for complete demolition of the building, meaning that the foundation and party walls or some other aspect of the building could be preserved. The house stood for over a hundred years and retained its cornice and the detail around the windows.
Click through to PMFA for some really good photos of the work in process.