Consolidation of New York Great Mistake

Here’s an updated look at the most important thing to happen in Brooklyn since Henry Hudson landed at Coney Island. Many people call it “The Great Mistake.” Was it? Read Part One of this series here.

On January 1, 1898, the City of New York officially rose from the collection of cities, towns and neighborhoods that made up Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.

For those who had worked for close to 20 years to make this happen, it was a glorious day. For the common folk of New York, business probably just went on as usual.

In 1873, talk of a Greater New York City began in earnest. The leading citizens and politicians of both New York and Brooklyn began talking about joining the two cities. The opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 gave the idea wings.

Simon Chittenden, one of Brooklyn’s leading citizens, was one of the first serious proponents of this annexation, and he held meetings in his Brooklyn Heights home, successfully getting the proposal to the 1874 State Legislature. The measure did not pass.

The chief mover of the Consolidation Movement was Andrew Haswell Green, a Manhattan lawyer, city planner and visionary. Some historians refer to him as the 19th century’s Robert Moses for his vision and determination in changing the face of New York.

Appointed chairman of the New York City Parks Commission, he worked tirelessly on city planning projects. His name is associated with the creation of Central Park, as well as Riverside, Morningside and Fort Washington parks.

He widened Broadway, created the circle at Columbus Circle, and sponsored the creation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History. He also joined the Tilden, Astor and Lenox funds to finance the creation of the New York Public Library system.

Green was appointed by the state legislature to be the head of the consolidation commission called the Greater New York Committee. (more…)

Graffiti on Cornelia Street in Bushwick

AVA DoBro Shares Honor of Being Brooklyn’s Tallest Building With 388 Bridge Street [Eagle]
What’s Cooking Along Willoughby Street [Eagle]
Park Slopers Skeptical of Mayor de Blasio’s Proposed Zoning Height Increase [Crain’s]
Permits Filed for 96-100 Himrod Street in Bushwick [NYY]
Prokhorov Gives Forest City More Time on $31.3 Million Owed to Nets [TRD]
Bed Stuy Eatery Baron’s Opens With Oyster Happy Hour, Whole-Animal Cooking [DNA]
Brower Park Lawn to Close for Nine Months for Re-Seeding Next Year [DNA]

A fence on Cornelia Street in Bushwick.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

Brooklyn tudor houses on Cornelia Street

One Year Later, Bouncy Bridge in Brooklyn Heights Remains Closed [NY Times]
Recent Transactions: Furniture Company Signs Lease in Windsor Terrace [NY Times]
Brooklyn Bike Park Reopens on a Riverfront Site in Williamsburg [WSJ]
Developers Win Landmarks Approval for Brooklyn Heights Townhouse Makeover [Eagle]
Landlord Who Bought Landmarked Former Police Station in Sunset Park Mum on Plans [BK Daily]
Permits Filed for New Faux-Loft Building on 3rd Street in Boerum Hill [6sqft]
Permits Filed for 10-Unit Building on Van Buren Street in Bed Stuy [NYY]
Inception, NorthEnd Grab Nine-Building Brooklyn Portfolio [TRD]

Houses on Cornelia Street in Bushwick.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran


Landlord of “Three-Quarter” Homes in Brooklyn Faces Criminal Charges [NY Times]
Schermerhorn Project Is Outside Landmark District Lines, Has Chinese Heritage Issues [Eagle]
Brooklyn Rally Marks One-Year Anniversary of Michael Brown’s Death [Eagle]
Brooklyn Is King, When It Comes to Rent Increases [Politico NY]
Hudson Files Permits for Second Project on Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens [NYY]
Revealed: 532 Neptune Avenue, Coney Island’s Future Tallest Building [NYY]
Haifa Market Closes After 45 Years in Business in Prospect Heights [DNA]

Man working on car on Cornelia Street in Bushwick.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran


No Charges for Driver Who Killed 66-Year-Old Man on Atlantic Avenue [Streetsblog]
Foster Avenue Key Food Celebrates Grand Reopening [DPC]
Bushwick Gets a Community Acupuncturist [Bushwick Daily]
Coney Island Now Has an Outdoor Museum [Untapped Cities]
The Rarely Told Story of the Real Bay Ridge Natives [Hey Ridge]
Former Williamsburg Steel Factory Finally Debuts as Rentals  [Curbed]

An aerial view of Brooklyn.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Hannah Frishberg


Workers are wrapping up the foundation at a small but attractive apartment building going up at 170 South 1st Street in south Williamsburg. We expect these will be condos and walls will be rising soon.

Permits approved in July call for a five-story building with seven apartments over ground-floor stores. The architect is Nataliya Donskoy of ND Architecture & Design, a former Robert Scarano protege who is building a reputation for better-than-average design with an average budget.

This particular building is a variation on a motif Donskoy has used elsewhere in Williamsburg: A building housed within a geometric frame.

The rendering we found on the fence is new, although the design does not appear to have changed. (more…)

2015_07_26 250 Ashland Place 17

After many years stuck in development, the BAM Cultural District is starting to take shape as several towers in the master plan start to rise. One of the farthest along, BAM North Site 1, at 250 Ashland Place, has fewer than 10 floors to go before topping out at 52 stories.

Developed by a partnership between the Gotham Organization and DT Salazar along with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Development Corporation on city-owned land, it will offer a significant amount of affordable housing and cultural programming.

FXFOWLE is designing the 568-foot tower, which features a bundle of rectangular volumes clad in glass and bricks of different color to distinguish the separate extruded forms. Bricks on the central volume facing Fulton Street are dark maroon, while the tower elements facing Ashland Place and Rockwell Place are light tan. (more…)


State Senator Savino: Cops Should Patrol “Other” Coney Island [Eagle]
De Blasio’s LICH Problem [Capital NY]
Rare Batch of New Brooklyn Heights Rentals Now up for Grabs [Curbed]
New Look for 39-Story Tower at 10 Huron Street in Greenpoint [NYY]
Bergen Beach Shopping Center investor Sells Stake for $32 Million [TRD]
Greenpoint Park’s Renovation Fully Funded With $850K From Borough President [DNA]

Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran


A group of seven 19th century buildings on Atlantic Avenue close to the water, including the home of the last of the longshoreman’s bars, Montero’s, is for sale for $56,000,000. However, despite a wave of development on this gritty stretch by the BQE on-ramp, the chances of the row being razed and turned into condos — or even selling at all, at this price — are slim, because they are all landmarked.

Just across the street is the former Long Island College Hospital campus, where two 40-story condo towers are brewing, and a block away near the water Brooklyn Bridge Park is preparing for two more towers on Pier 6. (more…)


The Brooklyn Bridge Deserves a Scenic View District of Its Own [Curbed]
A Documentarian of Brooklyn’s Underground Creative Culture [Hyperallergic]
Long-Running Williamsburg Greenmarket Reopens Thursday [DNA]
Brooklyn Staycation: A Day in Park Slope [Bensonhurst Bean]
Legal Beagles Sniff Scumbag Scent at 60 Clarkson [Q Parkside]
City of Saints, Coffee Roastery and Tasting Bar, Opens Soon in Bushwick [Bushwick Daily]
A Prohibition Wreck on Orange Street (1922) [Brownstone Detectives]

Photo by Ajay Suresh via Flickr


Brooklyn Bridge Park fireworks. Photo by Etienne Frossard via Facebook

Pyrotechnic-loving Brooklynites, rejoice! Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks are returning to the East River. This year, the 25-minute-long show will be launched from two different locations instead of one. A double barge will be placed just south of the Brooklyn Bridge and four additional barges will sit between East 23rd and East 42nd streets.

The East River location is a major win for Brooklyn — but you’re going to need to strategize if you want an Instagram-worthy view. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up the borough’s most firework-friendly spots. Even though the spectacle kicks off at 9:20 p.m., you’ll need to arrive a few hours early if you want a front-row seat.

Too agoraphobic to deal with the crowds? Start texting everyone you know in north Brooklyn. Williamsburg and Greenpoint will both have stellar views of the display. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to (smugly) watch the fireworks from your friend’s roof. If you prefer teeming throngs, though, these spots should give you a good vantage point. (more…)


The first Manhattan-to-Coney Island subway ride took place 100 years ago this week, as a train left Chambers Street, crossed the East River on the Manhattan Bridge, and headed south along 4th Avenue, to the cheers of 10,000 school children and other onlookers.

It was the inauguration of the 4th Avenue Subway line, opened by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, which a few years later would become the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation — the BMT. (The photo above shows the tunnel being built between 9th and Union streets, circa 1912.)

This weekend you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the subway’s arrival in Brooklyn with rides on a quartet of vintage trains, which will run continuously from the Brighton Beach Station from noon to 4 pm, both Saturday and Sunday.  There will be a handful of different car models to ride on, the oldest being the BMT Standard cars, put into use in 1917. (more…)