Name: Originally Elephant Club, now ground floor retail Address: 1409-1411 Fulton Street Cross Streets: Marcy and Tompkins Avenues Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant Year Built: 1888 Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival Architect: 1409 unknown, perhaps Sibell & Miller, who built 1411 Landmarked: No
The story: In September of 1888, the Echo Bowling Club opened a clubhouse with bowling lanes at 1409 Fulton Street, in the fast growing neighborhood of Bedford. The club was located on Fulton Street, the main commercial street in Bedford, convenient for all kinds of banks, businesses, clubs and theaters, as well as shops. Fulton Street, as the main east-west conduit in Brooklyn also boasted some of the best public transportation available for the day. In 1888, that would have been horse drawn trolleys, which travelled up and down the length of this important street very frequently. It was a perfect place for bowling lanes.
Bowling was very popular in Brooklyn during the last third of the 19th century. It was a sport that could be participated by just about anyone, fitness-wise, and could easily be played by both men and women. Bowling leagues soon sprang up everywhere, especially within the memberships of the already existing sports and social clubs. The Echo Bowling Club soon became the Elephant Club, for reasons I was unable to find. It did not seem to have anything to do with politics. The club took up the entire four story building, and included rooms for private gatherings and meetings, as well as the bowling alleys probably on the ground floor, or basement that made it famous. Many of the bowling leagues that played here made the club their headquarters and kept their records and their meetings here.
The club was owned by a man named T.C. Carruthers, and was sometimes referred to in the newspapers as “Carruthers’s Alleys.” The manager of the alleys was a man named Thomas Curtis, and he soon became quite a figure in local bowling circles. By 1890, the club was so popular they added an addition to it, an adjoining four story building at 1411 Fulton Street, which was taken up entirely by bowling lanes and billiard rooms. The lanes were expanded and opened up to the public. The firm of Sibell & Miller was the architects, and they may have designed the original building as well, although I wasn’t able to find those records. That year, the Elephant Club had six private alleys and eight public alleys. (more…)
Urban Market opened Friday at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge at 11 Broadway. The 16,000-square-foot store is an offshoot of Key Food and aims to offer both upscale and basic items, according to a press release sent out by landlord L+M Development Partners. The store features a gourmet deli with a kosher section, a full-service seafood department, and locally sourced and organic products. It is located near some recently opened luxury apartment buildings, artisanal grocer Marlow & Daughters, and the area’s large Hasidic community. The new store has 20 parking spaces. GMAP
This four-story brownstone at 789 Quincy Street has a nice amount of original detail, but looks like it could use a little polishing. The listing says it’s “fully functioning and awaiting your cosmetic upgrades.” It’s in the northeast corner of Bed Stuy near Broadway and the Gates stop. How do you like it and the ask of $895,000?
This three-bedroom condo at 1 Montgomery Place in Park Slope is very impressive. The 2,624-square-foot duplex has been carved out of a former mansion and includes a 750-square-foot private garden. The layout is much more generous than what you’d find in a typical brownstone and there are lots of original details. Asking price: $2,650,000.
This nicely renovated three-bedroom in Crown Heights seems like a good value. The living room is well-sized, and its three windows help open up the room. That framed exposed brick behind the drywall is interesting too. The kitchen looks narrow, but the appliances are brand new and the island offers additional counter space. There are two nicely sized bedrooms and one rather narrow one at 7 feet by 12 feet; they all have closets and windows, according to the listing. For $733 a person, it’s a decent apartment. What do you think of it for $2,200 a month?
It looks like the foundation is going in for a five-story building at 588 Myrtle on the corner of Classon. The lot has been empty since the previous owners demolished a three-story house in 2007. We first reported on potential development here way back in 2008, and there have been a few aborted development plans since then. New building permits issued in May call for a five-story residential building with 16 units and 11,065 square feet. The property was sold to an LLC in August 2012 for $1,270,000, according to public records. The developer is called Velocity Framers, and the architect is De-Jan Lu. GMAP
The Toll Brothers decided to embrace the design aesthetics of Brooklyn Bridge Park when building their newest luxury condo development, Pierhouse. Every unit will have its own $400 composter and wood floors reclaimed from Dumbo’s waterfront warehouses, reported The New York Daily News. Architect Jonathan Marvel lined the building’s base with the same granite used in the Brooklyn Bridge. It may be “the most Brooklyn of condos,” said Curbed. Already 4,500 people have signed up for information on the building’s 108 units, which are still under construction in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The apartments range from one- to five-bedrooms and are mostly duplexes with double height living rooms and 18-foot-high windows. Eighty percent of the units will have private outdoor space, and kitchens will have marble countertops and solid American walnut cabinetry with Gaggenau appliances. Master bathrooms will feature soaking tubs, glass-enclosed showers, and marble floors and walls.
Building amenities include a yoga room, multiple gyms, an outdoor terrace, several lounges, on-site underground parking , bike storage, 24-hour concierge services, and access to amenities in the hotel at the north end of the site. Brooklyn Bridge Park landscape architect Michael van Valkenburg will design the development’s public outdoor spaces.
The condo building’s west-facing side, looking out over the East River, will have a limestone facade, and the east-facing side, looking down on Furman Street, will be clad in anodized aluminum paneling. The 200-room 1 Hotel, at the northernmost edge of the development, will have a 12,000-square-foot event space and farm-to-table restaurant by Seamus Mullen. Starwood is developing the hotel, and INC Architecture and Design is designing the interiors.
To protect the site from future floods and storms, the architects set the first level of apartments 11 feet above the required flood level and moved all the mechanicals from the basement to an upper floor, according to Curbed. There’s also an emergency generator to power elevators and unit appliances, and the driveway into the garage has a flood gate.
Small real estate brokerages are doing well in brownstone neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to the Times, where buyers seek their local expertise and deep connections. In Bed Stuy, Evans & Nye is becoming known for having sold some of the most beautifully appointed and highest priced brownstones in the neighborhood, many just under $2,000,000. In April, the firm sold a limestone by Magnus Dahlander at 242 Decatur Street, above, for $1,700,000.
Firm co-founder Ban Leow is a long-time resident and owns the furniture and antique store CasaBAN across the street from his real estate office on Tompkins. It also helps that one of the firm’s agents, Morgan Munsey, is a walking encyclopedia of Bed Stuy architecture and seems to know every resident of the area. Over in Victorian Flatbush, the 93-year-old Mary Kay Gallagher has flourished for almost 50 years by charting a similar path. She is famous for her deep knowledge of the area, where she also lives. Her three-person family firm sold a colonial on Westminister Road for $2,000,000 this past fall, a record.
If you are buying or selling, do you look for a big name or a small one?
In a five-part series, The New York Times followed an 11-year-old girl living with six siblings and her parents in a homeless shelter in Fort Greene. The story contrasts the appalling conditions at the Auburn Family Residence at 39 Auburn Place — it has made headlines for years for having no heat and other problems — with the changes in the surrounding neighborhood. Mice dart in and out of a crumbling wall. A hair dryer warms the baby’s crib.
“City and state inspectors have repeatedly cited the shelter for deplorable conditions, including sexual misconduct by staff members, spoiled food, asbestos exposure, lead paint and vermin,” said the Times. “Auburn has no certificate of occupancy, as required by law, and lacks an operational plan that meets state regulations. Most of the shelter’s smoke detectors and alarms have been found to be inoperable.” Click through to the story for photos reminiscent of Jacob Riis’ “How the Other Half Lives.”
Outside, “the skyline soars with luxury towers, beacons of a new gilded age. More than 200 miles of fresh bike lanes connect commuters to high-tech jobs, passing through upgraded parks and avant-garde projects like the High Line and Jane’s Carousel. Posh retail has spread from its Manhattan roots to the city’s other boroughs. These are the crown jewels of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s long reign…as the city reorders itself around the whims of the wealthy.”
The parents are unemployed and have had problems with drug addiction, while the number of families living in homeless shelters has grown since a 2004 Bloomberg policy that no longer gives homeless priority for public housing.
More than 22,000 children are homeless in New York City, “the highest number since the Great Depression, in the most unequal metropolis in America,” said the story. “One in five American children is now living in poverty, giving the United States the highest child poverty rate of any developed nation except for Romania.”
The family is trying to save money to move to Pennsylvania. When asked why families are staying longer in the shelter system, Bloomberg said it was because they offer “a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before.”
We saw this limestone on the house tour a few years back when it was under construction by the contractor who has owned it since 2002. Now it’s on the market for $3,000,000, which would certainly set a record for a townhouse in Bed Stuy, as BK to the Fullest was the first to point out.
It’s in Stuyvesant Heights and it has five units, including a large owner’s duplex with a 20-foot extension on both floors, as well as a parking space. It’s 4,000 square feet and was designed by Axel Hedman, according to BK to the Fullest. There is a catch, however. It’s not finished.
The top floor of the extension is “framed out” for a kitchen, dining room, and master bath. There are two working fireplaces and a jacuzzi, but otherwise it’s just studs, no walls. DOB shows a stop work order and open violation from 2004 for construction without a permit.
There might be another catch too. It was an SRO at one time. HPD says the building has six “B” class apartments, although the BOD shows two prior owners filed to change the certificate of occupancy. It will be delivered vacant, according to the listing.