Introducing Brownstoner’s first-ever reader renovation diary based in Sea Gate. It will document the renovation of a 100-year-old oceanfront home on the edge of Coney Island. Our intrepid blogger can also be found at Brooklyn Beach House.
A Coney Island beach house. Yes! They exist.
I know, because we bought one a year ago. If you start at Nathan’s in Coney Island and head west toward the baseball stadium (keep the ocean on your left), in about a mile you will find that the boardwalk and Surf Avenue dead end into gates in the water and the street.
This is the beginning of Sea Gate, a 120-year-old gated community that boasts tiny bungalows, apartment buildings, mega-mansions, and everything in between. And the cool part is — despite the gate — anyone can live here!
After spending a delightful four years in a Park Slope brownstone on 6th Street just off the park, followed by an even more delightful seven years raising our new family in a large Queen Anne in Ditmas Park, I can honestly say THIS is Brooklyn’s best kept secret. (more…)
The Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing to consider alterations to Park Slope’s landmarked Pavilion Theater has been rescheduled. Previously set for Tuesday, August 4, the hearing will now take place Tuesday, August 18.
The commission will consider Morris Adjmi Architects’ design for a new condo building next to the theater, as well an addition and restoration of the 1929 neo-Renaissance theater. The community board already conditionally approved the plan, despite some residents claiming the proposal looks like a “penitentiary.” (more…)
A rendering is up at the construction site for the new apartment building that will rise at 369 Berry Street in Williamsburg. The design looks quite busy, and will use at least four different materials on the facade.
A tweedy brick in grey, black and beige will make up most of the facade. There will also be orange brick, beige tile and smaller multi-colored salt-and-pepper-colored tile (or possibly rock veneer). Colonial style sconces accent the entry, and a glass wall tops the structure.
The applicant of record is architect Charles Mallea, who is becoming quite prolific in north and central Brooklyn, with more than a dozen projects in Bed Stuy, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick. Projects include a controversial apartment building with mirrored cracks at 410 Tompkins Avenue and more traditional buildings at 75 Ralph Avenue and 774 Bushwick Avenue. (more…)
Are high levels of ownership good or bad for cities? Should the government push for more home ownership? What role do rental units play in the growth and vitality of cities?
Journalist and web developer, Ken Schwencke, who also works for The New York Times, has added to the discussion of some of those questions by creating a nation-wide interactive map that shows renters and owners across the country. To build the map, he spent some serious time with the US Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey data, zeroing in on home ownership.
The red dots on his map represent renters, the blue dots, owners. Each dot represents 25 housing units, and they are placed randomly within a census tract — an area of about four to eight blocks in Brooklyn.
Despite the frenzied housing market in Brooklyn over the last decade, the rate of home ownership has changed little. New York is a city of renters and Brooklyn is a borough of renters, as is made clear by the vast swaths of red in the map above.
According to the New York Housing and Vacancy Survey of 2014 (PDF), Brooklyn’s home ownership rate is 29 percent, higher than Manhattan and the Bronx but lower than the city average and far below the national average of 63.4 percent. City-wide, the total number of owner-occupied units is up slightly from the previous year.
Today the national home ownership rate is at its lowest point since 1967. But for cities a low home ownership rate may not be a bad thing.
Cities in general have low levels of home ownership. And some of those that have seen the most economic growth recently have very low levels of home ownership.
The last traces of the arson fires that devastated this stretch of Broadway and nearby blocks in Ocean Hill and Bushwick in the 1970s are slowly being erased by new development here.
Men have been busy toiling away on the largest and most prominent of these developments under the elevated J train track here on the corner of Broadway and Decatur Street in Ocean Hill since a big public groundbreaking in March.
A vacant, City-owned lot for decades, this was once a row of stores with apartments above and will soon be so again. (more…)
Hop on over to The Renegade Craft Fair for a variety of pop-up shops featuring artisanal and home-made crafts, clothing, jewelry, and more. Keep an eye out for some of our favorites including Hill & Velez Home Goods and clay jewelry by Melissa Diaz of Okru.
If you’re thinking about taking in a four-legged roomate, we’ve got a word for you: Adoptapalooza. That’s the name of an event held by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals that will bring 150 dogs and cats in need of adoption to Prospect Park tomorrow.
Similar adoption events have been held in Union Square, but this is the first one in Brooklyn. Over a dozen animal welfare groups will bring some of their available dogs and cats — and there may be a rabbit or two in the mix. All of them have been spayed or neutered. Adoption fees vary by group. (more…)
Last night a public hearing on the controversial residential towers to be built on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park drew an overflow crowd and ran more than two hours long. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation needs a modification of the park’s General Project Plan to allow affordable housing in the park and in these particular buildings. Community Board 2 approved the modification earlier this month and this hearing was the next step in the approval process.
“The place was totally full (occupancy limit: 350), with another hundred people outside the hall, listening on speakers,” said Brownstoner commenter Andrew Porter.
The meeting was “boisterous. Thank goodness the air conditioning was fine,” he added. (more…)
It’s human nature to get tired of the same thing – even in architecture. By the mid-1880s, the new Queen Anne style was beginning to change Brooklyn’s streetscape. In Crown Heights North, these were some of the first.
Name: Row houses Address:1513-1519 Pacific Street Cross Streets: Kingston and Albany avenues Neighborhood: Crown Heights North Year Built: 1886 Architectural Style: Queen Anne Architect: William H. Burhans Other works by architect: 354-356 Stuyvesant Heights, as well as other wood-frame and masonry houses in Brownstone Brooklyn. Landmarked: Yes, part of Phase III of the Crown Heights North Historic District (2015)
The growth of a new architectural style
American Queen Anne style architecture has nothing to do with the reign of England’s Queen Anne (1702-1714). British architect Richard Norman Shaw introduced “Old English” flair to his contemporary buildings in Victorian England, and the style was adapted by American architect Henry H. Richardson.
Everyone else learned from Richardson and took it from there. Queen Anne design became a very distinctive and wholly American style. It is characterized by a massing of shapes, textures and materials, varied rooflines, and a free borrowing of past styles used in previously unheard-of combinations.
Here, in the earliest group of Queen Anne style houses in Phase III of the Crown Heights North Historic District, architect William H. Burhans uses elements of the earlier Italianate and Neo-Grec styles, and mixes them with other classical details. (more…)