Building of the Day: 615 St. Johns Place

615 St. Johns

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Garage or service building, then home
Address: 615 St. Johns Place
Cross Streets: Franklin and Classon Avenues
Neighborhood: Crow Hill/Crown Heights North
Year Built: Sometime between 1900 and 1920
Architectural Style: Typical early 20th century garage
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Sandwiched in between two flats buildings, across from Franklin Park, sits this little neglected building. According to Property Shark, the building measures 20 x 25 feet, on a lot that is 20 by a very long 131 feet. The profile of the building, minus the little portico, gives us an idea of its date: similar facades in the area date to the beginning of the 20th century, and it’s a typical garage building, easily found in this neighborhood, a style used for both private and public garages, and also service stations and body shops.

At some point in its history, someone converted the garage into an office or home, by adding an extension. Adaptive use at its finest. They put a little portico entryway on it, giving it a bit more gravitas. It could easily have had windows on one side, in the back, and would have had a large backyard. The building is classified as a “One story-permanent living quarters,” according to the city, which also says that the building has 990 square feet of space. The Municipal Archives tax photo from the early 1980s shows a chain link fence with a gate, a newspaper in the gate, and a little lawn with boxwood shrubbery and a decorative tree. There is ivy growing on the face of the building. It would be like an urban ranch style house. It’s all rather cute and charming. Alas, no longer. The building has long been boarded up, and due to a fire, the roof is now out. The yard is garbage strewn and overgrown.

But this is still a piece of Brooklyn real estate, now near trendy Franklin Park, in the heart of “ProCro.” (gag!) Last year, an article in a blog called “Daily Heights” speculated as to what one could do with the space, since it was for sale, speculating that one could build a four story condo, and make a tidy profit. The blog also referred to a similar conversation going on at the time on Brooklynian, in which a few people were speculating on what they would do, as well. The property was being offered at the time for $339K, all cash. There appears to be some legal mess going on with the property, with a new LLC, and a lis pendens, but according to Trulia, it looks like it sold for $664K. Wow. You better catch this little garage before it’s gone. GMAP

615 is sandwiched in between the 2 light colored flats buildings. As you can see, it's long, and the roof is gone.

615 is sandwiched in between the 2 light colored flats buildings. As you can see, it’s long, and the roof is gone.

1980 tax photo: Municipal Archives.

1980 tax photo: Municipal Archives.

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