Norah Jones Cuts Back on Her Windows

norah-0110.jpgThere’s peace in Cobble Hill. The platinum-selling singer Norah Jones, who got the neighborhood in quite a tizzy at the end of the year when she received approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to pop in ten new windows along the western wall of her recently purchased townhouse, took a voluntary step at a compromise. According to The Brooklyn Paper, which broke the news, Jones has amended her LPC application to include only seven windows instead of ten–three on the top floor and four on the bottom floor. The president of the Cobble Hill Association, which has weighed in with the concern that the side windows are not historically consistent, expressed mixed feelings about the news: I’m still concerned that this sets a precedent, said Roy Sloane, the president of the Cobble Hill Association. But I’m always in favor of a compromise, if that’s what happened here. One concern that is not raised by either The Brooklyn Paper or The Post, which also covered the story, is whether the seven-window layout might actually look less natural than the original ten-window layout. Any thoughts on that?
Compromise in Norah Jones’ Windowgate Plan [NY Post]
Windows 7 was Norah Jones’s Idea [NY Post]
Cobble Hill Neighbors Irked by Norah Jones’ Windows [Brownstoner]

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  • The precedent is set by most corner buildings. Get a life, Roy.

  • Norah no! Fight the power!

  • NORAH FAIL!!!!

    Those NIMBYS in Cobble Hill need to get a better hobby than breaking Ms. Jones’ chops.

  • Dont worry Adam the Nimby’s arent going to back down – they wont settle for anything less than ‘EXACTLY LIKE IT WAS THE DAY I GOT HERE’;

  • The precedent is set by most corner buildings. Get a life, Roy.

    Posted by: daveinbedstuy at January 8, 2010 9:05 AM

    Yeah seriously. As long as they’re the right KIND of windows wouldn’t they just ADD to the building, making it a nicer-looking place? What’s so pretty about a plain brick wall?

  • Ms. Jones should not give in to the aesthetically challenged locals. Who prefers a blank wall to one that has windows? It is so idiotic as to warrant all the press coverage the subject has received.
    Mr. Sloane is hurting his credibility and that of the association.

  • Roy sounds like a total busybody. He’s that same type that peers at his neighbors thru the shutters and gossips about their comings and goings. I hate to be one of his tenants or vice-versa.

    Landmarks Preservation Commissions are certainly important and vital but this seems absurd.

  • I think the windows would also have ENHANCED their neighborhood. She lives next to a Vacant Lot. Are these people serious???? I love corner buildings with the protruding bay windows.

  • Compromise? No way! I’m going over there right now with my sledge hammer and Sawzall and installing ten windows myself. Anybody with me? We could have it done in a day with the right crew.

  • I’m with Adam. A full face of windows, proeprly spaced, is much more appropriate looking than a handful of random windows or a missing floor of windows. The side face fo the building will have no nose. Would be far more elegant if done up like a real corner building.

  • Everything that needs to be said about this busybody Roy and his no-life neighbors is right on. I’d also add that windows make safer sidewalks – they cast more light out on dark nights. And spooky empty lots. Street lights on very leafy streets with big trees are hardly ever sufficient. I also agree with Brownstoner that the asymmetrical arrangement of 7 windows will look worse than even rows of windows numbering 10. What’s to celebrate here?

  • The only way even rows of windows can add up to 10 is if you do 5 floors of 2 each. This house doesn’t have 5 floors.

    There was never going to be any symmetry.

  • The president of the CHA should be sentenced to life in a windowless room.

  • Maybe he should have his mouth and writing hand duct taped? Honestly- Sloane doesn’t have anything else in life to worry about? I could understand if she was going to have the facade ripped off and replaced with fake fieldstone stucco- but honestly!

    The ony thing I’m thinking is she might have been advised to go with les windows over concerns for the structure. 10 is a lot of holes to punch through an old wall. In any case, she certainly showed lot more class than Sloane.

  • The president of the CHA should be sentenced to life in a windowless room.

    Posted by: cmu at January 8, 2010 9:59 AM


    cmu, I’m sure there’s a case of repressed “window envy” with this guy.

  • Next time ask for 20 windows and compromise back down to 10.

  • Well, isn’t this interesting?

    Here we have the Brownstoner crowd, who day after day call for more landmarked areas, more regulation over building aesthetics (down to what type of sidewalks are appropriate in front of brownstones) and more “community input”, aghast at a Frankenstein they’ve created.

    As the old expression goes: be careful what you wish for…..

  • oh benson, stop whining already.

  • the funniest part about it is that nora’s face is about as asthetically please as a plain brick wall


  • Fuggedaboutit, benson.

  • Benson, the fact that the Landmark Preservation Commission approved the 10 windows that Ms Jones asked for in the first place, shows that preservation is not an inflexible monolith. Most true preservation movements recognize and celebrate the fact that a neighborhood, or an individual building, can still have room for change or improvement, while staying true to architectural style or historic flavor.

  • Ah, but Montrose, don’t you see the Frankenstein??

    Did the “community” take the LPC’s ruling as the last word? Seems not, eh?

    So which “value” should rule? Community “input” or The Official Voice of Preservation????

    I think the “community” should call up Dan Goldstein and get his advice on how to obstruct a process. I hear he’s looking for a new gig.

    This is just delicious!!!

    Have a great weekend all!!

  • MM- why do you bother trying to reason with an angry, bitter guy like benson whose entire reason for posting on brownstoner is to air his misery and take potshots at others? I bet his entire day consists of sitting in his basement, snickering to himself everytime he posts some “brilliant ” bit of psychoanalysis of the brownstoner mindset.

  • So what, benson? I don’t see “the community” in an uproar, I see a few people. Very few issues of any kind get 100% approval of everyone in an entity as diverse as a neighborhood. But again, in the case of changes to an historic building in an historic neighborhood, the official historic preservation authority has given its approval. Next.

  • “This is just delicious!!!”
    Unfortunately, due to absurdity, it is.

  • sometimes to get the idiot off your stoop, you compromise. this is smart of Norah. when the 7 windows go in and looks great and hood likes it, she can ask to put in the 3 into that flr w/o the windows

  • quote:
    MM- why do you bother trying to reason with an angry, bitter guy like benson

    i’ve held my tongue long enough bxgirl… your hatred of benson is RIDICULOUS. you are calling HIM angry and bitter, but you sometimes come across just as angry and bitter, if not MORESO!!!


  • I’m sorry, but IMHO this is much ado about nothing

  • I hear that Norah NEVER wanted 10 windows in the first place, only 7, but got approval for 10, so when the neighbors got out their pitchforks and torches, she’d appear magnanimous by compromising at 7, and then they’d leave her alone.

  • rob- I suggest you stop attacking 11217 every time he posts before you point a finger at my relationship with benson.

  • Regular double hung brown framed windows will look correct on the blank brick wall, however, she is having 7, shouldn’t it be the same top and bottom like all symetrical.

    I do agree though, windows will definetely look better than a blank brick wall.
    But what will happen should anything be built on the lot line?

  • The placement of windows is determined by the interior floorplan. Whether or not they are symmetrical or in-line from the exterior is not really an issue.

    If there’s an odd shaped one for a stairway, for example, it might break up the whole “pattern” and look even more pleasing.

  • STARGAZER, with landmarking and those NIMBYs, NOTHING will ever be built on the lot line.

  • I thought there was a garden there? Well, if it happens, Norah will just have to deal with it- she can’t stop a building going up. The only thing they can do is make sure it’s in context according to landmarking.

  • Enough with the coy games: which one of you is Norah Jones???

  • the 4 windows on the bottom floor will not be visible to walkers’ by, since there is a fence separating the sidewalk from ythe garden and driveway nest door.
    all that will be visible will be the 3 top floor windows…
    Let It Be!

  • If I recall correctly, one of Mr. Sloane’s major issues (and the CHA’s) was that the windows were a last-minute add-on in the LPC offices. There was no input on them from the CHA or the local Community Board’s Land Use Committee.

    The LPC is notoriously understaffed and underfunded. The people who should have the first voice in this matter are the local community (through CHA and CB6) and Ms. Jones. Once they have given their opinion, the LPC must take it into consideration.

    The LPC recently approved an underground garage behind the historic Riverside House in Bklyn Heights — despite the fact that none of the proper DOB, etc., filings had been made. People in a community know the most about that community, and should have the first say in how the community develops — especially in an historic neighborhood.

    Please stop maligning Roy Sloane (with his 35 years of unpaid, volunteer public service) until you have spent some time dong the same.