Pratties Have ‘Cake-and-Eat-It’ Design for Admiral’s Row

admiralsrow-072008.jpg
Pratt Institute architect Brent Porter and his students have designed a plan for Admiral’s Row that would involve preserving the 10 old buildings and also constructing a supermarket and a parking lot. The design would result in the restoration of the houses for commercial and community use, and put a supermarket—one that’s smaller than the one the city wants—on old parade grounds. The proposal, which comes in advance of Tuesday evening’s public meeting at Borough Hall and days after Councilmember Letitia James expressed a willingness to preserve at least some of the buildings, does not come with a price tag.
Meet the New ‘Row’ [Brooklyn Paper]
Guard Starts Talks ‘To Come Up With Alternatives’ For Row [Brownstoner]
James Opens Door to (Partial) Admiral’s Row Preservation [Brownstoner]
Model c/o Gordon LaPlante / Brent M. Porter and Associates for BP.

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  • Brownstoner

    Where’s Marty on this? If these were restored it could be a tourist attraction, which is his big thing. Anyone know if he has he officially weighed in?

  • When this thing went through ULURP a couple of years ago, Marty held a (sparsely attended) public hearing about the city acquiring the property. He voted in favor of it, although if I remember correctly – he made some mention of how preservation would be nice if it were feasible. Since then he’s pretty much stayed out of it. I get the sense he doesn’t think there’s an easy win for him on this one, so he’s not getting involved unless he has too. Probably a smart move for him.

  • Hey, it’s a start – something tangible we can all look at and evaluate. I truly believe something can be designed that preserves the Row, serves community needs, and makes some money to pay for itself. This may be the first step. Kudos to the prof and his team. This is not easy.

  • Marty won’t do anything until it’s absolutely clear which way the wind is blowing. That’s just the way he is. I’d complain about him, but since I voted for him I hardly feel entitled to complain. I will say that I regret that vote, though.

    My hope is that the Row will be saved, but I’m still not optimistic.

  • Great idea! I’d much rather see City, State and Fed dollars spent on this project than Forest City Rats arena or the Brooklyn Bridge Park for that matter.

  • If you put a Hoagie or Meatball Sandwich shop in one of the restored Admiral’s Row houses then I’m sure Marty would back this plan in a hearbeat.

  • Considering the fact that an optimistic pricetag on preservation is a mere $20 million, and a pessimistic one is still only $40 million, there’s no reason these buildings should not be preserved.

    Especially when you consider that the city has recently:
    - dumped 15 million dollars into artificial waterfalls
    - spent millions of dollars on the Pope’s visit
    - pledged hundreds of millions in subsidies to rich developers
    even $40M seems like a drop in the bucket when contrasted with losing a valuable part of Brooklyn’s heritage.

    The Pratt design is elegant, and should provide a blueprint for a fair compromise between preservationists and residents. Although the exact plan might have flaws, it shows feasibility, which is the first step towards actual preservation.

  • Waterfalls were privately funded, the Pope is the Pope (for Christ’s sake, pun intended) and … okay, the city has given away hundreds of millions in subsidies to developers.

  • Why can’t they make the supermarket two stories if they need it bigger? You can put all the junk food on the second floor.

  • Yeah, the Pope is the Pope… The former Hitler Youth and head of an organization which encourages the spread of AIDS by opposing the use of condoms in Africa, seeks to limit womens’ rights, and condemns gay folks to an eternity of flame. I *totally* like seeing my tax dollars go towards his visit rather than the preservation of historically significant, and architecturally impressive, structures…

  • sorry, g man. waterfalls were funded by The Public Art Fund. The Public Art Fund is a non-profit organization supported in part with Public Funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, A State Agency, the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs. Public money.

  • “Major supporters include Bloomberg LP, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Carson Family Charitable Trust, CIT, Forest City Ratner Companies, The Charina Endowment Fund, The Silverweed Foundation, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and The Wachovia Foundation. Generous support has been provided by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Danielle and David Ganek, Jennifer and Matthew Harris, Jill and Peter Kraus, and Peter Norton Family Foundation, with additional funds from Donald B. Marron Charitable Trust, Elise and Andrew Brownstein, The Jonathan M. Tisch Foundation, Laurie M. Tisch Illuminations Fund, Steve Tisch, Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen, Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, and Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner.”

    sorry f4f, the project cost $15M; the amount of money coming from NYSCA and the Department of Cultural Affairs was relatively minor. And kingstonlounge, the pope is the leader of a major religion worshiped by hundreds of thousands of people in the New York metropolitan region, so what you (or I) think of him doesn’t really mean a whole lot.

  • I actually read law last year on government owned property. It referred to how they were required to maintain the buildings and/or land. I can’t recall exactly, but I thought they were bound by law to maintain it to a certain degree. IF Admiral’s row is “transferred” to a private entity, as I’ve been reading about, the law would no longer apply. Is anyone familiar with law regarding state owned or federal owned property?

  • Lots of chatter. How many of you live in the Whitman or Ingersoll housing projects and have to shop in the nabe? Let’s see those hands a waving.

  • It seems a good idea to me… but as with everything it boils down to $$$. I wasn’t able to find any details on the Pratt students project. But I’ll bet it is just that, a school project. So I hope someone involved has the savy to help it become a reality.
    Also I noticed that here Brownstoner states, “Pratt Institute architect Brent Porter and his students have designed a plan for Admiral’s Row”. But in the Brooklyn Eagle linked article …

    http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=27&id=18939

    “We’re trying to please, I think, everyone, as much as possible,” said Diane Smith, a student in Professor Zehra Kuz’ architectural design class.”
    Brooklyn Eagle goes on to say Prof. Brent Porter is also Chairman Of the Clinton Hill Society of Landmarks Comm.

    So time will tell. I do hope History is remembered.

  • It seems a good idea to me… but as with everything it boils down to $$$. I wasn’t able to find any details on the Pratt students project. But I’ll bet it is just that, a school project. So I hope someone involved has the savy to help it become a reality.
    Also I noticed that here Brownstoner states, “Pratt Institute architect Brent Porter and his students have designed a plan for Admiral’s Row”. But in the Brooklyn Eagle linked article …

    http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=27&id=18939

    “We’re trying to please, I think, everyone, as much as possible,” said Diane Smith, a student in Professor Zehra Kuz’ architectural design class.”
    Brooklyn Eagle goes on to say Prof. Brent Porter is also Chairman Of the Clinton Hill Society of Landmarks Comm.

    So time will tell. I do hope History is remembered.

  • There’s plenty of room to build the supermarket if you don’t build a parking lot. And there’s plenty of supermarkets in Brownstone Brooklyn that are getting along just fine without parking lots. With the price of gas well over $4 a gallon and no decline in sight, who would start a business that depends on customers coming in cars?

  • Businesses that depend on cars:

    Fairway
    Ikea

    Anything that’s far from a subway. I dont know much about those houses, but they are a low priority for me. They are houses. I doubt theres much of the original detail left.

    They can knock these down for a good grocery store and use the preservation money on the Loews Kings on Flatbush, which is a far more worthy building for preservation that is being ignored.

  • I hardly think their would be many tourists who would drag they sorry asses through the surrounding projects to see a half a dozen restored brownstones when any other Brooklyn neighborhood has more and better architecture to look at. As far as I can tell there is nothing nautical or Navyish about these places that would make them unique. There is a finite amount of money available for this kind of project, better to look for something that gets more bang for the buck.

  • @BklynPEZ
    “It seems a good idea to me… but as with everything it boils down to $$$. I wasn’t able to find any details on the Pratt students project. But I’ll bet it is just that, a school project. So I hope someone involved has the savy to help it become a reality.
    Also I noticed that here Brownstoner states, “Pratt Institute architect Brent Porter and his students have designed a plan for Admiral’s Row”. But in the Brooklyn Eagle linked article …”

    There are two different things happening. Zehra Kuz was teaching a class focusing on alternatives to the admirals row housing. Meanwhile Brent Porter was working with two other students to create an alternative plan which had nothing to do either with Zehra Kuz or a Pratt Institute school project. (aside from the students being in school at the time). Brent Porter’s proposal was mearly created with the aid of Pratt Students and was an attempt to prove the city could achieve the same desired results (i.e. parking requirements, height restrictions, and the desired grocery store) while preserving both the historic brownstones as well as park space and timber shed. The proposed bix box retail center was a proposal which could be improved upon. More images can be seen here: