Work has started at 96 Brooklyn Avenue on the corner of Dean Street in Crown Heights, where NIA JV LLC and partner ELH Management LLC plan to turn this house into affordable housing.
A tipster sent in this photo and word that the house is being gutted. The owner has cut down an enormous amount of overgrown vegetation that was hiding the house. Our tipster said he’s seen “wheelbarrows of debris being carted out.”
ELH Management has been in the affordable housing business since 1992 and was responsible for the award-winning restoration of Montrose Morris’ Imperial Apartments on the corner of Pacific Street and Bedford Avenue. So we have no fear this place will end up gutted but then abandoned or put back on the market like the Susan B. Elkins house.
The exterior of this 1880s house by noted architects the Parfitt Brothers will be fully restored to its original splendor, as we wrote in October. ELH has already filed plans with Landmarks. We are a little wistful about the interiors. We do wish not every adaptive re-use or conversion into affordable housing has to mean gutting historic interiors and turning them into white boxes.
However, the upper floor of this house appears to have been open to the elements for some time, so there may be extensive water damage that requires a full gut and nothing the developers can do about it. Still, it would be great if they were able to salvage some doors or, on the parlor floor, which is less likely to be damaged, all the plasterwork and details such as mantels and molding.
The permit says “renovation of seven apartments; new fixtures, appliances, finishes, flooring, and sheetrock. Minor reconfigurations.”
In October, our columnist Montrose Morris wrote “Crown Heights North community is looking forward for this house to stop traffic on this corner. Like the Imperial, it is one of our architectural jewels.”