Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Prospect Park Picnic House
Address: Prospect Park, behind Litchfield Villa at 5th Street and Prospect Park West
Neighborhood: Park Slope
Year Built: 1927
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: J. Sarsfield Kennedy
Other Work by Architect: “Gingerbread House,” Bay Ridge; houses in Prospect Park West, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and elsewhere.
Landmarked: Prospect Park is landmarked, and this building falls within it, so technically I believe it is.
The story: The grass had hardly begun to grow in the new Prospect Park before eager picnickers swarmed the Long Meadow and other areas, eager to enjoy the outdoor spaces. The year was 1868, and the park wasn’t even done yet, and the city had received seven permits for groups of over 100 people who wanted to be able to have a picnic. In response, a picnic shelter and concession stand was built in 1876 to make a day in the park easier.
The popularity of the park grew steadily, and as time went by, more shelters, restaurants and other buildings were added inside the park, all designed to make the park experience easier for patrons, and to add to the ambiance of the park. Some of the buildings were quite charming, some quite unusual, and some just silly. (more…)
Buy this place in Maspeth. It’s perfect. Mobster cred included.
All the bricks are gone from the Navy Yard’s Timber Shed, one of the two historic buildings slated for preservation amidst the supermarket development here. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation began removing the bricks this spring (the bricks will be preserved) and the developer, Blumfield Development Group, is tasked with actually reinforcing the structure. In the picture after the jump, you can see how the ceiling frame is sinking in. This extensive restoration will be done to national preservation standards — no word on how long it’ll actually take.
Work on the Timber Shed Ramps Up [Brownstoner] (more…)
A new bar has opened on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights called the Nostrand Avenue Pub. The space has large wooden booths and a roomy backyard. There is a full bar with 20 beers on tap. So far at least, they don’t serve food (unless you count the pretzels). It’s located at 658 Nostrand Avenue between Bergen Street and St. Marks Avenue. GMAP
Although we’re not wild about the kitchen or the bath pictured, this early 20th century Bay Ridge one-family looks like a sweet pad to us. It’s semi detached, so it has a wall of windows in the combined living room-dining room and a garage in the back. It’s also much less expensive than many of the houses featured on here, although at $829,000 with no rental, it’s well out of starter home territory.
362 79th Street [Betancourt] GMAP P*Shark
This three-bedroom condo at 231 15th Street in the South Slope recently hit the market with an asking price of $1,200,000. The 1,444-square-foot pad in a converted prewar building has three exposures and a small balcony, so even though it’s on the second floor the apartment appears to have nice light; the open plan doesn’t hurt either. The finishes look fine to us but nothing special. What do you make of it?
231 15th Street, #2C [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark
Sure, it costs to live in a Victorian brick townhouse two blocks from the park. And that’s what you’re getting at this six-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home at 517 2nd Street in Park Slope. The rental includes both the upper triplex and ground-floor apartment. But for $16,000 a month, we were expecting something with a little more pizzazz. What do you think?
517 2nd Street [Citi Habitats] GMAP P*Shark
Grassroots nonprofit Solarize Brooklyn just launched with the aim of bringing cost-effective solar power to Brooklyn homeowners on a large scale. The 2013 campaign will focus on bringing solar power into Kensington, Windsor Terrace and Flatbush with the help of Sustainable Kensington Windsor Terrace and Sustainable Flatbush. The program will provide community purchasing power to acquire solar systems at a discount, certified solar installers, and education and information about solar power, energy savings and tax incentives. This is the first time residents will have access to “group buying” of solar energy in Brooklyn. Solarize Brooklyn has already picked the two solar installers serving the program from various candidates. For more information, Solarize is hosting a Community Education Session on June 1 — sign up here. Neighborhood residents will have until June 30 to sign up for free assessments from contractors and the solar installations will begin in late 2013 and early 2014.
What we are reading this week about decorating and renovating old houses:
Refinery29 takes us inside the beach-inspired Prospect Heights pad of Surf Bazaar store owner Bethany Mayer. Check out the way the designs in the rug and pillows echo the inlaid floor. It’s all very casual rustic in a historic envelope. Perhaps the all-white paint is supposed to remind us of sand? Click through to the story for some detail shots, such as a mantel closeup. (more…)
Or, more accurately, it is reportedly in contract. Details on Brownstoner Queens…
The folks behind Transition Acquisitions took us behind their gut renovation project at 23 St. Felix Street in Fort Greene. They bought the building about a year ago in a short sale. It was previously used as an SRO but had been abandoned for years. The only thing left from the old interior is the staircase, which may end up being replaced after all is said and done. The home’s new configuration is an owner’s triplex with a ground-floor rental. On the fourth floor, the developers are carving out a master bedroom, bathroom and closets. The third floor will have two bedrooms, a laundry room and a bathroom. The parlor floor will house the kitchen and living room, as well as an outdoor deck. The garden-floor apartment will have one bedroom. This will be an overall modern renovation, although the developers plan to bring in historic mantels to outfit the space. The project is expected to wrap this June or July, and the house will be put on the market. Corcoran is handling the listing and already has a list of around 25 people interested in the home, although it’s still mid-construction. Click through to see lots of construction photos, as well as more details about this project… GMAP (more…)
At this point, probably we are the only ones surprised to learn that 770 MacDonough has sold for $692,000, $17,000 over ask. This is the house at left, a HOTD whose beautifully intact details were recently lost to a new brick veneer facade. We were watching this one carefully, since we live around the corner and the price of $675,000 was high for the area, particularly for a frame house and this block, which consists mostly of large tenement apartment buildings rather than owner-occupied brownstones. The location is east of Saratoga, so technically this is Ocean Hill.
“Can it get any worse?” That’s what Dwight Pardee probably asked his wife Mary, after their oldest child had the details of his very short and very public bad marriage published in newspapers across the country in 1909 and 1910. Dwight W. Pardee was the Secretary of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central Railway, and twenty year old Roy Pardee was a young man in love with a pretty girl and the idea of marriage. His whirlwind marriage to twenty-two year old Lillian Beasley, a supposed recent widow and current chorus girl, resulted in twenty days of wedded bliss, ended by her spending, and his suspicions of her wandering eye, and finally a messy divorce, with the details written for all of the country to read. For all the details on this juicy story, and the early story of Brooklyn’s Pardee family, check out Part one of our story.
If Mary Pardee had been clairvoyant, she might have answered her husband by saying, “You think this is bad? You haven’t seen anything yet, my dear. Our daughter is going to make even bigger headlines than Roy ever could.” And so she did. The Pardees lived at 1310 Dean Street, in the St. Marks District, now Crown Heights North. Like many wealthy people, they also had a summer home, this one in Bay Shore, Long Island. With all of the mess going on with young Roy, the Pardees found themselves out in Bay Shore a lot, escaping the prying eyes of the press and the curious.
Elsa Pardee was just nineteen, and was herself, tall, dark haired and pretty. She had just graduated from finishing school, and was looking forward to a summer with her friends, especially her best friend, Marion Van Kleek, who lived only three doors away from their Dean Street home, at 1316 Dean. The Van Kleeks had their summer home upstate, at Lake George, and the girls planned to spend time at both cottages during the summer. The only problem was that the Pardees were short on a chauffeur. (more…)
A plan is in process with the Department of Buildings for a five-story, 32-room hotel along Park Avenue between Cumberland Street and Carlton Avenue, in the Fort Greene/Wallabout area. It will be constructed over three lots, all of which are currently vacant. The site owner said that the hotel will part of the Choice Hotel group, which includes Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, and Clarion Hotels. (The architect on record, Michael Kang Architect, has previously designed a Comfort Inn, among other chain hotels.) The building still needs DOB and financing approvals, and is not expected to break ground until next year. The owner told us they’re planning a rooftop bar and lounge, which will surely have nice views of the nearby Brooklyn Queens Expressway. GMAP
The building at 550 Myrtle Avenue that currently houses the Pratt Store will be getting a major makeover by architectural firm WASA/Studio A in preparation for its transformation into a media center for the school. The building has 15,000 square feet of space and will house sound stages, a recording studio, mixing rooms and a screening room, DNAinfo reported. WASA/Studio A also designed Pratt’s Myrtle Hall, where Utrecht Art Supply Store is located. The new design is still in the planning stages, but the building’s mezzanine will stay. No word yet on whether Pratt intends to expand upward. The redo of 550 Myrtle Avenue is expected to be completed by fall of 2014.
Video and Media Center to Replace Soon-To-Be Shuttered Pratt Store [DNAinfo]
Photo by Google Maps
A prototype for emergency housing is going up in Downtown Brooklyn, right next to the Office of Emergency Management. Designed by Dumbo’s Garrison Architects for manufacturer American Manufactured Systems and Services of Vienna, Va., it’s a three-story, three-unit building with two three-bedroom apartments over one one-bedroom, handicapped accessible apartment, The New York Post reported. What makes the housing suitable for emergency situations is how quickly it can be built. Each unit is 40 feet long and comes preassembled. A contractor clips the units together and hooks up the utilities. They even have balconies and photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate electricity. The design meets all city codes, and the concept could eventually be used for permanent high-density housing of no more than four stories, said the architect.
Crisis Housing Advances [NY Post]
Rendering via NY Post
A Prospect Heights House Tour [Apartment Therapy]
Inside a $5 Million Dollar Brooklyn Home [BK Magazine]
FYI: Brooklyn Public Library Closed All Weekend [Patch]
130 Years of Brooklyn Bridge Photos, Decade by Decade [Curbed]
Forgotten Greenpoint: WNYC Transmitter on the East River [Greenpointers]
Anthony Weiner Launches Mayoral Campaign With Vid Shot in Park Slope [PSS]
Photo by wesleyrosenblum
The Brooklyn Paper outlined the Department of Transportation’s plans for safety improvements along the northern end of 4th Avenue, a 28-block strip from Atlantic to 15th Street. Community Board Six’s Transportation Committee just approved the proposal, and it will move to the full board next month. The plan — long in the works with the community — will shrink traffic lanes, ban eight left turns near playgrounds and schools, broaden medians from two feet to six feet, add planters to the pedestrian island between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue, and extend the curb on the corner of Pacific Street, right at the subway entrance. DOT also plans to install on-street bike corrals down the avenue, as well as Muni-Metered parking. This proposal is part of a huge 4th Avenue overall upgrade taken on by the DOT — they’ve enacted similar street changes in Sunset Park and are moving forward with improvements in Bay Ridge.
More Room for People, Less for Cars on Fourth Avenue in Slope [Brooklyn Paper]
Photo by the DOT, via the Brooklyn Paper
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Apartment building
Address: 145 Lincoln Road
Cross Streets: Flatbush and Bedford Avenues
Neighborhood: Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Year Built: 1929
Architectural Style: Tudor/Medieval Revival
Architect: Boris W. Dorfman
Other Work by Architect: Similar type apartment buildings all over Brooklyn and Queens
The story: I guess in part because I never lived in one until I moved to New York City, I find apartment buildings of a certain age rather fascinating. The American Dream of home ownership has always stressed the single family house as the quintessential American dwelling, but the fact of the matter is that in a city like New York, more people live in apartment buildings than live in houses. There will always be more renters than owners, and most of those renters live in apartment buildings. Chances are, especially if you are in Brooklyn, the Bronx, or upper Manhattan, that apartment will be in a six story apartment building built sometime between 1922 and 1934, a time of great social migration into the “outer boroughs.”
As I have mentioned on several occasions, these buildings were built for the children and grandchildren of the immigrant families who were moving as fast as possible out of the tenements of the Lower East Side, Hell’s Kitchen and Williamsburg. They had become Americans, were educated in New York’s schools, spoke English outside of the home, and were assimilating into the culture. They were getting better jobs, making more money, and wanted out of the crowded tenements. The developers were waiting for them with open arms. (more…)