Red Hook Brooklyn -- Row House Gut Renovation

This month marks Brownstoner’s Steel Anniversary. We’re taking some time to look back at our past, even as we design a new future.

A sunken living room with a fireplace. A bathtub with a view. A secret garden. Balconies and roof decks. Even a 40-foot-tall fluorescent light installation running from basement to roof.

In designing his home in Red Hook, a circa-1900 brick row house on a cobbled street one block from the water, and carrying out a near-total renovation of what was little more than a shell, Thomas Warnke put in pretty much everything he ever wanted. (more…)

This weekend was the 12th annual Open House New York — a two-day bonanza of architecture tours, events and general building fandom. From the Brooklyn Army Terminal to the Kings Theatre and beyond, architecture fans clambered all over Brooklyn this weekend. If you had to miss out on the fun, here’s a glimpse at the action.

Concrete Baskets

A photo posted by Adrian Mojica (@moheekuh) on



On September 22 we launched an Instagram photo challenge that pays tribute to the late Joseph Lee Sweeney and his iconic “Doors of Brooklyn” poster. To commemorate the first anniversary of his passing, we asked our readers to submit their own photos of their favorite Brooklyn doors.

On October 24, Sweeney’s birthday, we will present a second homage to his work with a new poster featuring 30 doors from your submissions!

To join the photo challenge, post your favorite door on Instagram along with the hashtag #thedoorsofbrooklyn and the tag @brownstoner. You can also send photos directly to maude [at] brownstoner [dot] com.

See what others have been posting. (more…)

Doors of Brooklyn

Joseph Lee Sweeney is a name few Brooklynites will recognize, and yet he left us with a remarkable legacy. A Park Slope resident, successful architect and gifted photographer, Sweeney scoured Brooklyn on foot, documenting hundreds of the borough’s gorgeous doorways. In 2004, he picked 30 of his favorite photographs to create an iconic poster called “The Doors of Brooklyn.”

Today marks the first anniversary of Sweeney’s death. In honor of his contribution to the community, we’re launching a tribute to Sweeney’s project by inviting you to share your portraits of Brooklyn’s majestic doors. (more…)

Est4te Four's Red Hook Development Renderings by Raft

Feast your eyes on new renderings of the future Red Hook Innovation Studios. The dreamy designs were released this week by Raft Architects, showing off the greenery-hemmed plazas and bike-friendly spaces planned for the $100,000,000 office complex. YIMBY was the first to report on the renderings.

Developer Est4te Four began buying up parcels of Red Hook waterfront in 2012, acquiring a total of six sites for $61,000,000. Their plan is to turn the area into a mecca for creative business. The current design entails rehabbing an existing shipping terminal and building several new office buildings, in addition to a parking garage hidden beneath a diamond-patterned lawn.


Pacific Park Brooklyn: 615 Dean Condo Renderings Released

Rendering by Greenland Forest City Partners via YIMBY

Right now, 615 Dean Street is an empty lot. But soon enough it’ll join the ranks of Pacific Park’s buildings-in-progress with a 245-unit condo tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. A rendering of the future building — developed by Greenland Forest City Partners — was just released and spotted by YIMBY.

The building’s design features a series of boxy stacked forms with facade elements of precast concrete. Brownstone brick will highlight the the first five floors of the Dean street side, giving an impression of street-level scale before the bulk of the tower stair-steps to its full 278-foot height.

It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.

Brooklyn School Buildings Repurposed Architectural History

We’ve been highlighting some of the wonderful school buildings in Brooklyn this week, focusing on the schools of James W. Naughton and C.B.J. Snyder, two of the greats of school architecture.

It costs a lot to build a building, so people have always repurposed buildings whenever possible and tailored them to fit their needs. Today we’re looking at buildings that had a different function before becoming a school, or were built as schools and have now been put to another use. Just as the P.S. 9 Annex became apartments, one should never let a good school go to waste.


It’s School Week here on Brownstoner — a series of posts celebrating the start of the school year.

Brooklyn School Buildings of Architect C.B.J. Snyder

I did not grow up in New York City, so I never had the opportunity to be educated in a school designed by the great Charles B.J. Snyder. But his influence on school architecture extended far beyond the city’s borders, and my education was still affected by the innovations and principles he devised.

C.B.J. Snyder was born in 1860 and died in 1945. Between 1891 and 1897 he was the Superintendent of School Buildings for Manhattan and the Bronx, and after the creation of Greater New York in 1898, became the architect of all of the city’s schools until he retired in 1923.

Building at a Time of Great Growth in the City

Snyder was the school architect at the busiest time in New York City’s history. His predecessor only had to worry about Manhattan and the Bronx, but Snyder now had five boroughs’ schools under his wing.

He also took on this job just as the school population swelled with thousands of immigrant children, which overcrowded the schools. On top of that, new advances in education were being devised by the Board of Education, bringing vocational, technical and other specialized high schools into the mix with the city’s public schools.

The Board of Ed’s beancounters did not plan for large enough schools — or enough schools, period. Snyder had his hands full, both in keeping costs down and getting the most from what he was given. (more…)

It’s School Week here on Brownstoner. Stay tuned for more school-themed stories celebrating the start of the school year.

Brooklyn school buildings James W. Naughton

Here’s a look at some of the best school buildings in the city of Brooklyn, and the man who designed them.

Schools have always been important in Brooklyn. The second school in the entire New Amsterdam colony was built here, in Williamsburgh in 1662. The first Brooklyn public school was also in Williamsburgh, opening in 1826.

In 1855, the City of Brooklyn incorporated. It established a Brooklyn Board of Education and chose Samuel B. Leonard as its first Superintendent of Buildings, a position that entailed designing and overseeing all of the school construction in this growing city.

Leonard held the position from 1859-79 and was succeeded by James W. Naughton, who held the position from 1879-98.

For almost 20 years, Naughton designed ALL of the schools built in Brooklyn, totaling more than 100 buildings. (more…)