Learn about gardening and food policy at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend during its 33rd annual Making Brooklyn Bloom conference. The event, which is free with admission to the garden, includes workshops, networking lunches for gardeners and urban famers, walking tours and gardening how-tos. Workshops will cover topics like composting, soil contamination, nature walks and kitchen botany.
Attendees can take a seasonal guided walking tour of the gardens, visit the Rotunda and learn how to build an indoor terrarium. The conference will take place from 10 am to 4 pm, with workshops starting at 11 am and 3 pm. You can register the day of, and BBG suggests you arrive early to reserve space in your preferred workshops. Check out the full schedule here on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website.
Name: Row houses Address: 175-183 6th Avenue Cross Streets: Lincoln and Berkeley places Neighborhood: Park Slope Year Built: 1889 Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival Architect: Frederick B. Langston Other work by architect: Row houses on Hancock Street, Bedford Stuyvesant. With frequent partner Magnus Dahlander – row houses, flats buildings in Crown Heights North, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Bedford Stuyvesant and Stuyvesant Heights. Landmarked: Yes, part of Park Slope HD (1973)
The story: As we should all know by now, the vast majority of Brooklyn’s row house stock was built as speculative housing. A developer, usually a small local operator, would buy several plots of land and build houses, which were then sold to eager customers. In the final quarter of the 19th century, neighborhoods like Park Slope, Bedford and Stuyvesant Heights took off, growing as fast as buildings could be built, with only a few economic hiccups slowing it down to reality every once in a while. Between 1875 and 1900, the air in the Brooklyn was filled with the sounds of shovels, hammers and saws, and the shouts of men as they built.
I find walking our blocks fascinating because of the mixture of periods and styles. As fast as the building activity was, it did not progress street by street. Developers could only buy land that was available for sale at the time. So we see blocks of Italianate brownstones from the early 1870s, groups of Neo-Grecs from ten years later, houses of the Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne styles, and Renaissance Revival and Colonial Revival often all appearing in close proximity. You could have 35 years of urban row housing on the same block or two. That’s what makes Brooklyn so beautiful and so much fun to walk around.
This group is a fine example. The houses in the middle of the block, numbers 185 to 191 are Italianates, built in 1874-75. This group of houses, which make up the rest of the block, is in the Romanesque Revival style, designed by Frederick B. Langston, and built for developer James A. Bills in 1889, fifteen years later. They are quite different in style, as you can see. F.B. Langston was quite a busy man. He was designing houses on his own, and in 1891, went into a one year partnership with Swedish architect Magnus Dahlander.
On his own, or with Dahlander, Langston was building some of Brooklyn’s finest housing stock. Their row of houses on Bainbridge Street, between Lewis and Stuyvesant, in Stuyvesant Heights, is one of the very best in the city, and Langston’s large row houses on Hancock Street, between Nostrand and Marcy, in Bedford, are equally as magnificent. Langston doesn’t often make the architectural pantheon because he wasn’t a full-time architect, but if this is what he could do in his spare time, just think what he could have accomplished if this was his only interest. (more…)
A group of artists are transforming a large parking garage on Dean Street between Grand and Classon into a performance space that will feature a restaurant, bar, art gallery and a large backyard, as DNAinfo was the first to report. Their venture, Global Square, will host concerts, dance performances, movie nights and art shows at 893-897 Dean Street, said managing director Charles McMickens. McMickens, who was the driving force behind The General Greene, Heritage Wines and Fort Grace Local, presented the group’s plan to Community Board Eight’s liquor review committee on Monday night.
The 7,500-square-foot space will include bleacher-style seating that can be easily folded away, a smaller gallery that could host art shows and intimate dance performances, and indoor seating for 100 to 110 people. The backyard has standing room for up to 300 people. The restaurant plans to serve pizza baked in ovens bought from the now-shuttered Pulino’s on Bowery and Houston.
McMickens and the other organizers, including artists Hassan Christopher, Šara Stranovsky, Kyla Ernst-Alper and Sydney Freggiaro, said they hope to make the space more than a typical concert venue, with space where artists can collaborate, rehearse and create a community.
The community board raised several concerns about Global Square’s plans, including parking, noise and crowds. McMickens, who hasn’t yet submitted a liquor application, emphasized his desire to work with the community board throughout the liquor license process. Global Square hopes to open this September and operate from 3 pm to 2 am seven days a week.
Fridays at 11:30, Brownstoner Upstate brings you a selection of properties within three hours north, and a little east or west, of New York City.
Interior, 1739 County Road 2, Olivebridge: $425,000
There are few places we love house hunting in Ulster County as much as Olivebridge. The wee hamlet in the town of Olive marches to the beat of its own handmade drum, a secluded place in the country where the mavericks go to commune with nature and build abodes tucked away in thick woods. The Ashokan Center exemplifies the true spirit of Olivebridge in one of its taglines: “Nurturing the spirit through nature and the arts.” That pretty much says it all. This week, we’re looking at four unique properties in Olivebridge ranging in price from the low $400s all the way down to the ultra-cheap $39,000. Olivebridge is approximately 2 hours, 18 minutes from Brooklyn, according to Google Maps.
Three Brooklyn pols — Councilman Brad Lander and Assembly Members James Brennan and Joan Millman — spoke out against the closing of Park Slope assisted living facility Prospect Park Residence and called on the owner to reconsider. And it turns out the owner is, in fact, also the owner of the building.
The Real Deal dug up the details and said owner Haysha Deitsch “has kept the reason for the closure under wraps,” implying the previously cited tax increase didn’t make sense. The publication also spoke to “a source close to the situation,” who said the owner “likely intends to turn the center into condos.” Although all those lawsuits could be a factor too.
More than 100 seniors live at the facility. Could this turn into another LICH?
Newly appointed Chairman of the City Council’s Land Use Committee, Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield, who represents Bensonhurst, Borough Park, and Midwood, came out against landmarking Thursday, saying it reduces affordable housing, Crain’s reported.
“None of us exists in a vacuum,” he said to Robert Tierney, chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, at a hearing. “In the grand scheme of the city we are very focused on affordable housing … those are two competing interests.”
As of March 2013, 2 percent of the city is protected by landmarking, according to the story, which cited a Wall Street Journal report.
At the same event, Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane Williams also called for a slow down in landmarking, saying the lack of affordable housing in historic districts is “appalling.”
We respectfully disagree: Continuing to protect the city’s architectural heritage is not at odds with the Mayor’s laudable effort to increase affordable housing. Merely limiting landmarking will do nothing to increase affordable housing, as development in non-landmarked areas of Brooklyn such as Williamsburg and 4th Avenue has shown. We call on Mayor de Blasio and the City Council to step up the pace of landmarking in Brooklyn, particularly in Bedford Stuyvesant, an architecturally remarkable but largely unprotected area where developers have become very active lately.
If the proposed areas up before Landmarks were to be landmarked today there would still be huge sections of these neighborhoods where new affordable housing can be built, as well as many other means of increasing affordable housing in Brooklyn. It’s not a zero-sum game. Great architecture should be preserved for all to enjoy.
Charity in post-Civil War Brooklyn was as segregated as the society at large. When it came to the large institutions that were built to help the orphaned or the elderly, they were all geared to helping just one group of people, keeping everyone separate. The Jewish orphans went to the Jewish Orphan Home; the Methodist elderly went to the Methodist Home for the Aged. The Catholics, Baptists, Swedes, Irish, males and females all had their services and institutions carefully divided to serve members of their own groups. It was just The Way It Was Done. And of course, it goes without saying that the Negroes had their own separate institutions as well.
There was a Home for Colored Aged, as well as the Howard Colored Orphan Asylum. Both were in what is now Crown Heights and unlike many charitable institutions for black folks, they were not just set up and run by well-meaning rich white philanthropists or charities, without African American input. Both of these institutions were run by and for African Americans themselves. Not surprisingly, they both came out of the town of Weeksville.
Weeksville was a successful black middle class town established by James Weeks, a black longshoreman. The town was built on land Weeks had purchased from a black man named Henry C. Thompson, who had, in turn, bought the land from the estate of Lefferts Lefferts. Much of Brooklyn’s black population was living in the Downtown/Dumbo area by the late 1830s, early 1840s. Many there were seeking to find a home where racism and segregation would not stop their advancement in education, jobs, or even a place to worship. If white society wouldn’t give them opportunities, then they were determined to build somewhere where they could determine their own destinies. Weeksville gave them that chance.
Today, Weeksville is known only for the small surviving enclave of houses that make up the Weeksville Heritage Center, but the town was much larger than that, and made up a large part of the eastern part of Crown Heights. Here the residents built homes, businesses, stores, churches, a school, established a newspaper, and founded charitable institutions to take care of the youngest and oldest amongst them. The Howard Colored Orphan Asylum was one of those institutions. It once stood at 1550 Dean Street, on the corner of Dean Street and Troy Avenue. (more…)
A well-known photographer has purchased 10,000 square feet of vacant property at 977 Pacific Street in Crown Heights and plans to build a photography studio on the site, according to a broker involved in the deal. The photographer, whose identity was not disclosed, closed on the five lots at Pacific and Grand Streets yesterday for $1,900,000.
He plans to build a two-story photo studio there, but did not say if he plans to live in it. Halstead was marketing the development sites, which consisted of 977, 979, 983, and 985 Pacific Street, as well as 505 Grand Avenue, for $2,000,000.
The end of North Henry Street will be transformed into a public shoreline, thanks to the first round of grants from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund. The group announced funding for 18 small-grant projects yesterday. The Newtown Creek Alliance will get $25,000 for its shoreline project, DNAinfo reported. (Above, Newtown Creek flowing into the East River.)
The New York City Audubon Society will receive about $50,000 for a habitation project with two schools to attract birds in McGolrick Park. A grant of $12,500 will go to Build It Green! to study the feasibility of a community compost site in the area.