House of the Day: Endangered on Orient Avenue

Barring the intervention of a very well-heeled hipster trustafarian, another unlandmarked gem in Greenpoint may be headed for the execution chamber. Its crime? Sitting on a 60-by-100-foot lot in a neighborhood that has been complacent about protecting its architectural heritage. (This block was known as Doctors’ Row in the middle of the 20th Century.) The Victorian-era shingled house is on the chopping block for $2.5 million, more than it would likely fetch were it not for the 13,200 square feet of buildable space that accompanies a 6,000-square-foot lot in an R6 neighborhood. As the listing points out, the addition of a community facility could mean an even larger building. What a shame. Maybe some creative entrepreneur could make this work as a bed and breakfast or how about a Soho House East?
59 Orient Avenue [Capri Jet Realty] GMAP P*Shark
59 Orient Avenue [NY Times]

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  • somebody should open a “Bates Motel” themed B&B here. cash cow!

  • Oh how I’ve loved this house… When I was in HS, I’d walk past every day, twice a day and thought how cool would it be to see Herman, Lilly, Grandpa and the kids…

  • $190 a buildable on Orient Avenue? I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

  • What a shame that it isn’t even being marketed as a viable home, but only as a developer’s dream lot.

    I hope that historically minded deep pocketed individual does come along and rescue it. There aren’t that many of these houses left in the entire city.

  • What a funny looking house. The roof shingles have extended down the entire face and it looks a little like cousin IT. Is it historical simply because it’s old? Are there other roof shingle homes in the hood?

  • Orient Avenue is no where near Greenpoint. It is at the East williamsburg/Bushwick border four blocks from the Graham Ave L train stop.

  • oh come on! how could it ever be a bed and breakfast considering the selling price is $2.5 million!

  • this is near Maspeth Street where all the new/ugly condos popped up. I love orient ave especially since it’s near the park what a shame….

  • let’s put a deluxe pool in the backyard!

  • thanks anon, I was wondering how on earth I had never seen this place. THIS IS NOT GREENPOINT!

    here’s a map:

    Orient Ave. is actually a pretty quirky little street with some character. But the map tells the tale: behind the house is Maspeth Ave., where all those gazillion new condos are being built.

  • Mr. B: did you take the photo? What is the composition of the roof and siding?

  • that’s bushwick, and there is no “east williamsburg”.

  • Here we go again – its Williamsburg. Period – not East Williamsburg, not Bushwick. Just plain old Williamsburg.

  • Maybe the house can be jacked up and trucked someplace lower-density?

  • Totally Bushwick. East Williamsburg is saying like West New York. Only real estate brokers refer to it as East Williamsburg. But if you live there and it makes you feel better………

  • The city named the Williamsburg/Bushwick border the “East Williamsburg Industrial Park”.

    In “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” they walk up and down Graham Avenue down to Broadway in what they refer to as “Williamsburg”.

    Bushwick is bordered by Flushing Ave.

  • Totally Bushwick. East Williamsburg is saying like West New York. Only real estate brokers refer to it as East Williamsburg. But if you live there and it makes you feel better………

  • Um, West New York is the name of an actual town (In Jersey). While East New York may be the name of a neighborhood, at present, there is no actual neighborhood named East Williamsburg.

  • It’s Williamsburg. I used to live around the corner. Everyone who grew up on the block called it Williamsburg. And Orient is one of the nicest streets in Williamsburg. And that house is the nicest thing on Orient. And I really really hope they don’t tear it down, I love that house. I used to bring people from out of town down that block just to look at that house.

  • 6:25, I lived on Metropolitan Avenue very close to the house in 1994. It’s Williamsburg. I didn’t know where Bushwick was. Do you think people cared about the name “Willamsburg” back then?

  • yeah, tear it down and make way for another generic cinder block condo with quaint balconies that make the place look like a communist country housing project. People aren’t happy unless they’re surrounded by glass and plastic and they’ll pay any price to live someplace that’s mentioned in NY Magazine as a “desireable” neighborhood. NY is OVER.

  • If I were mayor/governor/president/jesus for a day, I would eminant domain all of greenpoint and greenwood heights (possibly south slope too), knock it down and start from scratch..jump start the green movement. who’s with me?

  • I agree with ABG. Why can’t they move this house somewhere else. I see that is done in other cities alot. I would imagine you would need to find a buyer for the house as well as the lot itself. And the house i’m sure does not have the original shingles/siding on front. If original siding is put on, house would look better.

  • Used to have an art studio down the block— it is “East Williamsburg”— at least it was until they renamed Bushwick. A realtor recently told me that the house used to belong to Peter Cooper (i.e. Cooper Union). Don’t know if this is true (Peter Cooper park is down the street)but if so, it would be ashame to tear down a piece of NYC history.

  • I do believe this is the house where they filmed a scene from Eternal Sunshine (they definitely filmed a scene on that block when I lived there).

  • From what i understand this house has more to do with NYC history than most believe. I live on this block, and was told that it is the childhood home of Peter Cooper…?

  • It’s Williamsburg. Zip code 11211. I live next door to this house and my kids are zoned for the local school, PS132, a WILLIAMSBURG school.

  • i always knew it as the peter cooper house, but alas, it was built at the end of the 19th century, he was born in 1791, i hear that it may have belonged to a’s a wonderful house, and it should never be torn down

  • Hi. I live in this house on the second floor.
    It is true that it was in Eternal Sunshine of the Sporless mind, the gate hallway and one of the bedrooms. It’s unmistakeable and I’ve talked to the landlord about it.

    It was designed by Peter Cooper sometime in the mid 1800s. People say 1899 this is because they don’t know and want to say it’s pre 20th century.

    The house has sold to developers. The closing is supposed to happen today. . .They bought it for somewhere around 1.7 mil and are going to knock it down to build condos. It CANNOT be landmarked without owner’s consent, even though it is a historical landmark dating from Civil War times, one of the oldest houses in NYC and its burrows.

    If anyone is listening or has any ideas of how to stop it being torn down, please comment. This is urgent. The lease is changing names it early September. . .

    When Peter Cooper built this house, it was supposedly surrounded by his plantation. When he died the estate was split up.

  • I just bought the house 2 doors up and the real estate agent told me this house did sell as described above. I hope they build something nice. This street has a lot of history, a lot of new young families, and a great group of people that have been here for decades. I lived 8 blocks away in the Greenpoint zip code and look forward to a lot of years here on Orient.

  • Well we live next door, and after suffering the “Olive Park” debacle behind us for the past 3 years, with raining styrofoam and debris, illegal practices, and a mysterious lack of punishment after dozens of complaints investigated and found to be true, I find that another scummy Hacid is going to build more crap with no concern for how it effects the neighbors

    How do they get away with it? Ask yourself that for a second, and wonder why your tax money is fueling a machine which is unfair, and will never include you, and lets others who bribe their way do as they please.

    And why can’t we ever talk about it without being labelled racist?

    A nice bulletproof game you’ve set up for yourselves.

    So you win, you get a few bucks in your filthy, greedy pockets, and NY has one less concerned family to populate it. Well done, hope you enjoy living in a town that has you and the stock brokers left.

    We’re leaving town, last one out lock up.

  • I just had to move out of the 2nd floor of this house. It is so beautiful and I feel really lucky to have had the chance to live there. It is going to be torn down to build condos, it breaks my heart.

  • I guess one advantage is that the fat scumbag who owned the place won’t be littering the street with his run-down German cars and cat piss smell anymore. And you won;t have to be woken by the police coming by to tell him to put the heat back on for his tenants, and that his connection at the precinct no longer cares for him to drop his name.

    Hope he chokes on the cash his fat ass will pocket…

  • Why get rid of the comments about how horrible it is what is happening to this house? Are you on the developers payroll?

  • Let me set the record straight. I lived across the street from that home for 23 years. it is WILLIAMSBURG! Orient Ave. was the nicest residential block in not only Williamsburg but all of the adjacent neighborhoods. On a warm Spring or Summer evening, as you walked home from the Canarsie line subway station at Graham Ave. you would be greeted by all of your neighbors on this beautiful, tree lined street.

    I have very fond memories of the people and the eclectic architecture that this one block oasis. Preserve it. You can’t build history.

  • the zip code for the house is 11211. bushwick is 11206. you do the math. it IS williamsburg