08/30/15 9:45am

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Brownstoner featured several view-worthy homes this week, including a nice flip in Bed Stuy and a “pre-construction” building with original details. Readers also flocked to our history-themed posts on Brooklyn’s “Great Mistake,” the saga of Empire Stores, and how Buttermilk Channel got its name.

We also visited the most dilapidated and depressing home in Brooklyn Heights, considered why Kingston and Brooklyn avenues still don’t have bike lanes, and asked “should NYCHA lease land on public sites to private developers?”

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08/29/15 10:30am

This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.

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Many know of Fort Hamilton as a neighborhood in South Brooklyn, but the actual fort is both a historic monument and an active military installation providing support for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. The site has been used for military purposes as far back as 1776 and today, it’s the last active military post in New York City.

Fort Hamilton Community Club photo by Wikipedia. (more…)

08/28/15 4:30pm

4th Avenue Brooklyn news

From Grand Parkway to Canyon of Mediocrity, the Story of Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue [Curbed]
This Haunting Vision Zero Mural Debuted in Park Slope Today [Gothamist]
Souvlaki House Has Peddled Pitas Downtown for 43 Years [BK Paper]
Gentleman Farmer Fort Greene is Open for Dinner and Temporarily BYOB [Fort Greene Focus]
Flashback: Brooklyn Dodgers Pitcher Preacher Roe Meets With Park Slope Fan [Park Slope Stoop]

Photo by Steven Pisano via Flickr

08/28/15 1:00pm

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Brooklyn, one building at a time.

This is one of the oldest houses in Brooklyn Heights. Its place next door to the historic Plymouth Church also assured that a lot of history passed through these doors over the years.

Name: Wood-frame house
Address: 69 Orange Street
Cross Streets: Hicks and Henry streets
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1828
Architectural Style: Federal, with later Victorian add-ons and alterations
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Heights Historic District (1965)

Almost Two Centuries of Architectural Changes

This Federal-style clapboard house has seen a lot of physical changes in its 187-year history. Sometime in the post–Civil War years, someone added another story to the house using a mansard roof.

There were also changes to the windows — which were lengthened — as well as the door and the railings. According to Mrs. Iago Gladston, who lived in the house in 1961, there was also a porch she had removed 24 years before when she and her husband moved in.

That porch would also have been a Victorian-era addition, but Mrs. Gladston didn’t like the way it jutted over the front steps. She was interviewed for a Long Island Historical Society article in 1961.

There was also a house next door, to the left. It was a similar clapboard house that can be seen in old photographs of Plymouth Church. (more…)

60-clarkson

Prospect Lefferts Gardens’ 60 Clarkson has ornate plaster moldings, a courtyard and appalling conditions for those who call it home. Though a private apartment building, 60 Clarkson Avenue is used as emergency housing for homeless families as part of the Giuliani-era cluster-site program. The New York Times reported that the building has racked up hundreds of housing violations — including for mold, cockroach infestations and rats.

Deplored by the de Blasio administration as well as the Department of Investigation, cluster-site housing pays private landlords — in the case of 60 Clarkson, Barry Hers — almost $2,500 a month per family for housing and services. If not used for cluster housing, many of the units in these buildings would be rent-controlled, meaning landlords would receive lower rents from permanent tenants than they currently do from the city for homeless residents.

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08/28/15 12:00pm

This weekend’s open houses are in Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, and Canarsie — with one from Bed Stuy to add a little alphabetical variety to the neighborhood mix.

The most expensive is a three-family brownstone in Clinton Hill asking $3,200,000. The photos aren’t great but they do show a nice-looking back deck. The building’s two 1.5-bedroom rentals have been recently renovated.

The least expensive is a two-family brick home in Canarsie, asking $625,000. It looks to be in very nice shape and has a modern kitchen.

In between is a three-unit flipped townhouse with vinyl siding in Crown Heights, asking $1,200,000, and a two-family townhouse in Bed Stuy for $1,499,000.

227 Gates Avenue Clinton Hill Brooklyn

227 Gates Avenue in Clinton Hill
Price: $3,200,000
Broker: Sowers Real Estate
Sunday 1 to 3 p.m.
Photo via Sowers Real Estate (more…)

08/28/15 11:30am

Six months later, two out of four listings have sold. The Flatbush Victorian on East 18th Street got exactly asking, and the Crown Heights number on Lincoln Place went for $60,000 over ask.

The stunning (and sideways) Clinton Hill home was taken off the market back in June, and the second Crown Heights townhouse, on Bergen Street, is in contract.

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08/28/15 11:00am

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Photo via Brotherhood Winery

There’s no burying the lede when booze is involved, so let’s cut to the chase: The Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival is almost here. During September, the Festival takes up residence at the Dutchess County fairgrounds for a weekend and offers a glimpse of the best of food and drink the Hudson Valley has to offer.

If you know the Hudson Valley at all, you know that wine is a big deal up here. Not only is the Hudson Valley home to the oldest continuously operating winery in the country (Brotherhood Winery in Orange County, depicted above), it has been growing grapes long before the Napa Valley became synonymous with the concept of American wine. The French Huguenots, who moved to the Hudson Valley to escape religious persecution at the hands of Louis XIV, started grape growing back in the 15th century and to this day, wine remains one of the region’s biggest draws.

Let’s dive into a few favorite regional wineries, and if these leave you thirsting for more, check out the HV Wine & Food Festival in September.

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08/28/15 10:30am

Bushwick Mural House 140 Central Avenue

Bushwick’s mural-covered house at 104 Central Avenue, which seems to have launched a trend of colorful facades in Bushwick, has been sold as a development site and will be razed. The sale closed last week for $1,285,000 but has not yet hit public records.

Seller and local business owner Jeremy Sapienza was fed up with Bushwick and saw opportunity in soaring property values. He and partner Luis Velazquez plan to close the last of their two Florida-style Bushwick cafes Sunday, they announced via Facebook Wednesday.

“We’re closing because I haven’t made a dime in two years, Bushwick is a nightmare on earth full of obnoxious yuppie brats, and I’m tired. Maybe that’s not a nice angle, haha,” Sapienza told Brownstoner. (more…)