10/06/15 8:30am

Clinton Hill church on Washington Ave

Crown Heights Residents Beat Eviction, But Worry About the Consequences [Crain’s]
New York Landmark Panel Acts to Clear Backlog [WSJ]
Residents: Kensington Building Super’s Body Cam Is an Invasion of Privacy [CBS]
Why Are French Guys Dressing Like They’re From Brooklyn? [Vogue]
Permits Filed: 88 Linden Boulevard in Flatbush [NYY]
City Backtracks on Vow to Open a New Middle School in Dumbo, Parents Say [DNA]

[Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill | Photo: Cate Corcoran]

10/05/15 4:30pm

Verrazano Bridge Brooklyn

Beloved Owner of Tom’s Diner Gets Street Co-Naming [BK Reader]
Welcome to The Hole, John Gotti’s Rustic Body-Dumping Ground [Gothamist]
Brooklyn Pour Brought Local and Far-Flung Brews to Greenpoint [Greenpointers]
City Fixing Bay Ridge Intersection Decades After High-Profile Traffic Deaths [BK Paper]
District Manager Unearths List of Demolitions [Q at Parkside]

[Verrazano Bridge | Photo: Mitzgami via Flickr]

10/05/15 3:00pm

NYC Water Bill -- Metered or Flat Rate?

One of our readers owns an eight-unit building and is debating whether to pay a flat or metered rate for the water bill.

Brownstoner reader Shamrock writes:

I have a building with 8 one bedroom apartments occupied by young couples. At the moment I am paying $8,000 a year in flat rate billing by NYC DEP. There are no washing machines in the building, and the plumbing is new. Should I be on metered billing, or am I just as well off paying the flat rate?

What’s the best option here? A couple of commenters have voted for metered, but what do you think? Chime in on the original post.

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

10/05/15 2:00pm

Bed Stuy Alive

Bed Stuy Alive! kicks off its 11th annual daylong celebration of the Central Brooklyn neighborhood’s diversity this month. The one-day festival on Saturday, October 10, will be followed by a week’s worth of community events.

The kickoff event will take place between Brooklyn and New York avenues, an appropriate sandwiching of streets analogous to the festival’s representation of Brooklyn and New York’s communities rich with culture. An opening ceremony will honor local NYPD officers working out of the 81st and 79th precincts with the Tohma Y. Faulkner Awards for service, DNA reported. (more…)

10/05/15 1:00pm

Greenpoint Brooklyn -- 138 Milton St Thomas C. Smith House History

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

This free-standing mansion was home to Thomas C. Smith, who also designed and built it. Smith was one of Greenpoint’s important residents — an accomplished architect-builder and successful businessman.

Name: Former Thomas C. Smith house, now Greenpoint Reformed Church
Address: 138 Milton Street
Cross Streets: Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue
Neighborhood: Greenpoint
Year Built: 1866-67
Architectural Style: Federal, Greek revival, with embellishments
Architect: Thomas C. Smith
Other Buildings by Architect: 111, 117, 119-129 Milton Street, as well as most of the rest of the south side of Milton Street
Landmarked: Yes, part of Greenpoint Historic District (1982)

Thomas C. Smith was a man blessed with both talent and business savvy. He was born in Bridgehampton, Long Island, in 1816. He came to NYC as a young man and was a builder’s apprentice for several years. In 1830, he went out on his own as a builder.

Most builders of that day were their own architects, and Smith was no different. He established a fine business that would lead to Brooklyn. He retired from building in 1863.

The Union Porcelain Works

In the course of Smith’s business he had acquired a small pottery company at 300 Eckford Street as payment for a debt. Due in part to the ongoing Civil War, the firm was in bad financial shape. They had been in business since 1854, mostly producing porcelain doorknobs.

Smith was ready for a new challenge, so he went to France and England to investigate porcelain factories there. He got quite an education and learned the porcelain industry in full. (more…)

10/05/15 12:00pm

Park Slope House for Sale -- 882 Carroll Street

Up for viewing today is a Park Slope limestone on a prime park block, at 882 Carroll Street. There are many a grand home on those park blocks — this one fits the bill and is in pristine condition to boot.

Parlor floor details include a pair of fireplaces, moldings, pocket doors, wainscoting, stained glass, triple bay windows and gleaming parquet floors with inlays. It should be noted that the staircase, per the listing, “has been artfully refashioned to create a voluminous eclectic gestalt.” What that means we couldn’t tell you, but we’re passing it along. (more…)