Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Row houses
Address: 87-93 Rutland Road
Cross Streets: Flatbush and Bedford Avenues
Neighborhood: Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Year Built: 1925
Architectural Style: Neo-Georgian
Architect: Slee & Bryson
Other works by architect: Many other row and freestanding houses in PLG, as well as in Crown Heights North and South, Victorian Flatbush and Park Slope. Also Albemarle and Kensington Terraces in Flatbush
Landmarked: Yes, part of Prospect Lefferts Gardens HD (1979)
The story: These are among the last houses designed by Slee & Bryson in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and some of the most interesting. The year was 1925, and the firm had been quite busy in PLG, designing all kinds of modern brick housing for the Norris Building Company, one of the major developers of Lefferts Manor, and the general Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood. Slee & Bryson’s forte was brick houses, and they designed them in all kinds of different variations, in many of Brooklyn’s growing early 20th century neighborhoods.
John Bay Slee and Robert Bryson had met in the offices of John J. Petit, the chief architect of Dean Alvord’s Prospect Park South development in Flatbush. Both were about 25 and worked for Petit for a couple of years before going out on their own as Slee & Bryson in 1905. They continued to work in PPS, designing Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival style houses there, and elsewhere in what we now call Victorian Flatbush.
The Colonial Revival style was the most popular architectural style in the United States for almost fifty years, from just before the turn of the 20th century, until World War II. It drew from the Georgian and Federal Styles of Colonial America, along with even earlier Dutch antecedents, and represented a comfortable and very “American” form of architecture that resonated with the public. In Slee & Bryson’s capable hands, that translated into several different forms of brick housing; urban row houses and free-standing suburban style homes. (more…)
Kiehl’s has filled the windows of its future Brooklyn Heights store with giant images of its products, most likely to hide work going on inside. The skincare company was scheduled to start construction at 124 Montague Street November 1 in anticipation of a post-Christmas opening, according to previously published reports. The prime corner space had been occupied by Corcoran, as the photos show. This will be the company’s first Brooklyn location. It started in the East Village in 1851. Click through for a closeup after the jump. GMAP (more…)
Comment: Wow, three out of four unsold. Maybe some of these prices were too ambitious. Update: 529 1st Street is now in contract.
Open House Picks 5/31/2013 [Brownstoner]
A tipster tells us that a group of Chinese investors paid $18,500,000 for a big piece of property at 2300 Cropsey Avenue in Gravesend at a state foreclosure auction yesterday. The 45,688-square-foot property, which is sandwiched between Cropsey and Bay Parkway at 23rd Avenue, currently houses a six-story building with a demolished interior that’s zoned as a nursing home. The existing building is 85,619 square feet.
However, an old listing from Massey Knakal notes that the previous owner had acquired additional air rights to construct a 30-story mixed-use development with 264 apartments, 81,378 square feet of community space and an underground parking garage. With the new air rights, the site can hold a new development of up to 275,000 square feet.
The site’s previous owner was Russian developer Alexander Gurevich, whom then-Attorney General Cuomo banned from selling condos and co-ops in New York State for three years in 2010, The Real Deal reported last year. When plans for the massive development didn’t materialize, Gurevich defaulted on his construction loans and mortgage to the tune of $17,030,000.
After fees and penalties, the lien on the property is $27,024,325, according to foreclosure documents. The defaulted mortgage, once held by Lehman Brothers, is now held by a Swedish bank that took over dozens of former Lehman mortgages. The last time we wrote about 2300 Cropsey was in 2010, when we highlighted it for having the most DOB violations.
Fridays at 11, Brownstoner Upstate brings you a selection of properties within three hours north, and a little east or west, of New York City.
Here’s a little something for those of us who are afraid of commitment (and property taxes): Four lovely rental properties, all in Ulster County, none exceeding $1,600 a month. And that $1,600 one…well, just you’ll see. You’re in for a treat. Today, we’ll be in Shandaken, New Paltz and Saugerties, enjoying the best the rental market has to offer around these areas.
A look at Brooklyn, then and now.
Beer helped make Brooklyn. Beer also enabled the German American community in Bushwick, Williamsburg and beyond become the most successful immigrant group in New York. At its peak, at the turn of the 20th century, Brooklyn was called the beer brewing capital of the country, with over fifty breweries in the borough, half of them in Bushwick alone. The two by seven block stretch of Bushwick, between Scholes and Meserole Streets and Bushwick Place to Lorimer Street was called “Brewer’s Row,” with twelve breweries on that stretch of land alone. As Bushwick’s blocks filled up with buildings, later breweries began appearing in other neighborhoods, in part because they couldn’t fit in Bushwick, but mostly because outlying neighborhoods presented more space for growth, and for some, new local customers.
The brew of choice in Brooklyn was lager beer. The Germans introduced lager to America in the 1840s and 50s, when they began immigrating here in large numbers, and the frothy brew was welcomed like water to parched throats. Lager beers are bottom fermented. The yeast sits on the bottom of the tanks and does its magic at lower temperatures, in a process that takes about six to ten days. Before lagers came to the US, beer had been top fermented, in the English manner, which did not depend on cold. The yeast rose to the top of the barrel in a process that took about five to seven days, and produced stouts, ales and porters. Lagers are a lighter beer, with a very different taste, and in no time, they became the most popular beers in the city, as popular with non-Germans as with German Americans.
The Excelsior Brewing Company was one of the later breweries to come out of this tradition. The first Bushwick breweries were built in the 1850s, this brewery, as shown in the older photographs, wasn’t built until the 1890s. The company was founded, at least in part, by John Reisenweber, a well-known restaurateur and hotel man. In 1856 he opened Reisenweber’s at Columbus Circle in Manhattan, a restaurant that soon became one of the city’s best known popular dining institutions. He followed that up by establishing the Hotel Shelbourne, one of the great giant resort hotels on Brighton Beach, and then the Excelsior Brewing Company. The brewery went public by the late 1890s, and was offering stock. Reisenweber was president for many years, then handed it over to others. (more…)
A run-down but historic building at 71 Irving Place has been gutted and renovated and is back on the market. Last year, a section of the facade of the multifamily apartment building crumbled while it was for sale for $975,000. At the time, it was marketed as a gut renovation, not a teardown.
The new owners, Big Brooklyn Rehab Company, picked it up for $750,000 and decided to turn it into a three-family. They set up the 1870s brick building as a 2,500-square-foot owners duplex with two floor-through apartments above. Each unit has central air and three to four bedrooms. There are wide-plank oak floors, white lacquer cabinets, marble counters, vented range hoods, vented washers and dryers, and a roof deck. The ask for the whole building is $2,500,000.
What do you think of how it turned out?
71 Irving Place Listing [Corcoran]
Inside the Renovation at 71 Irving Place [Brownstoner]
Work Happening at 71 Irving After Building Collapse [Brownstoner]
A Building Collapse on Irving and Putnam [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photos by Corcoran
The United States Postal Service and Community Board Two hosted a public hearing on Thursday evening about the relocation of two post offices: the Pratt Station Post office at 524 Myrtle Avenue and the Times Plaza Station Post Office at 542 Atlantic Avenue. Each location’s lease agreement will soon expire, at which point both property owners have other plans for the buildings.
State Senator Velmanette Montgomery voiced concern over the relocation of Myrtle Avenue’s post office, as its current location is convenient for many area residents. She said she would like to work with the post office through a committee to help find a suitable new location.
USPS Real Estate Specialist Joseph Mulvey said every attempt will be made to keep retail services and carrier operations together in the new locations. However, if a large enough space cannot be found — 8,600 square feet — the services may have to be separated, he said.
The post office will take written comments on the move for the next 15 days (by mail). After that, the post office will outline its plan for conducting the search in a letter to the borough president, mayor, and the community board.
After this, any member of the community will have up to 30 days to appeal the decision. Once a decision is made, the search for suitable properties will continue. The borough president and community boards will be notified of proposed new locations, and then another round of feedback and comment will start.
The post office has engaged CB Richard Ellis, a commercial real estate firm, to help with the search. They’re already in preliminary talks with property owners, he added.
Yesterday, the City Council was supposed to vote on the proposed towers at 77 Commercial Street, above, part of the controversial and massive high-rise development plan for the Greenpoint waterfront. But the City Council postponed its vote, DNAinfo reported, citing the need for “further negotiations.” A date for the vote, which is the final and binding vote on the project, was not given. The local community board opposes the development, and said more affordable housing, senior housing, and transportation is needed.
Final Vote on Greenpoint Waterfront Towers Postponed by City Council [DNAinfo]
Rendering via DNAinfo