New renderings have been released showing Hidrock Realty’s plan to convert Park Slope’s Pavilion Theater, and the vacant restaurant space next to it, into condos. According to Leslie Albrecht of DNAinfo, who attended the Community Board 6 Landmarks and Land Use Committee meeting Thursday night, some residents said the design resembled a “penitentiary.”

Even worse, someone compared it to Washington, D.C.

But the news wasn’t all bad for Hidrock Realty. Despite widespread criticism of a perceived failure to integrate the building into the architectural styles of the surrounding neighborhood, the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans to build 24 condos on Bartel-Pritchard Square and restore the Pavilion Theater at 188 Prospect Park West, as long as certain changes were made. (more…)


A developer’s plan to convert the Park Slope Pavilion movie theater into condos will be scrutinized at a hearing by the Community Board 6 Landmarks Committee Thursday, according to an announcement we received from community organization Park Slope Civic Council.

As we’ve reported, owner Hidrock Realty filed plans in April to create 24 condos, an underground parking garage, and some 8,000 square feet of retail space on the site of the long-running theater.

The development – which will include a new building constructed adjacent to the Pavilion, on a one-story site formerly occupied by a restaurant — will include a smaller art-house theater, according to Hidrock. (more…)


One of Crown Heights’ most important houses is about to begin its new life as affordable housing.

The John and Elizabeth Truslow House at 96 Brooklyn Avenue was originally built for a brilliantly wealthy family who made a fortune in stove manufacturing. But after it moldered in obscurity, affordable housing developers NIA JV and ELH Management swooped in to brighten its future.

Restoration on the home — which began in 2013 — is visibly nearing completion on the outside. When Brownstoner visited on Sunday, the exterior was notably spruced up and, we presume, all the holes and leaks fixed. When it’s done, its seven renovated apartments will be occupied by families making $36,680 to $120,240 a year. (more…)


Just days after developer Greystone released a rendering for the luxury rental building it is planning for next door to Park Slope’s much-watched Lyceum, a landmarked former public bath on development-heavy 4th Avenue, it announced it has found a tenant for the century-old Beaux Arts building: Blink Fitness.

The no-frills gym chain will be taking up the whole 16,700-square-foot space at 227 4th Avenue, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. Greystone bought the Lyceum this year at a foreclosure auction, intending to turn it into condos — and subsequently snapped up the development site next door.

When Greystone recently announced it had dropped its condo plans for the Lyceum and was seeking a retailer or two, Brownstoner commenters said they would like to see an Apple or Trader Joe’s move into the space. (more…)


If you’ve ever visited Green-Wood Cemetery, you’ve probably seen and wondered about the old Weir Greenhouse. The shuttered and dilapidated building sits across the street from Green-Wood’s main entrance at 749-750 5th Avenue, on the corner of 25th Street.

Despite its ramshackle appearance, the Weir Greenhouse is a significant building, the only known Victorian commercial greenhouse still standing in New York City. Landmarked in 1982, it was the first and last stop for many visitors to Green-Wood, Brooklyn’s greatest tourist attraction in the 19th century, and will soon be so again.

Green-Wood bought it and is remaking it into a visitor’s center. (The nonprofit landmark crowed about its purchase on its blog here.) On Tuesday the cemetery’s architect firm, Page Ayres Cowley, will present its plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. A presentation is available online for viewing here or on the LPC website here.

Big changes are in the works, including restoring the greenhouse. The cemetery also wants to demolish “ancillary structures” — including two 19th-century buildings that look like row houses adjacent to the greenhouse — add onto the greenhouse, and put up a new building that wraps around the greenhouse. (more…)


Holy Trinity Cathedral/Ukranian Church in Exile in Williamsburg. Photo by Wally Gobetz via Flickr

The Landmarks Preservation Commission announced a revised plan on Wednesday to deal with its backlog of 95 proposed sites dating from before 2010. As readers will recall, seven of these potential landmarks are located in Brooklyn. The agency said:

The plan includes three phases: (1) a Public Review Period; (2) Special Hearings dedicated to Backlog Items; and (3) Public Meetings for Commission Decisions. The Commission projects that the backlog of calendared items, most of which date to the 1960s and 70s, will be resolved by the end of 2016.

The effort is part of Landmarks Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan’s attempt to remake the agency to be more efficient. “We have received considerable feedback, and have formulated a plan that will ensure fairness and transparency, while allowing significant public input,” she said in a prepared statement. (more…)

green-wood cemetery front gates

We’ve noticed the Landmarks Preservation Commission has been moving quickly through the proposed landmarks it wants to designate, and is also now putting presentations with renderings and photographs of historic sites online for all to see, as it did with the proposal for the Brooklyn Heights Cinema Building, approved this week.

Things are changing under the LPC’s new chair, appointed under de Blasio, and lately the most visible changes seem to be for the better. Meenakshi Srinivasan is an architect, but not a preservationist, so local preservationists weren’t sure what to expect. Her first big move as chair — to dump a backlog of about 100 sites without individual public hearings — caused a great outcry, as we reported in a series of articles at the time, and the LPC backed off. (more…)

70 Henry Street1

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is moving quickly through its Brooklyn backlog. In a highly anticipated vote yesterday, the LPC approved a design for a long-in-the-works proposal to convert the Brooklyn Heights Cinema building at 70 Henry Street into condos. It also designated the M.H. Renken Dairy building on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, also in the works for years, and the Henry and Susan McDonald House in Wallabout.

The plan to add a three-story condo building on top of the existing building at 70 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights comes after similar plans for the building were rejected twice before by the commission. This design by Morris Adjmi Architects (designer of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg) creates a 50 foot tall building — the maximum allowed on that site. (more…)


Dixon is renovating a landmarked mid-19th-century wood frame house at 266 Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene and is restoring the outside per the LPC requirements, as we saw when we happened by recently. When it is done, it will look similar to the twin house next door.

Dixon is restoring the two full-length windows on the parlor floor and putting in a new front door. It will also add back a missing cornice, according to the rendering posted on the construction fence, and install new two-over-two windows. (more…)


The Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on designating the proposed Bedford Historic District in the next year. The date has not yet been set, but the vote will take place in fiscal year 2016, which starts in July, the head of Community Board 3’s landmarking subcommittee told the assembled crowd at the monthly Community Board 3 meeting Monday night.

The hearing took place in October 2012, and neighborhood activists and preservationists have been waiting for a decision. The proposed district has been in the works for many years, and we have covered the effort extensively. (more…)

5.22.15 (8:00PM) Enjoy your weekend

A photo posted by @dominosugarfactory on

We’ve been following the Instagram account of Dominosugarfactory, an “eternal time lapse” of the iconic Williamsburg building, now part of the massive Two Trees redevelopment project. Later additions to the 1880s factory, technically three buildings located at 292-314 Kent Avenue, have been stripped away, and it will become office space.

So far, there are 196 photos here, some taken by day, some by night — all from the exact same location. The photos go back to January 2013 and show the complex as it looked before demolition started in October 2013, through demolition, and today.

Domino Sugar Factory Eternal Time Lapse [Dominosugarfactory]
Domino Coverage [Brownstoner]
First rendering by SHoP; second rendering by Beyer Blinder Belle

4.1.15 (7:03AM)

A photo posted by @dominosugarfactory on



Fifty years ago last month the city passed the Landmarks Law — and if it hadn’t we’d be living in a very different place today.

That’s the premise behind “Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks,” an exhibition currently running at the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibit, which opened last month, looks at the growth of the preservation movement, the roots of the pioneering law, its evolution and its impact on the city.

There’s plenty there relating to Brooklyn, including a section on the role of Brooklyn Heights in creating the law. (more…)