Newtown Creek Alliance Historian and Brownstoner Queens columnist Mitch Waxman will lead a boat tour of Newtown Creek, pictured above, next month for the Working Harbor Committee. The two-hour tour of one of the nation’s most polluted waterways will leave from Pier 11 in Manhattan at 11 am on May 31.
A collection of guest speakers will also help narrate the tour. A separate two-hour tour of Gowanus Bay will leave from Pier 11 at 1:10 pm the same day.
The Acoustic Ecology Festival will take over the Old Stone House and surrounding park in Park Slope next week. Acoustic ecology — the study of how the acoustic environment affects those creatures living within it — has grown over several decades to include composers, sound artists and even scientists. Throughout the festival artists will perform, conduct talks and guide sound walks around the Old Stone House. (more…)
The Department of Environmental Conservation is hosting a meeting tonight on cleanup efforts at the polluted Harte & Company factory at the corner of Dupont, Clay and Franklin Streets, Greenpointers reported. (Yes, this is the same building we wrote about this morning, whose developer wants to preserve part of the 1930s Arte Moderne exterior).
The state Superfund site has a plume beneath it made of phthalates — liquid plastic chemicals — up to five feet deep in some areas. And apparently the plume is moving, contrary to what the developer told the Brooklyn Eagle. This is a map of the plume made in 2013, via Greenpointers. (more…)
More than 1,000 homes and businesses in Brooklyn lost power yesterday morning, due to salt water runoff causing corrosion and manhole fires. In fact, there were 82 “manhole incidents” in Brooklyn Wednesday, according to DNAinfo.
Crown Heights seems to have had the worst of it, with 157 customers out. In Dyker Heights, 123 homes and businesses lost power near 69th Street and 12th Avenue. Service has already been restored to most areas, and only about 50 customers are without power now, according to ConEd’s map.
It’s going to snow all day until about 7 pm, and Brooklyn could get four to eight inches, according to the National Weather Service. Schools are open though. We hope for more springlike weather after the time change this weekend.
The Barclays Center is finally getting its 130,000-square-foot green roof. Blogger and Halstead broker Andrew Fine snapped these photos of the roof’s steel frame being installed yesterday. The sedum-covered structure will reportedly help deaden sound from particularly loud concerts, which have led to complaints from neighbors in Prospect Heights. The pricey roof was part of the initial plan for the building, but was scrapped years ago to save money. Click through to see more of the roof and all the cranes surrounding the stadium.
Batten down the hatches. A “crippling” and “potentially historic” blizzard, to quote news reports, has already started. (Will it eclipse the blizzard of 1888, we wonder? That one dropped three feet of snow officially, although pictures show drifts over people’s heads and up to parlor floors in places.)
Today’s blizzard has already been downgraded from three feet to two feet, but the mayor says subways could close by 3 pm and the subways look likely to stay open this afternoon, though Cuomo has warned public transportation shutdowns could start earlier than anticipated. Transit officials will update at 1 pm.
We’re wondering if Community Board 9 will postpone its meeting to reword the request for a zoning study tonight, a meeting everyone has been waiting for. Tonight’s Gowanus Canal CAG meeting has been postponed, according to an email we just received from the group.
Are those of you with a commute to work or school thinking of putting in a half day or are you just staying put?
The Brooklyn Public Library has received a $5,000,000 grant to build an environmental education center on top of the Greenpoint Library, according to a press release. The library has released some interesting renderings and plans for the project, which will add two more floors and a public roof deck to the single-story library located at 107 Norman Avenue. The 6,500-square-foot Greenpoint Environmental Education Center will feature a community composting space, a greenhouse with herb gardens, wind turbines, native plants, event space and classrooms.
The design from Beatty Harvey Coco Architects adds lots of windows and plantings to the one-story brick building with a mansard roof, built in 1973. In addition to the large public roof deck, the renovation will add a smaller roof terrace on top of the first floor. The LEED Silver-certified environmental hub will incorporate a host of “green” building materials, including rooftop solar panels, rainwater collection, energy efficient windows and high efficiency heating and cooling systems.
This funding comes from the Greenpoint Community Enviromental Fund, a state-run program that manages the $19,500,000 settlement awarded to the state over the ExxonMobil oil spill in Newtown Creek. Last month, Greenpoint residents voted on the second round of community projects vying for a piece of the settlement, and the library’s education center is one of the six proposals that won.
Click through for floorplans and an aerial rendering. There will be an opportunity for public feedback on the design and the programming.
The project is expected to wrap in 2018. What do you think of it?
Renderings by Beatty Harvey Coco Architects via BPL; photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark
The city and state are looking for a firm to study and design (but not build) an integrated flood protection system for Red Hook. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sent out a press release yesterday announcing a request for proposals, and have already committed $100,000,000 in city and state funding to flood protection. The whole project, including construction, will cost an estimated $200,000,000 and protect 370 acres of land, including Red Hook Houses and “other key buildings and infrastructure in the 100-year floodplain.”
Long-term flood protection strategies may involve “a combination of partially deployable floodwalls and raised development, park retrofits and street raising, resilient building retrofits and redevelopment, and improvements to drainage and pumping facilities,” according to the press release. The Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency and the NYC Economic Development Corporation will head up the actual implementation of the project. They’ll also design the final measures with help from the Red Hook NY Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee.
Above, Red Hook flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Curbed was the first to write about the announcement.
Another round of voting takes place tonight to determine how $19,500,000 in settlement money from the Exxon-Mobil oil spill will be spent on Greenpoint environmental projects. There are 13 projects looking for a piece of the settlement, including a tidal wetland project along Newtown Creek and an educational community garden in McCarren Park. Other projects include an environmental education center at Greenpoint Library, the planned Box Street Park, and developing a new city park on Bushwick Inlet.
You can head over to the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund to read detailed proposals with the grant amounts for each project. Residents get to vote on which projects deserve funding tonight from 6 to 8:30 pm at the Polish and Slavic Center at 177 Kent Street, and on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm at the Polish National Home at 261 Driggs Avenue.
The new construction green townhouse at 319 4th Street in Park Slope we have been following is on the market again and asking $4,625,000. That price puts it into the high end of Park Slope real estate for a two-family of its size.
It was developed by Seth Brown and last sold for 2,870,000 in 2011. We didn’t see it when it was finished. (Or perhaps it never was on the market before, but in any case, this is a resale.)
We think the look of both the exterior and interior turned out very well. Click through for interior and rear photos. What do you think of the design and the price?
Neighbors on a landmarked block of Prospect Heights are fighting to preserve their interior green space — a concept that has come to be known as the “green doughnut” — from intrusion by a proposed extension at 203 Prospect Place. They have gathered more than 70 signatures on a petition against the two-story tiered extension, which would measure 21 feet deep by 20 feet wide at its biggest points, according to one of the neighbors.
“The addition would jut out into the historic ‘garden core’ and block light and views from neighboring properties,” our tipster said. Above, a photo of the backyard green space sent in by a local.
The proposal did not pass at the Community Board 8 meeting October 9. It goes up in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Tuesday, November 18.
The attached brownstone row house at No. 203 was designed by Eastman & Daus in the Neo-Grec style and built in 1885, according to the note in the LPC calendar. The hearing is for more than just the rear yard addition. The owners also wish to “alter the front areaway.”
We have reached out to the architects on the project, but have not yet heard back from them. We’ll update the story if we do.
Williamsburg-based architect firm Loadingdock5 has designed passive houses and condos all over Brooklyn, including some for Hello Living!, and now the group is building its own passive house apartment building at 152 Freeman Street in Greenpoint, according to New York YIMBY. The seven-unit “Haus” is designed to be like a “baugruppe” (German for “building group”), a cooperative community that builds its own home, usually to passive house standards. It’s a popular living arrangement among architects and builders in Germany and Austria.
We’re not wild about the facade, which has a typical boxy passive house look and asymmetrical windows, but the project is intriguing. The architects say on their website that they want to prove a passive house can be built for relatively little money in New York. The four-story project will have one unit on the first floor and two each on the second through fourth floors, along with a shared garden and roof deck. Each apartment will be about 700 square feet.
The project has already been beset by costly delays, though. An energy audit by the New York City Building Department took a year. What do you think of the development?