07/31/15 1:00pm

1513-1519 Pacific St. ChrisDBrazee for LPC 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

It’s human nature to get tired of the same thing – even in architecture. By the mid-1880s, the new Queen Anne style was beginning to change Brooklyn’s streetscape. In Crown Heights North, these were some of the first.

Name: Row houses
Address: 1513-1519 Pacific Street
Cross Streets: Kingston and Albany avenues
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1886
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: William H. Burhans
Other works by architect: 354-356 Stuyvesant Heights, as well as other wood-frame and masonry houses in Brownstone Brooklyn.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Phase III of the Crown Heights North Historic District (2015)

The growth of a new architectural style

American Queen Anne style architecture has nothing to do with the reign of England’s Queen Anne (1702-1714). British architect Richard Norman Shaw introduced “Old English” flair to his contemporary buildings in Victorian England, and the style was adapted by American architect Henry H. Richardson.

Everyone else learned from Richardson and took it from there. Queen Anne design became a very distinctive and wholly American style. It is characterized by a massing of shapes, textures and materials, varied rooflines, and a free borrowing of past styles used in previously unheard-of combinations.

Here, in the earliest group of Queen Anne style houses in Phase III of the Crown Heights North Historic District, architect William H. Burhans uses elements of the earlier Italianate and Neo-Grec styles, and mixes them with other classical details. (more…)

07/31/15 12:00pm

There’s not a brownstone in the bunch among our open house picks this week. Instead there’s a 1917 neo-Colonial number in Albemarle-Kenmore Terrace, an Arts and Crafts home in Windsor Terrace, a brick row house in Crown Heights and a limestone in East Flatbush.

The Windsor Terrace house, a single-family, is the most expensive of the bunch, at $2,400,000. It’s a looker, though, and newly renovated, with plum and cherry trees in the back and a columned porch. It’s on a prime block, too.

The one in Albemarle-Kenmore Terrace looks more Philadelphia than Flatbush, with its brick facade, shutters and mansard roof with dormer windows. At three stories, it’s got five bedrooms, and details including leaded glass transoms, wainscoting, plaster moldings, stained glass skylights, original banisters, and herringbone parquet floors.

Moving over to Crown Heights, we’ve got a large one: 4,000 square feet spread over five floors — at least if you count the finished basement. It’s all brand new, though the renovators left the back yard untouched, so it remains in a “rustic” condition.

Last up, our East Flatbush pick is the cheapest of the lot at $799,000, which reflects not only the location but its need for a makeover. There’s period detail to be uncovered there, though, including coffered ceilings, wall moldings and gold-leaf lettering on the front door.


43 Howard Place in Windsor Terrace
Price: $2,400,000
Broker: Corcoran
Sunday 12 to 2 p.m.
Photo by Corcoran (more…)

07/31/15 11:31am


Sponsored By MySpaceNYC.

865 Greene offers 2, 3, and 4-bedroom unites in Stuyvesant Heights, one of Brooklyn's many up-and-coming neighborhoods.

Created By BlankSlate

Stuyvesant Heights was one of the two main villages that were merged to form Bedford-Stuyvesant, along with (you guessed it) Bedford. Stuyvesant Heights is known for its outstanding architecture, including 19th-century rowhouses that have retained many of their original features. The neighborhood’s historic district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and expanded in 1996.

This neighborhood is also home to 865 Greene Avenue, a renovated residence with available two-, three-, and four-bedroom rentals. All units at 865 Greene feature hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and that dream of the New York apartment: a washer and dryer in-unit. The beautiful building is pet-friendly and even has a shared backyard. (more…)

07/31/15 11:11am

Main_Street,_Cold_Spring_NY daniel case

Main Street, Cold Spring. Photo by Daniel Case via Wikipedia

In theory, the thought of escaping to a faraway place seems pretty attractive. In practice, however, it could mean long drives (bordering on interminable with traffic) and more time away from home.

Want to stay within two hours of Brooklyn? Then two quaint villages await your perusal: Cold Spring in Putnam County, and Cornwall-on-Hudson in Orange County.

Cold Spring is your best bet in terms of travel. Take the Metro-North to the Cold Spring station which sits right in the center of town, at the bottom of Main Street.

The whole trip takes a little over an hour. From there, you can cab it to your accommodations. Drive time takes approximately one hour and 45 minutes.


07/31/15 10:48am


So here’s a little nice little story to go with your morning coffee. You know One Brooklyn Bridge Park? That big condominium complex in an old printing factory between Pier 5 and Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park? Where a two-bedroom apartment costs about $2,500,000?

Hallways full of poop.

According to the New York Times, there are around 175 dogs that live in the building, and dog feces is a persistent problem. An incident report for December tallied up 52 occurrences:

…a mix of diarrhea, feces, urine and vomit: found on virtually every floor including the main lobby and north and south lobbies; found in all five elevators and with the staff cleanup time ranging from 10 to 50 minutes (average time roughly 20 minutes) per incident. (more…)

07/31/15 10:08am

Bushwick residents packed a town hall meeting convened by a local community group to push for affordable housing at the massive Rheingold Brewery development in Bushwick. City Council Member Antonio Reynoso called on developer Rabsky to live up to a 2013 promise made by its predecessor, developer Read Property, to include affordable housing.

The former industrial space, which is being redeveloped as apartments and shops, covers about 10 city blocks close to Flushing and Bushwick avenues. However, the protest may be much ado about nothing.

Rabsky already said in June it has every intention of including affordable housing in its developments. The community group, the Rheingold Construction Committee, apparently isn’t buying it.  (more…)


Twin apartment buildings designed by prolific Queens-based architect Gerald Caliendo are rising at 9 and 11 Orient Avenue in East Williamsburg. The site was previously home to a 19th century Italianate wood-frame house and garage.

Like the development now sweeping Flatbush, many apartment buildings have replaced older frame houses on large lots in this section of East Williamsburg in the last decade. The most notable to meet the wrecking ball was a Second Empire mansion on the same block at 59 Orient Avenue that starred in the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” then was taken over by squatters.

The film’s director, Michael Gondry, reportedly lived on the block, but didn’t save it. It was demolished in 2010 and is now an eight-unit rental building. (more…)

07/31/15 8:30am


Brooklyn Academy of Music Announces $25 Million Project to Link Three Spaces [NY Times]
BP Adams Announces Millions to Overhaul Brooklyn War Memorial, Parks [Eagle]
Landmarked Former 68th Precinct in Sunset Park Nabbed for $6 Million [Observer]
Yet Another Co-Working Space Will Open in Brooklyn—This Time in Sunset Park [Crain’s]
Revealed: Baltic Huis, Boerum Hill Hotel at 489 Baltic Street [NYY]
REIT Boston Properties Considering More Brooklyn Development in Wake of Navy Yard Project [TRD]

Wood frame with red door on Ainslie Street in Williamsburg.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

07/30/15 4:46pm


Reminder: Brooklyn’s “Hipster Havens” Are Indeed Poisonous [Gothamist]
Brooklyn Staycation: A Day in Fort Greene [Sheepshead Bites]
What Comes Next for the Changing Coney Island Boardwalk? [Curbed]
Go Foraging in Prospect Park Saturday [Park Slope Stoop]
A Brooklyn Brewery Founder Shares the Best Advice He Ever Got [Biz Insider]
Meet Brooklyn’s Fearless Hasidic Dog Walker [Gothamist]

Photo by Linh Nguyen via Flickr

07/30/15 4:36pm


On the same day as a scheduled public hearing about the controversial plan to build two residential towers at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6, the corporation responsible for the park released via Crain’s an economic report that claims that income from the proposed towers are necessary for the park’s financial future.

Critics of the plan are not thrilled about the report’s timing or its findings.

The 35-page study by Barbara Byrne Denham, an economist at the real estate research firm REIS, is a challenge to digest in an afternoon before heading off to the community meeting. But one thing stood out: Denham writes that the predictions about the success of two other developments under way in the park, Empire Stores and 1Hotel, are overly optimistic.

“I believe Empire Stores will likely not lease up its space in two years nor earn the rents the model assumes,” writes Denham, adding that the stores “will not get the foot traffic in winter months that it needs to earn a strong profit.”

Yikes. That can’t be easy for the developers behind Empire Stores to hear. They’re like the oldest kid being pushed aside when the new baby comes along. (more…)

07/30/15 3:00pm


A poster in the Forum writes:

New landlord of a two-family here. What do other landlords of small, owner-occupied buildings do when they’re out of town? What is the contingency plan if something urgent comes up? Is there such a thing as a temporary management company that can be on-call, or do you ask a friend be on-call, etc.?

The answer may be more complicated than you think. To see the advice or help out, click through to the post here.

Have answers? Need help with something? Visit the Brownstoner Forum.

07/30/15 2:00pm


The state Economic Development Corporation is holding a hearing tonight on the plan to build a pair of residential towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park — and both opponents and supporters of the plan will be out in force.

As we’ve covered previously, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation needs a modification of the park’s General Project Plan to move forward with proposed affordable housing in the planned 31- and 15-story towers. Community Board 2 approved the modification earlier this month; this hearing is the next step in the approval process. (more…)