Harmonious House Planned for 27 Cranberry Street

7-cranberry-middle-041613Just what Fedders monstrosity might be going into the empty lot at 27 Cranberry Street? A reader asked us to look into plans for the site, which was the focus of a recent New York Times story about preparing for neighbors’ renovations. Thankfully, the answer seems to be an attractive, single family house of four stories, above, whose design appears to fit in very well with neighboring historic buildings. The cornice and bay window will be zinc, and the entrance surround, doors and windows will be mahogany. The plans were approved by Landmarks last year, and the architect is Martin Santini. The owner, an LLC, appears to be Brooklyn developer Louis V. Greco Jr. Do you think infill that plays well with surrounding buildings is a major benefit of landmarking?




13 Comment

  • The real architects who designed the building are the husband and wife team of Tom van den Bout and Brenda Nelson. The guy you mention had nothing to do with it other than perhaps filing the papers at DOB.
    van den Bout and Nelson presented the proposal at LPC and the Community Board.

  • I like it. How refreshing that they hired architects who not only know what a house looks like, but can design one that fits well with the look of the neighborhood. Call Jean Nouvel, and he would design something that looks like a crystal shoe horn or a wind swept kleenex made out of solar panels.

  • Not sure how a 2-story zinc bay window fits in…

    • In comparison to the often more likely architect’s fantasy we so often see, I think it does a fairly good job. I would love to see exact replicas of 19th-century brownstones erected instead, but that is not the prevailing view or reality.

  • It might very well come out looking good (hard to tell from the rendering). But as to the specific point of this post (harmonious and “appears to fit in very well”), I disagree. Big use of metal, and roman brick, are odd material choices for a block of wood and conventional brick buildings.

    • Are zinc panels and mahogany window frames more cost effective than conventional brick? Doesn’t sound like it. I assume those elements are design, more than cost focused. There are a few old brownstones with bay windows and other significant elements made of copper–not exactly the same, I know.
      In fairness to Brownstoner, the writer did qualify the anticipated result with the words “seems” and “appears.”
      I didn’t use any qualifiers, but I tend to be optimistic and thankful when buildings aren’t designed without any noticeable attempt to consider how people will live in them.
      Just think of what Jean Nouvel would use for materials.

  • The Landmarks folks have approved historical reproductions in places where there is a continuous row with one tooth missing or where there is specific proof of what was there before. But this is a vacant lot on a block where each building is different. To build a little federal style wooden cottage or brick Italianate house would be kind of phony. Therefore what the LPC types really encourage is a modern design that fits in with the old neighbors.
    I think this fits the bill. It is custom-designed for the site; original and attractive.

    • I disagree. I didn’t say I thought they should go for a phony federal or Italianate house. In fact I feel the opposite. A really contemporary look, but with materials common to the block (wood and plain brick), would to my mind look better than what they aimed for (a look echoing a traditional townhouse but with very different materials). I personally think it will stick out in an ostentatious way rather than a creative way. Reasonable minds can differ…

      • yes of course reasonable minds can differ but unless you can go to your cad program and whip up an original, contemporary design that is superior, I think the benefit of the doubt goes to the courageous architects who put their reputation and livelihoods on the line to design and tweak and re-tweak a design that finally gets approved. It is no easy thing,

        • I can make a brownstone gingerbread house. I make them every year, but if I ever have the opportunity to make one for DumboResident I will make sure all of the candy elements are on the approved list:-) Creative without being ostentatious. Got it.
          I like everyone to be happy. Good thing I was too flummoxed by math to become an architect.

  • Boring, please let it be 2013.

  • House on right is red brick, not white whatever shown in this rendering.

  • Ahem… Why post the street elevation of the “harmonious” and “attractive” new house with the top cut off, and then pose a question about “infill that plays well with surrounding buildings”? It would appear from the drawing that the house has at least another story. The recent New York Times article described a 9,000-square-foot building being erected on the vacant lot, which would be significantly larger than nearby homes on similar lots.