You can’t celebrate Brooklyn or 10 years of Brownstoner without the Williamsburgh Bank building, one of Brooklyn’s greatest structures.
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building Address: 1 Hanson Place, corner of Ashland Place Neighborhood: Fort Greene Year Built: 1927-29 Architectural Style: Art Deco, with Byzantine and Romanesque influences Architect: Halsey, McCormack & Helmer Other buildings by architects: Central Methodist Church, next door, redo of Former Dime SB at Fulton Mall, Former Kings County SB at Nostrand and Eastern Parkway, former Brevoort SB on Fulton Street, Bed Stuy. Landmarked: Yes. Brooklyn Academy of Music HD,1977. Bank interior, lobby, landmarked in 1996.
The story: Like thousands of Brooklynites who worked or walked in the area, I used this building hundreds of times to check the time. My mother’s dentist was in this building. For many people, this building IS Brooklyn, almost as much as the Brooklyn Bridge is. For many years, Brooklyn’s tallest building, (second now, thanks to the Brooklyner) the Williamsburgh Bank Building is an icon of our borough, as well as one of New York City’s most beautiful skyscrapers.
The firm of Halsey, McCormack and Helmer produced some great bank buildings, not only in Brooklyn, but also the Dollar Savings Bank in the Bronx, and the Greenwich Savings Bank on 57th Street in Manhattan. The firm organized in 1920, with Hayward Halsey, a developer, former banker George H. McCormack, and architect Robert Helmer, who took charge of the design office, and is responsible for actually designing all of their buildings. If you think about it, this partnership was perfect. Banker McCormick was well-connected to the industry, and could get their foot in the door. He also knew intimately what was needed in the design of a proper bank. Helmer designed, and Halsey got it built. (more…)
A cafe called Simple Pleasures Cafe opened Monday at 833 Dekalb Avenue in Bed Stuy. They are serving coffee and had a few pastries when we stopped by. It’s on the corner of Throop about six blocks from the JMZ stop at Kosciuszko Street. Has anyone checked it out? GMAP
Remember the Carroll Gardens Atrocity? Here’s our first post on the subject, titled “CG Atrocity: There Goes the Neighborhood,” in April 2006. Back then we didn’t mince words:
Carroll Gardens better get off its ass and create some historic districts pronto. Here’s the poster child for the cause: The addition to this house at 3rd Place and Clinton Street, made all the worse by its corner location, has to be one of the greatest bastardizations of a beautiful old brownstone we’ve ever seen. May their condos languish on the market indefinitely. Do you think it would be possible to organize a buying strike against this place? Picket the open houses?
The actual addition turned out to be even worse than the rendering. Here’s what eventually happened to it, from our final post, in October 2012: (more…)
Work is progressing slowly at 472 Marcus Garvey near Fulton in Bed Stuy, where a four-story mixed-use building has been in the works since 2011. The building will have 10 apartments and one store, according to a new building permit. The site has received a number of stop work orders over the years, mostly for construction impact on neighboring properties. Click through to see a rendering of the finished design. (more…)
A new small building at 51 Troutman Street in Bushwick officially launched leasing yesterday, starting at $2,076 for a 526-square-foot one bedroom, rental agent Modern Spaces announced. There are eight units in the four story building, which is located near Silent Barn and the Myrtle Broadway JMZ stop. The most expensive unit in the building is a three-bedroom duplex, renting for $3,323 a month. One month of rent is free.
Finishes include hardwood floors, oversize windows, and Ceasarstone counters. There are hookups for washers and dryers but no actual appliances. BuzzBuzzHome was the first to spot the listings.
Two years ago the site was an empty lot. The property changed hands for $450,000 in 2013, and the owner uses a mail drop on Lee Avenue in South Williamsburg.
Click through for more photos. What do you think of the design, location and pricing?
A new wine shop, Vin de Table, is setting up shop in Bed Stuy at 354 Throop Avenue. The “soft” opening is today, but the store plans to officially open for business next week, according to its Facebook page. The store is located in a new building at the corner of Dekalb.
Vin de Table will carry a mix of international and local wines, with an emphasis on quality wines for $10 and less a bottle. “Our mission to find great affordable wines,” according to its website.
Thanks to a tipster for the photo and intel. Do you think a wine store will be an asset in this location? GMAP
Here’s an interesting new-construction townhouse at 733 Greene Avenue in Bed Stuy. Check out the patchwork wallpaper in the living room and the jagged-edge (ombre or fade effect?) lawn in the back yard. The front facade isn’t perfect, but we like the mix of materials.
Coincidentally, the developer is the same as the one in our 11:30 am post today about 797-799 Herkimer Street, Nir Sapir of Bed Stuy’s East Coast Real Estate Development Group LLC. The applicant of record for both is an engineer, not an architect, so perhaps the developer does his own design.
It’s set up as an owner’s duplex over a garden rental. It’s a bit of a hike to the trains and the shops in Stuy Heights, so we think if they dropped a few numbers off the ask it’d be a pretty sweet deal. What do you think of it for $1,549,000?
Hey, look, here on October 25, 2004, we predicted the coming crash! OK, well, the post, titled “It’s All About the Interest Rates, Stupid,” was actually a reblog of a New York Times story that predicted the coming crash. Still.
The real problem lurking below the surface of the real estate market, according to The New York Times, is the large number of the adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and interest-only loans that people have taken over the past couple of years to enable them to afford the monthly payments on the increasingly expensive homes they are buying. If rates do rise a few percentage points over the next couple of years, a lot of these folks could find themselves unable to make their payments. But The Donald isn’t too worried: “I just don’t think that the politicians can allow the rates to go up because then the economy beyond real estate will tank.”
The two Carlton Mews projects in Fort Greene that have been under construction for years are wrapping up and looking spectacular, in our opinion. Isn’t it wonderful what landmarking can do?
In September we brought you a sneak peak of both projects. Now a reader sends in more photos.
At 225-233 Carlton Avenue, we have five brand new townhouses, all built in a 19th century traditional style in keeping with others in the area. They are looking very credible, as far as we’re concerned. The contractor used a mix of original and new bluestone to create the bluestone sidewalk in front of them. Each will feature a triplex above a garden floor rental, according to our tipster.
These are scheduled to wrap in December, according to the construction sign.
Meanwhile, the conversion of the church at 232 Adelphi Street is also nearing the finish line. Both projects, which have different owners, will be on the market in a few months, our tipster said. The church will have 12 apartments, ranging from studios to a three-bedroom duplex. In the clock tower is a kitchen with a 25-foot ceiling!
Click through to see a few more photos. What do you think of the developments?