After nine years in five other locations, the Long Island Automobile Club finally got their headquarters near “The Gateway of Long Island;” Grand Army Plaza. As Brooklyn’s first, and most elite automobile club, with members of such social standing as William “Willy” Vanderbilt, they were now located in a building that was worthy of their wealth and prestige. Yes, it was another garage, but what a garage!
This building was something out of Europe, with a façade reminiscent of the Austrian Art Nouveau Movement, called the Vienna Secession. It was a four story building built in 1904 as the Plaza Garage. Art Nouveau architecture is very rare in New York City, and rarer still in Brooklyn, but this garage definitely qualified, with sinuous arches over the main entrance and flanking windows, and some rather overdone Germanic –style Roman eagles at the top. It was designed by an architect named Oscar Lowinson. (Thank you, Christopher Gray.) (more…)
At 17 Devoe Street in east Williamsburg, a developer is transforming a two-story commercial building into a four-story residential building with 25 apartments, according to an Alt-1 permit approved earlier this month. When we stopped by a few days ago, it looked like the steel structure was in place and the builder was starting to clad the exterior.
Multi-family buildings are selling like crazy throughout Brooklyn, and the biggest growth is happening in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Bushwick, according to a report from Ariel Property Advisors highlighted by The Real Deal. In those three neighborhoods alone, 252 properties were sold in 170 transactions totaling nearly $710,000,000. Sales in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Bushwick made up a quarter of all the borough’s investment transactions. (more…)
As rents surge in Crown Heights, pressure is mounting on Community Board 8 to rezone again to permit housing in the industrial-only area there, if we read between the lines of a story by WNYC correctly. The story quotes one area business owner and one community board member who support the idea of permitting residential housing on top of factories. (more…)
The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted to landmark the former Ridgewood Masonic Temple in Bushwick yesterday, according to Curbed. The Neo-Classical, Beaux-Arts structure at 1054 Bushwick Avenue, a former Building of the Day, was built in 1920 and designed by Koch & Wagner. (more…)
Name: Midwood Trust Company, now Chase Bank Address: 1984 Flatbush Avenue Cross Streets: Corner Flatlands Avenue Neighborhood: Flatlands Year Built: 1926 Architectural Style: Flemish Renaissance Revival Architect: Slee & Bryson Other Buildings by Architect: Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival homes and apartment buildings in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights North and South, Park Slope and various parts of Flatbush, including Prospect Park South, Albemarle and Kenmore Terraces, and Ditmas Park. Landmarked: No, but should be
The story: Our city’s Dutch ancestry is most often represented by the streets and neighborhoods now bearing the surnames of the many Dutch families who settled throughout Brooklyn. Now and again, we also see buildings that draw on the famous Dutch gabled farmhouses that managed to survive over the centuries. And then we have these wonderful examples of Flemish-inspired architecture that are so quintessentially Brooklyn and Dutch. They come from Flanders, that part of the Low Countries that was part of France, and is now part of Belgium, yet culturally still part of the Netherlands.
Lots of late 19th century architects were inspired by the distinctive ziggurat shaped stepped gables of the Flemish Renaissance period. These simple but elegant facades graced the townhouses, guild halls and commercial buildings of the Netherlands for centuries. When the Dutch came to New Netherlands, they brought their architecture with them, and these shapes turn up throughout the Hudson Valley and in and around New York City, Long Island and New Jersey. (more…)
The folks behind well-known sushi temple BondSt on Bond Street in Manhattan are set to open a new Japanese restaurant at 138 North 8th Street in Williamsburg this week. Cherry Izakaya started serving invite-only guests Tuesday and plans to open to the public Friday.
The contemporary menu will include small and large plates such as donburi escargot with miso béchamel, short ribs, and stuffed calamari with chorizo black rice. There will be sake, beer and and shochu-based cocktails. GMAP
The Fort Greene house with radiant heat controlled by an iPad we told you about last month is now on the market. Renovated by Stuyvesant Group, it is unusually luxurious even for a high-end renovation and has an open floor plan, a double height kitchen in the rear of the parlor floor, marble counters and slabs of marble on the walls in the kitchen, and a high-efficiency boiler.
The house was a shell so there were no details to save, developer Adam Cohen told us, but he purchased three salvage pier mirrors and now one of them conceals a TV behind smoked glass. It’s set up as a triplex over a garden rental. We suspect this will go quickly at $3,500,000. What do you think?
This simple and affordable three-bedroom co-op for rent in a prewar building close to Prospect Park would be perfect for a small family. Unfortunately, roommates aren’t allowed to rent it, according to the listing (although we have some doubts about the legality of that). (more…)
A tipster tells us that a three-story multifamily at 71 Stuyvesant Avenue in Bed Stuy has sold for $3,800,000, setting a new record for multifamily buildings in the neighborhood. The property last changed hands for $540,000 in 2010, after selling at a foreclosure auction a few months before, according to public records. The 6,200-square-foot apartment house has 12 units and sits near the corner of Stuyvesant and Dekalb Avenues. Until now, the most expensive multifamily sale was 281 Tompkins Avenue, which sold for $3,300,000 in January 2013.