05/29/15 4:02pm

Bushwick Open Studios

It’s that time of year again: Bushwick Open Studios, one of the largest open studio events in the country, kicks off on Friday, June 5 and runs through Sunday, June 7. The event, organized by Arts in Bushwick and now in its ninth year, is a chance for anyone to visit artists in their studios, see new work and learn more about the arts community in Bushwick.

In addition to open studios, several events take place throughout the weekend. The launch party and Seeking Space exhibition — the official group show of the open studio event — begins at 8 pm on Friday, June 5 at Be Electric at 1298 Willoughby Avenue.

The family-friendly Community Day event takes place on Saturday, June 6 starting at 11 am at Maria Hernandez Park. There will be visual arts, dance, hip hop, spoken word, theater, performance art and more.


05/29/15 3:00pm

978 Bushwick Ave, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Freestanding house
Address: 978 Bushwick Avenue
Cross Streets: Greene and Grove streets
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1887
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: Theobald Engelhardt
Other works by architect: Ulmer Brewery office, Cook Mansion, Arion Hall, and numerous freestanding and row houses, tenements, factories, breweries, churches and other buildings in Bushwick, eastern Bedford Stuyvesant and Williamsburg
Landmarked: No

The story: Theobald Engelhardt designed this family home for Ernst Schlueter in 1887. At the time, it was an ideal suburban retreat for this wealthy Manhattan grocer. Schlueter had come to New York from Germany in the early 1850s, along with so many of his countrymen, everyone fleeing Germany’s civil war.

He established a grocery at 28 Chrystie Street in Manhattan in 1855, and became very successful. In 1887 he retired, and he and his wife moved to the German community of Bushwick to relax after their years of hard work and saving.

Schlueter retained Engelhardt, the go-to architect for Bushwick’s German community. He designed a handsome, stand-alone four-story townhouse in the Queen Anne style. The house is made of brick and brownstone, with a shingled mansard roof, a beautiful cornice beneath that, and a solid, no-frills home below. (more…)

05/29/15 2:15pm


We are proud to announce that Brownstoner Update now includes listings from Houlihan Lawrence, the venerable real estate brokerage specializing in Westchester, Fairfield, Putnam, and Dutchess counties. This is a significant enhancement to Brownstoner Upstate’s real estate marketplace. Houlihan Lawrence has over 1,200 agents working out of 30 offices across four counties.

Whether you’re considering a move upstate or just looking for a country retreat, our selection of listings just got a lot bigger. Click through for a selection of some choice Houlihan Lawrence properties currently listed on Brownstoner Upstate. (more…)

05/29/15 1:51pm

Looking for an updated house with details that isn’t a flip? Look no further than our four Open House Picks this week.

Two are in Carroll Gardens, including an Italianate brownstone and a Greek Revival brick that is probably a few decades older than the 1882 date given in the listing.  A bow-fronted house in Crown Heights offers a wood-burning fireplace, and a similar bow-fronted house dating from 1911 is on the market in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

They all look to be in decent condition, and many have 20th century improvements as well as original details. The kitchens and baths in the PLG house could use an update, according to the listing. The Clinton Street brownstone has a ground-floor commercial space.

4109 Clinton street1

410 Clinton Street in Carroll Gardens
Broker: Vandenberg
Price: $3,200,000
Friday 12:00-1:30
Photo by Vandenberg (more…)

05/29/15 12:38pm

There wasn’t a ton of action on the Open House Picks that were on the market six months ago.

The standout pick of the bunch, a Park Slope brownstone that was chock full of details and nicely renovated, sold, but for nearly $300,000 below the asking price. The Gowanus house is in contract and the other two were taken off the market.

(The owners of the Williamsburg house changed their minds about selling two weeks in, according to the broker.)

We’re going to chalk up the sleepy results to the Thanksgiving holiday and the market lull that usually hits around this time. What do you think?


Open House Picks 11/21/14 [Brownstoner]

05/29/15 11:00am


 Olana in Hudson, Frederic Church’s studio and home in Hudson. Photo by Rolf Müller via Wikimedia Commons

Nary a week goes by that doesn’t include a mention in the press about Hudson, N.Y. Why, earlier this month, Jetsetter.com included Hudson River city in its top 10 Coolest Towns. In Niche’s rankings, Hudson is in the top 23 best towns to raise a family in New York, certainly a far cry from its origins as a rough-and-tumble whaling town and Hudson Valley’s infamous red-light district.

With all the attention paid to its antique stores, galleries, restaurants, sauerkrauteries, and music venues, we sometimes forget that there’s a whole Columbia County outside of Hudson that’s pretty darn spectacular, especially in the summertime.


05/29/15 10:55am

89 Grand Street1

A radical change is in the works for the building replacing Theobald Engelhardt’s 1885 Palace Rink at 89 Grand Street in Williamsburg. The design has been completely rethought, and renderings first published by NY YIMBY show a completely different building from the one posted on the construction fence. Also, now the project is technically an alteration, not a new building.

While the old rendering was fine, the new renderings show a much more innovative design that capitalizes on the existing building and the site’s history. A new steel and glass building appears to rise through the ruins of the previous structure.

This makes much more sense to us than completely demolishing Theobald Engelhardt’s attractive and historic building and replacing it with a completely new simulation of a generic historic Soho-style commercial building, which was the previous plan. (more…)

05/29/15 9:54am


The lack of affordable housing in a city where rents are skyrocketing is a full-blown crisis that threatens to tear at the city’s social fabric, a panel of four local experts agreed Monday, at a discussion hosted by the Museum of the City of New York.

“We need to preserve the diversity and vitality that makes New York what it is, and I’m worried that escalating housing costs are threatening that very vitality and diversity,” said panelist Ingrid Gould Ellen, director of the Urban Planning Program at NYU Wagner.

The panel, held as part of the museum’s current exhibition on the history of the city’s Landmarks Law, was called “Preserving the Fabric of Our Neighborhoods” – though moderator Simeon Bankoff, executive director of preservation advocacy group Historic Districts Council, suggested at the outset that an alternative title could be “Surviving Our Own Success.”

Several decades ago, the conversation would have been about a fleeing populace and vacant buildings, he noted. Michelle de la Uz, executive director of Brooklyn nonprofit community organization Fifth Avenue Committee, recalled that she “started in Park Slope when there were many abandoned buildings and vacant lots. Obviously now the neighborhood is a very different place.”

The panel broke down the current picture: spiking rents, a burgeoning population that’s expected to grow further, an influx of global capital that’s helping drive prices up and, in the midst of those trends, a declining number of rent-stabilized housing units.

It makes for a “double whammy,” noted Ellen, who said 200,000 rent-stabilized units were lost between 2002 and 2011. (more…)

05/29/15 9:27am


Brownstoner reader brooklynverni snapped these dramatic photos Thursday of an excavator demolishing one of Bed Stuy’s oldest buildings, the pre-Civil War Carpenter Gothic church at 809 Jefferson Avenue. Demo for the St. Stephen and St. Martin Episcopal Church started in January.

Features such as the building’s stained glass and pews were removed, the interior was stripped bare, and then nothing much seemed to be happening for a couple of months. (more…)

05/29/15 9:02am


Developers Go Crazy for Office Conversions of Brooklyn Industrial Properties [NY Daily News]
Dumbo Heights Signs Dig Inn, Dos Toros, Untamed Sandwiches [NY Daily News]
Two Trees Announces New Ground-Floor Spaces for Dumbo Art Galleries [Eagle]
Promenade Gardens Partially Displaced for WiFi Equipment [Eagle]
City Reneges on Decade-Old Promise to Buy 11-Acre Site for Williamsburg Park [Crain’s]
Long-Stalled Condo Building in Kensington Launches Sales [Curbed]
Construction Update: St. Ann’s Warehouse at 45 Water Street in Dumbo [NYY]
Bergen Beach Multifamily Complex Asking $58 Million [TRD]
Heritage Equity Partners Plans 144-Key Hotel in Bushwick [TRD]
Ramps Between Williamsburg Bridge and BQE to Close Partially This Weekend [DNA]
American Restaurant Myrtle + Gold and Starbucks Open on Myrtle Avenue [DNA]

Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
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Photo by Cate Corcoran