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Landmarks praised BKSK Architects for its “contextual” design for a mixed-use building to replace a gas station at 112 Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill, but asked the architects to scale down the windows, particularly on the side of the building on Henry Street, and reduce the bulkhead on the roof. Only one attendee at the meeting Tuesday spoke in favor of the building as it was, and the Cobble Heights Association and others spoke against it, New York YIMBY and The Brooklyn Eagle reported.

The building’s “large, industrial-looking windows…might be more appropriate in Red Hook,” said Barbara Zay of the Historic Districts Council, according to YIMBY. Click through to YIMBY to see the full presentation.

As you may recall, Community Board 6 rejected the proposal last month.

Apartment Design for Atlantic Avenue Gas Station Site Needs a Tuneup, Landmarks Decides [Eagle]
Landmarks Commission Not Ready to Approve New Building at 112 Atlantic Avenue [NYY]
112 Atlantic Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by BKSK Architects via NYY

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Developer Lonicera Partners and PKSB Architects are planning to build a modern-style two-story retail building in a landmarked area of Cobble Hill. The architects will reveal the design for 178 Court Street at a community board meeting December 4, DNAinfo reported.

Plans filed with the DOB call for a 30-foot-high building with 5,454 square feet of space. The building will entirely cover the lot, which is approximately 50 feet by 56 feet.

Lonicera Partners bought the empty lot in August for $1,733,334. If plans are approved quickly, the developers hope to start construction early next year and finish in nine months, an exec with the developer told DNA.

What would you like to see go in here?

Two-Story Retail Center Proposed for Court Street in Cobble Hill [DNA]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

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Crown Heights’ oldest home, a mid-19th century wood frame at 1375 Dean Street known as the Susan B. Elkins House, has a new owner, who plans to fix it up and convert it to condos. Community Board 8′s Land Use Committee last night approved Amber Mazor of Perfect Renovation‘s plan to build five two- and three-bedroom condo units inside the house. He plans to fully restore the exterior of the landmarked building to its 1939 tax photo condition, including the balcony, windows and doors, and replace much of the crumbling wood structure with non-combustible material.

The project’s architect, Richard Goodstein of Crown Heights-based NC2 Architecture, explained that the house will get a three-story addition on the back that isn’t visible from the street. The addition will have a glass rear wall and a stucco finish on the sides that matches the existing walls and masonry. Each unit will have a large terrace in the back and open plan kitchen, living and dining rooms. A rear quadrant of the roof will also be removed for a roof terrace.

The home, which is almost a cube, has a hidden half story and a pyramid-shaped roof that is not visible from the street. (The house measures 40 feet wide by 35 feet deep by 33 feet high, according to public records.) “We wanted to design the extension to be purely geometric but in deference to the original building,” said Goodstein. “Undoubtedly, it’s a departure in style. But as architects and designers, we felt that this was more correct.”

The LPC will consider the proposal in a month or two.

Mazor also owns 1372 Dean across the street, which he’s converting to four condos. Work will begin soon on the project, which recently got its alteration permits and received Landmarks’ stamp of approval earlier this year. Mazor bought the property for $1,320,000 in 2013. 

A contract (not a deed) for the sale of the Elkins house to Mazor for was recorded in April. No price is recorded.

The Elkins house has been deteriorating since the early 1980s, and it has been vandalized. The previous owner, Real Properties, paid $194,000 for it in 2011 and promised to restore the exterior and convert it to apartments. That never happened. Instead, the firm gutted what was left of the interior and was sanctioned by Community Board 8 for “demo by neglect” when gaping holes appeared in the roof. Then the firm put it on the market for $1,100,000.

It’s “essentially a ruin right now,” said Goodstein.

Oldest House in Crown Heights North Now More Ruined and Expensive Than Ever [Brownstoner]
1375 Dean Street Coverage [Brownstoner]

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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.

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A stucco’d and stripped but historic Heights home at 48 Hicks Street will be getting a new and more historically appropriate facade. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a proposal to replace the building’s mid-20th century facade with wood siding and an old-fashioned storefront, the Brooklyn Heights Blog reported.

The Federal wood frame house was built in 1829. Sometime later in the century a storefront was added to the bottom floor. The renovation proposes Federal style upper floors with wood siding, shutters and window surrounds. The windows on the second and third floors will be enlarged.

The residential entrance to the left of the storefront will also be redone in an early 19th century style with paneling, a four-panel door, and a lantern-style light over the door. The existing metal and glass storefront will be replaced with a late 19th century style wood and glass storefront. The Brooklyn Heights Association and the Historic Districts Council spoke in favor of the renovation, which is being undertaken because the existing stucco is leaking.

Click through to see photos of the presentation by architect Richard Somerby.

Landmarks Commission Approves New Façade for 48 Hicks Street [BHB]
Photo above by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark; photos below by Evan Bindelglass for BHB

(more…)

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The Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday calendared the 18 Tudor Revival homes on Chester Court in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, a spokeswoman for the LPC told us. Calendaring means the LPC will eventually vote on whether or not to designate the proposed Chester Court Historic District. Architect Peter J. Collins designed the houses in 1914 and 1915, according to the notice of yesterday’s hearing. The block is a cul-de-sac off Flatbush, next to the 23-story apartment tower rising at 626 Flatbush Avenue.

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The topmost layers of scaffolding at 365 Jay Street have come down, revealing a bit of the restored tower of the old Brooklyn Fire Headquarters. The building has been shrouded in scaffolding for more than a year now, as the Pratt Area Community Council repairs the roof, windows, terra cotta archway and foyer. The 1892 Romanesque Revival building had been neglected and also suffered severe roof damage and flooding two years ago.

The building was designed by prolific Brooklyn architect Frank Freeman and designated an individual landmark in 1966. In 1987, the city agreed to turn it into affordable housing for low-income people displaced by construction of the nearby MetroTech complex.

MDG Design and Construction and Nomad Architecture are leading the restoration, which is scheduled to wrap by spring 2015.

Thanks to a reader for the photos and tip. Click through to see another shot of the tower.

Building of the Day: 365 Jay Street [Brownstoner]
Scaffolding up at Jay Street Firehouse [Brownstoner]

(more…)

After years of legal and financial woes, New York City’s last public bath building, completed in 1910, has been snapped up at auction by developer Greystone for $7,600,000, DNAinfo reported. Landmarked in 1982, the building at 227 4th Avenue has in recent years been used as a private arts, events and community space known as the Lyceum.

Greystone told DNAinfo it would not comment on its plans for the building until the close of the sale in 60 days. There are windows all around so apartments would be possible, but the entire space is only 12,200 square feet inside. The building’s FAR would allow a total of 33,060 square feet on the site, but its landmark status is likely to prevent any additions. The developer could carve out 10 or so luxury condos, but unless Landmarks allows a modern addition on the roof, our guess is it will become a mall, office space, or a big box store.

A lien for $5.05 million led to the foreclosure sale, Here’s Park Slope reported earlier this week.

The photo of the building partly shrouded in netting in 2012, above, does not show the Renaissance Revival building’s elaborate terra cotta detail, which includes dolphins, urns of flowing water, and images of Triton, the father of the sea-god Poseidon. It was designed by architect Raymond F. Almirall.

What would you like to see in this space?

Developer Buys Landmarked Brooklyn Lyceum for $7.6M at Foreclosure Auction [DNA] GMAP
Brooklyn Lyceum in Foreclosure, Being Auctioned Today [Here's Park Slope]
Lyceum Coverage [Brownstoner]

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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?

Carlton Mews Church Restoration Revealed! [Brownstoner]  GMAP
Carlton Mews Townhouses Near the Finish Line [Brownstoner]
Carlton Mews Coverage [Brownstoner] (more…)

Sunset Park 47th Street

This Saturday the Sunset Parks Landmarks Committee is hosting a party to raise money for its preservation work and for the tenant advocacy organization Neighbors Helping Neighbors. The $20 admission ticket will help both these worthy causes and it includes two drinks, light food, live music, a dance performance and prizes made in Industry City. The proceeds will be split equally between the groups.

In an email, Lynn Massimo, the committee’s project manager, said that both preservation and affordable housing are important to the future of the neighborhood. “Together we, the community groups and our electeds, must keep Sunset Park viable for a diverse population. That doesn’t have just one answer. It has multiple answers. Affordable housing, safe streets, cultural diversity, economic diversity, local jobs, and yes, preservation of historic rowhouses,” she said.

The event will be held at Irish Haven at 5721 4th Avenue at 58th Street this Saturday, October 18, from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets are only available at the door.

Photo by Sunset Park Landmarks Committee

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We were relieved to see the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted yesterday to landmark 1090 Greene Avenue in Bushwick. It is one of the last well-preserved wood frame houses in the area. Preservation advocate Historic Districts Council called it “a distinctive reminder of 19th-century Bushwick.”

It is rare for the LPC to landmark wood frame houses, perhaps because they are so often altered beyond recognition. (more…)

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A tipster sent us this photo of the restoration work under way at 232 Carlton Avenue, the once badly deteriorated St. Mark’s Protestant Episcopal Church where a conversion to 12 condo units has been in the works for years.

The developers “appear to be successfully repairing the stone on the church on the Adelphi side, which was the hottest of messes before,” the tipster told us. “I wouldn’t have thought it possible it could look so good. Real slate roof, copper details — bravo.”

The landmarked building is now known as Carlton Mews. It is related to the Carlton Mews townhouse development at 231 Adelphi Street where a worker was tragically killed in an accident in 2012, but the two sites have different owners.

Scaffolding Goes up at Carlton Mews Church Conversion in Fort Greene [Brownstoner]