The new townhouse that is being built to replace the one that collapsed in July 2012 at 241 Carroll Street will be made of brownstone. ”The new building will have a brownstone facade, a full stoop, and will blend in with the rest of the block,” developer Gino Vitale told the Brooklyn Paper. Each floor will have a balcony in back, and the whole thing will be made of concrete and steel.

Owner Howard Schneider said he and his family are still shaken by the collapse and are not sure they want to live in the building. Luckily, he and his family were out of town when the side of the brownstone crumbled in the middle of the night, because the children’s bedrooms were located in the “kill zone,” the paper said. No one was hurt in the incident. Construction started a month ago and is scheduled to finish in six to eight months.

Owner of Collapsed Brownstone Says He’s Scared to Live in Its Replacement [BK Paper]
New Building Will Replace Collapsed Brownstone on Carroll Street [Brownstoner]
Collapsed Carroll Gardens Home Is Almost Gone [Brownstoner]
241 Carroll Street Partially Collapses, Demo to Come [Brownstoner]
Photo by Katia Kelly of Pardon Me for Asking

09/27/13 3:30pm

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We just got word from a tipster that the rear facade of the building at 288 16th Street in South Slope has collapsed. Anyone know anything more about it?

Update: A neighbor emailed us to say: “According to DOB’s BIS system, FDNY called for an emergency vacate. From what I can tell there were no permits for work. The latest were plans disapproved this summer for a conversion to a one family residence. Once again, and I hate to sound like broken record, illegal work begets unsafe work. I am glad no one was hurt.”

Another neighbor emailed, “I live up the street and just took a peek. It looks like there are two brick buildings that are attached. The one not on the corner but with the entrance on 16th appears to no longer have a back wall. No bricks of the back wall are visible. You see wood studs and the like. The building on the corner looks intact and it appears firemen are standing on the deck off the second floor of the corner structure. I don’t really know what they are doing at this point. A few fire trucks remain on scene not as many as were first here. Didn’t hear anything about injuries or if other neighboring structures were affected.”

Is it just us or does it seem like these sorts of things happen too often? Click through to the jump for another view.
(more…)

08/06/13 9:00am

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A Park Slope house partially collapsed inside, sending the owner and a police officer to Methodist Hospital with minor injuries, according to the Brooklyn Daily. The officer fell through a hole in the floor, “sending the injured owner into a frenzy,” according to the paper. Neighbors said she was led out in handcuffs after refusing to leave. The owner was fined $2,500 in April for building code violations after more than 100 containers were discovered on the roof of the building. The owner has an “open case with Adult Protective Services,” the paper said. The house is located on 1st Street between 7th and 8th avenues.

Run-Down Park Slope Brownstone Partially Collapses [Brooklyn Daily]
Photo by PropertyShark

The dilapidated home at 578 Carlton Avenue (the one on the right, above) is again coming before Landmarks, which this time will consider an application to restore the building. An application “to deconstruct portions of the building to address hazardous emergency conditions” hit the LPC earlier this summer. Next Tuesday Landmarks will hear an application “to reconstruct the secondary facades, replace the front entrance hood, construct a rear yard addition, and excavate the cellar and the rear yard.” The owners of the wood frame at 580 Carlton were attempting a large-scale renovation last summer but caused a partial building collapse at No. 578 next door. While the owners of 578 Carlton are taking action to save the building, things aren’t looking so good at 580 Carlton. It’s not much more than a supported facade at this point. According to signage on the construction fence, the DOB attempted to inspect what’s left of the building earlier this week.
Prospect Heights Row House Needs Some Help [Brownstoner]


Things are not looking good for the two dilapidated homes at 578 and 580 Carlton Avenue, in Prospect Heights, where it appears that a developer hoping to flip 580 Carlton for big bucks instead bungled the renovation and imperiled the house next door at 578 Carlton. The house at 580 Carlton, which sold for $480,000 in 2011, was reduced to a mere facade during renovations — a state in which it remains today. Then the neighboring building, No. 578, partially collapsed during those renovations last summer. Now, it looks like the owners of No. 578 have finally decided to take action: According to the Landmarks Preservation agenda for June 18, a hearing is scheduled for “578 Carlton Avenue… An altered Italianate style row house built c. prior to 1855. Application is to deconstruct portions of the building to address hazardous emergency conditions.” Right now there’s a tarp over the rear, as well a wooden frame jutting out from the back into the backyard. So it seems like No. 578 is in a pretty bad state, especially if measures aren’t taken soon. What a nightmare.
Oldest House in Prospect Heights Now Just a Front [Brownstoner]
House of the Day: 580 Carlton Avenue [Brownstoner]
Renovations Planned for 580 Carlton Avenue [Brownstoner]
Customize 580 Carlton Avenue for $2 Million [Brownstoner]
Work Begins on Prospect Heights’ Hard-Knock 580 Carlton [Brownstoner]

04/01/13 11:30am


A brownstone at 501 Garfield Place in Park Slope has sold for $800,000, half off its former sales price, according to a tipster who alerted us to the sale. The property was not listed, but formerly changed hands for $1.6 million in 1996, according to PropertyShark. It was an arm’s length transaction, said our informant, who added that he thought the banking crisis in Cyprus might have had something to do with the sudden drop in value. Formerly a Building of the Day, the brownstone was designed by Montrose Morris and located just a stone’s throw from Prospect Park on one of the best blocks in Park Slope. Inside, the brownstone’s original details were perfectly preserved, with new mechanicals, including updated kitchens and baths. “The marble went on for acres and the back wall was blown out with custom-made iron windows,” said someone who saw the interior before the sale.  ”I’m not sure if the seller got in over his head with the renovations — or maybe conforming to Landmarks’ requests for historic windows was the last straw.” A real estate agent we contacted who requested anonymity, said “In 30 years of selling real estate, I’ve never seen anything like this. Run for the hills.” We are looking into emigrating to Canada. Does anyone know more?

11/05/12 10:30am


The metal cornice is gone at the the St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church on the corner of Classon Avenue and Sterling Place in Crown Heights. It was removed with a crane a few days ago, after pieces were dangling off the building due to the storm. A reader in last week’s post noted that the damaged tower has been in poor shape for several years, due to constant problems with pigeons and some grating that fell on the roof. We hear that this parish does not have lots of money, and this particular structure isn’t under landmarks protection. What a shame. See a few more shots after the jump.
Roof Collapsing at Crown Heights Church [Brownstoner] (more…)


This was the scene this afternoon at the St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church on the corner of Classon Avenue and Sterling Place. Police taped off the entire block and looked like they were waiting for the portion of the roof to fall off. This church was built in 1905; the twin towers have clock faces on the right and the carillon of ten bells on the left. It’s the right tower with the structural damage. See a BOTD post here. See more pictures after the jump, including a dramatic shot of the collapse happening on the other side of the building. (more…)


All day the blog Thought Catalog’s been live-blogging Hurricane Sandy, and they captured this collapse at a construction site on the corner of Union and Frost in Williamsburg. Around 10am this morning around two-thirds of the site had collapsed. The witness said it sounded “like someone dropped a thousand pots and pans outside.” Yikes. Anyone else out there have stories of precarious construction sites in the borough? Some scaffolding collapsed around the Amalgamated Warbasse Houses on the Brighton Beach/Coney Island border, according to Sheepshead Bites.
Hurricane Sandy Liveblog [Thought Catalog] via Curbed
Photo via Thought Catalog


71 Irving Place, the three-story apartment building on the corner of Putnam Avenue, gave way over the weekend. The side of the building facing Putnam crumbled on Sunday; luckily it was unoccupied. (Residents were living there until last week.) The tipster who sent in the above photo said the building sold a week ago. It was on the market for $975,000, and the copy touted it as a gut renovation, not a teardown. If the building is actually demolished for a new development, it will join the supportive housing project on Putnam and the condo building on Irving as new builds going up in that area of Clinton Hill. GMAP

09/25/12 9:30am


Late last week we posted about the residents of a damaged Bushwick building unable to return to their apartments; since then a resident shared more details about the situation there. Eight families vacated the building at 420 Melrose more than one month ago after nearby excavation caused cracks in the building. The photo above is from inside the apartment building, where looters have gone through the resident’s stuff and stolen some of it. The resident who started the 420 Melrose Twitter account explains the situation:

“We were never given an opportunity to go in and get things. The landlord is still holding our security deposit and half a month’s rent hostage while we all try and figure out individually where to live… Some people have moved to new places, some people are staying with friends, some people have just moved back home to places like Texas. For a move in, it seems like the landlord doesn’t have as much interest in getting us back in as he has in flipping the building and jacking up the rent.

As for the DOB, we’re filing tort claims, which you have to file if you want to pursue any action at any time against a city agency, but generally we have been redirected to any number of city agencies that were only able to individually offer us space in a no-kitchen, shared bathroom homeless shelter. That’s really about all the city offers in terms of protections for people that this kind of thing happens to. DOB seems pretty mum right now in general. It’s impossible to get a straight answer in regards to timelines.”

This past Sunday the DOB allowed residents to enter the building and they will return next weekend to take everything besides furniture, as the building is not stable enough to remove it. The tenants have hired a lawyer and are doing a fundraiser in the next week or so to cover the retainer costs, which we will keep you updated about.
420 Melrose Place Residents Still Homeless [Brownstoner]
Bushwick Buildings Evacuated After Cracks Appear [Brownstoner]