When we think of Prohibition today, it’s remembered as a time when the nation disastrously toyed with a powerful experiment in social engineering. Banning alcoholic beverages seems ridiculous today. No doubt people thought so then, too, and were shocked when it actually happened.
Between 1920 and 1933, alcohol was illegal in the United States. The effects were devastating not only to consumers, but to businesses.
Across the country, breweries, distilleries, wine and spirits merchants, restaurants, saloons and bars went out of business by the thousands.Organized crime, based on bootlegging, grew and flourished.
The country went dry on January 17, 1920. By November of that year, the Bedford Rest was finished. Although the Rest had been running out of steam for years, Prohibition was the final nail in its coffin. (more…)
This one-bedroom co-op at 540 44th Street in Sunset Park has an open and airy feel, with a dining room as well as a living room and lots of windows. The combined living and dining space is a massive 23 feet long.
There are also original details such as hardwood floors, high ceilings, moldings, built-ins and French doors. Interestingly, the apartment also has an old wall safe that apparently has never been opened — at least not by the current residents. (more…)
Pioneer Works is Red Hook’s answer to the Dia Art Foundation, a place where anyone can wander in off the street, take off their shoes, and perhaps even lie down on the cool concrete floors to contemplate the art and the soaring ceiling and exposed beams of the former industrial space.
If you’ve never visited the Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation before, you’re in for a treat and a surprise. Located in a former industrial space with an open garage door on a side street in Red Hook, inside you’ll find a sprawling complex with resident artists and scientists at work, galleries with art work on display, an extensive library of arts-related publications, and a well-maintained flower garden with sculpture outside.
There are even drinks and food for sale, if you time your visit right. All in all, it’s a pleasant place to chill on a hot afternoon. (more…)
Rocket Factory Lofts is shaking up Williamsburg’s rental market. Located in the neighborhood’s vibrant Southside area, the property offers industrial-chic lofts in a former rocket and plane parts factory. (How cool is that?)
The pre-war building has had many incarnations over the years. Built in 1910 as a Gretsch musical instrument factory, the seven-story building also served as the headquarters of the Interstate Electric Novelty Company in the 1920s. Fun fact: they developed the first portable electric flashlight there in 1923.
Rocket Factory Lofts underwent an extensive renovation after it was purchased by Meadow Partners in 2014. Although they were careful to preserve the property’s historic character, the developer outfitted the turn-of-the-century factory with marble hallways and a glass-paneled elevator. (more…)
Workers are wrapping up the foundation at a small but attractive apartment building going up at 170 South 1st Street in south Williamsburg. We expect these will be condos and walls will be rising soon.
Permits approved in July call for a five-story building with seven apartments over ground-floor stores. The architect is Nataliya Donskoy of ND Architecture & Design, a former Robert Scarano protege who is building a reputation for better-than-average design with an average budget.
This particular building is a variation on a motif Donskoy has used elsewhere in Williamsburg: A building housed within a geometric frame.
The rendering we found on the fence is new, although the design does not appear to have changed. (more…)
Artisanal coffee purveyor Brooklyn Roasting Company is about to move into a newly renovated building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Brownstoner got a sneak peek of Building 123, a former power plant built in 1900 that is now part of the Yard’s Green Manufacturing Center. Brooklyn Roasting Company will soon transform the entire 32,852 square foot industrial space into a haven for the coffee-obsessed.
Company co-founder Michael Pollack told Brownstoner, “What we work with is the original power plant — coffee trees and beans. So this is the perfect place for us to call home.”
The building will serve as a centralized location for the company’s roasting, packaging, and distribution process, which is currently spread across BRC’s two existing Brooklyn locations.
After many years stuck in development, the BAM Cultural District is starting to take shape as several towers in the master plan start to rise. One of the farthest along, BAM North Site 1, at 250 Ashland Place, has fewer than 10 floors to go before topping out at 52 stories.
Developed by a partnership between the Gotham Organization and DT Salazar along with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation on city-owned land, it will offer a significant amount of affordable housing and cultural programming.
FXFOWLE is designing the 568-foot tower, which features a bundle of rectangular volumes clad in glass and bricks of different color to distinguish the separate extruded forms. Bricks on the central volume facing Fulton Street are dark maroon, while the tower elements facing Ashland Place and Rockwell Place are light tan. (more…)
We recently completed a reno and had all the radiators in our unit and the rental unit painted with oil-based Rustoleum paint.
I’m expecting them to smell the first time the radiators come on. Does anyone know with this brand / type of paint exactly what to expect, e.g. should we leave the apartment when the heat first comes on, how long will it take for the smell to dissipate, etc etc.
And, if it’s bad enough that we can’t be in the house overnight, how should I handle this with my tenants? (more…)
Many famous Brooklyn streets were named after powerful and influential New York residents of the 19th century. And many of these are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery. The famous resting spot will host a trolley tour of these famous figures who lent their names to our borough’s streets:
Bergen, Schermerhorn, Martense, Havemeyer, Berry, Tompkins…to New Yorkers, these are household names. They grace our roads, our subway stations, and our parks.
Our neighborhoods evolve over time, and a building built for one use can be repurposed for something the builders never would have imagined.
Name: Row houses, then funeral parlor, now Zen temple Address:500 State Street Cross Streets: Nevins Street and 3rd Avenue Neighborhood: Boerum Hill Year Built: Probably 1850s Architectural Style: Originally Anglo-Italianate Architect: Unknown Landmarked: No
Boerum Hill is one of Brooklyn’s older row house neighborhoods. The houses on these blocks represent development taking place from the 1840s until about 1870.
492-500 State Street — originally a group of five 15 foot wide houses — was probably built in the late 1850s to early 1860s, when the Anglo-Italianate style of architecture had a brief popularity.
These were the first “English basement” houses, with low stoops, leading into an ornate reception area and the central stairs. The kitchen and mechanicals were also down here behind closed doors. Guests would go upstairs to the parlor level. Above that were the bedrooms floors and private parlors.
498 and 500 State Street were combined in 1924 to create the State Street Chapel. Up until the early decades of the 20th century, funerals were generally held at home.