03/27/15 2:00pm


Mapei or Bostik grout? Color suggestions?

What grout do you suggest for bathroom floor and wall tiles — Mapei or Bostik?

And we’re looking for a gray, similar to these photos. Does anyone know what color this could be?

And while we’re at it, what do you think of using the large subway wall tile with the octagon dot floor tile? (Click through to see the floor tile and some answers from readers.)


03/27/15 1:00pm

This week our Open House Picks consists of two outliers and two flips. The most expensive property is a single-family house in Victorian Flatbush that appears to be a custom-built home dating from the mid to late 20th century. Bargain hunters should check out the pick at the other end of the price scale, a circa-1900 neo-Colonial in Old Mill Basin. The two flips, both in Bushwick, are unusually decent, plus they also have original details such as mantels, window surrounds and stairs.

200 rugby road ditmas park 32015Prospect Park South
200 Rugby Road
Broker: Halstead
Price: $2,100,000
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00

73 cornelia street bushwick 32015Bushwick
73 Cornelia Street
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,200,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:00

1163 putnam avenue bushwick 2 32015

1163 Putnam Avenue
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $950,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:00

1457 east 58th street flatlands 32015Old Mill Basin
1457 East 58th Street
Broker: Fillmore
Price: $444,000
Sunday 1:00 – 3:00

03/27/15 12:15pm

Three out of four sold ain’t bad. We’re surprised by the closing price of the Bushwick sale, which went over ask. Even for a freshly renovated property, which it was, $1,225,000 is a very high number for a house in this location, near the Halsey J train stop.

As for the other sales, the most expensive and the least expensive homes on the list, Park Slope and Greenwood Heights, both sold for slightly under ask. South Slope is still available.

Evidently, the high asking prices we’ve been seeing for a while in the outer fringes of Bushwick are no longer just pie-in-the-sky but actually reflect the market.

open house picks six months later 3-27-2015

Open House Picks 9/19/2014 [Brownstoner]

03/27/15 11:30am

75 willow glen milan ny

That Friday afternoon drive to the country is long enough. Why add an extra hour of driving along windy back roads at night just to get to your upstate abode’s driveway? We think you shouldn’t. Get home faster by sticking close to the main thoroughfares. This week, we’ll be doing just exactly that looking for some fabulous housing situated 10 minutes or less from the Taconic State Parkway, which runs east of the Hudson River passing through both Dutchess and Columbia Counties.


03/27/15 10:45am

President, 7th, 8th Ave, Composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

One of the fun parts of writing this particular column is matching a vintage photo or postcard to its present-day site. Sometimes a perfect match is possible, and other times, the scenery has changed so much, it’s impossible to tell exactly where a building or event was located. The clues or markers that place or date a photo just don’t exist any longer. But that’s not the case here.

The historic photograph was taken in late February or early March of 1906 on President Street, between 7th and 8th avenues. This is the north side of the street, closer to 8th Avenue. The men are tearing up the sidewalk area to lay down new sidewalks and curbs.

My vintage photo had a caption, President Street, 1906, which narrowed down the street and date. A bit of research turned up public notices in the Brooklyn Eagle announcing road and sewer work throughout the borough, as well as the “regulating, grading, curbing, flagging and laying cement sidewalks” on many blocks, as well.

The paving and road work were spread out with great planning, so traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, could get around without too much difficulty. The notices began appearing at the end of February, 1906, and continued through March. One by one, block by block, the city infrastructure was improved. (more…)

03/27/15 10:00am


Hudson Companies just sent us this new rendering (above and below) for the 170-unit building they are planning at the corner of Nostrand and Clarkson avenues in East Flatbush. The architect for 1295 Nostrand Avenue, also known as 310 Clarkson, is Jonathan Kirschenfeld, of Floating Pool fame.

The parcel down the street Hudson just closed on (see our 9:30 am post today) will be a separate building. That one will have about 250 apartments, and the architect will be CetraRuddy, a Hudson exec told us. (more…)

324 clarkson aveue flatbush 32015

Developer Hudson Companies is on a tear through East Flatbush, buying up more property on a block where it’s already planning an eight-story, 170-unit apartment building. The developer, which of course is behind the 23-story tower on Flatbush Avenue a few blocks from here in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, recently picked up 318, 324, 326 and 350 Clarkson Avenue for $13,119,997, according to public records.

The new parcel is contiguous with its previous acquisition, so potentially Hudson could be planning a huge development here. (more…)


A rundown and altered Second Empire-style wood frame house at 40 Cambridge Place in Clinton Hill is getting a total redo using Passive House technology. The exterior will be restored to match its twin next door, including windows that appear to be double hung, because it is in the Clinton Hill Historic District.

The missing porch and altered bay window will be restored. The inside will be retrofitted according to Passive House standards, according to DOB permits.

Right now, the whole thing is shrouded in scaffolding — as is the house next door at 46 Cambridge Place. (That may be to protect it. The house did recently have some work going on inside, but apparently it’s not related to this project.)

When 40 Cambridge was a House of the Day in 2011, we said it had lots of details in and out but appeared to need work. Click through the jump below to see what the exterior looked like in 2012 and to see the house under construction now.

The house last changed hands for $740,00 in 2011. The owner plans to obtain a new certificate of occupancy but will keep it as a two-family, according to permits.

This should be an interesting one to watch.

House of the Day: 40 Cambridge Place [Brownstoner] GMAP
Last photo below by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark


03/27/15 8:30am


Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn Rush to Buy Smoke Detectors Before Sabbath [NY Times]
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Finances Are Being Put Under the Microscope [NY Daily News]
Brooklyn Pols Fight to Restore Millions in Budget for Teetering Hospitals [Eagle]
New Book Tells Story of Murders That Rocked 1870s Brooklyn [Eagle]
Coney Island Opening Ceremonies This Sunday [Eagle]
Inside Willow, The Darling Bed Stuy Newcomer Serving Chicken Liver Cannoli [Gothamist]
Chelsea Hotel Owner to Sell McCarren Hotel & Pool in Williamsburg [Crain's]
Permits Filed: 2579 East 17th Street, Sheepshead Bay [NYY]
Steel Truss Installation on Barclays Center Green Roof Planned for Saturday [AYR]
SoulCycle Opens New Downtown Brooklyn Location [DNA]
City Replaces Long-Missing Park Slope Walk Signal [DNA]
Recent Gang-Related Shootings Concern Prospect Lefferts Gardens Locals [DNA]

Our Lady of the Presentation-Loreto Roman Catholic Church and rectory at 1677 St. Marks Avenue in Ocean Hill.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

03/26/15 4:30pm

snowy prospect park michael pearce 32015

Councilwoman Cumbo Raises Concerns About “Blocs” of Asians Moving Into NYCHA [NYO]
Construction of Pulaski Bridge Bike Lane to Start Next Month [DNA]
Why Does It Take So Long to Build a Bike Lane in Brooklyn? A City Subcontractor Tells All [Brokelyn]
More Than 100 Firefighters Battle Blaze at 2010 Newkirk Avenue [DPC]
Brandi’s DIY and Antique-Chic Prewar Apartment in Crown Heights [AT]
GEM Discount Store Is Closing [Q Parkside]
New Bed Stuy Coffee Shop to Offer Baking and Cooking Classes [DNA]
Grand Opening: Bella Napoli Serves Brick-Oven Pizza on Bay Parkway [Bensonhurst Bean]
Here’s a Cow Tongue “Full Of Needles” Attached to a Tree in Prospect Park [Gothamist]
Volunteer to Help Make Brooklyn Students Readers for Life [Brooklynian]

Photo by Michael Pearce

03/26/15 4:00pm

nuhart harte & company map 2013

The Department of Environmental Conservation is hosting a meeting tonight on cleanup efforts at the polluted Harte & Company factory at the corner of Dupont, Clay and Franklin Streets, Greenpointers reported. (Yes, this is the same building we wrote about this morning, whose developer wants to preserve part of the 1930s Arte Moderne exterior).

The state Superfund site has a plume beneath it made of phthalates — liquid plastic chemicals — up to five feet deep in some areas. And apparently the plume is moving, contrary to what the developer told the Brooklyn Eagle. This is a map of the plume made in 2013, via Greenpointers. (more…)

03/26/15 3:00pm

46 Sullivan Street, Bethelship, KL, PS 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally Bethelship Seamen’s Branch, YMCA. Now apartments.
Address: 47 Sullivan Street
Cross Streets: Corner Richards Street
Neighborhood: Red Hook
Year Built: 1921-1922
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival with some Rundbogenstil details
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Sailors from all over the world stepped onto Brooklyn’s shores along the Red Hook waterfront. Sailors have often lost themselves in more ways than one on the piers of foreign ports, and Brooklyn was as tempting or as frightening a place as anywhere else.

Some of the local churches saw these sailors as a worthy social and religious harvest of souls, and established mission churches and chapels near many different parts of the Brooklyn waterfront. Here in Red Hook, the evangelical zeal was provided by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Many of the sailors, as well as local workers, were Scandinavian. The Bethelship Norwegian Methodist Church and the Brooklyn and Long Island Church Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church established a mission in a much older church building and rectory at this location in 1911. In 1918, the Bethelship Branch of the YMCA was established here. (more…)