Polo at PP, composite

We continue our weeklong look at Brooklyn’s greatest treasure, Prospect Park.

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

The first polo game in Prospect Park was played on June 11, 1879. It was between the Westchester Polo Club and a club from Queens.

Up until that day, “polo” had a totally different meaning to Brooklyn’s sports lovers. It meant ice polo, a game we now call hockey. It had been played in Brooklyn for several years, inaugurated by the Crescent Athletic Club and other well-to-do sports clubs.

They played in the Clermont Rink in Fort Greene, against clubs from nearby colleges like Yale and Columbia as well as other sports clubs.

As Brooklyn was getting richer, so too were her sports. Polo, the game with horses, had been played in Persia for centuries. A version of it traveled to the east, and was in play for hundreds of years in India before it was encountered by bored aristocratic British officers stationed there in the middle of the 19th century.

Two British soldiers started a polo club to introduce the sport — basically hockey on horses — to their countrymen, and the game took off and has been popular ever since.  (more…)

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This brick townhouse at 273 Warren Street in Cobble Hill is only 13.25 feet wide, but it’s opened up inside, and the rooms don’t look unusually narrow in the photos. It also benefits from having some nice historic details and an attractive renovation.

There’s a wood burning fireplace and built-ins, pretty patterned tile in the galley kitchen in an extension, four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It’s set up as a triplex over a garden floor rental, currently used as a playroom, according to the listing. (more…)

loft-like one-bedroom in Crown Heights

This one-bedroom at 542 St. Marks Avenue near Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights is a sleek, spare and modern alternative to the surrounding neighborhood’s historic homes.

The living room has a double-height ceiling with a big wall of windows. The floors are made of polished concrete, and the kitchen cabinets are clad in bamboo.

This duplex unit has its own private roof terrace. The building has a fitness center and a courtyard that is designed as a “modern spin on a Zen garden.”

Pets are allowed. What do you think of it for $2,380 per month?

542 St. Marks Avenue, #703 [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP
Interior photos via aptsandlofts.com, exterior photo by Mike Hernandez for PropertyShark

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The Atlantic Galleria mini mall at 252 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill has reached its full height. Insulation and cladding are going on in preparation for the glassy facade, which comes next. Click through for a close-up and updated rendering.

Crafts store Michaels, TD Bank and Blink Fitness are the tenants so far, as reported previously. Renaissance Realty Group is the developer and SBLM Architects is the designer.

After years of no action, the foundation was dug in December and the frame started rising in January. This site has been a long time in development — we reported back in 2007 that it was going to be an apartment building!

252 Atlantic Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP
Rendering by SBLM Architects
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WELCOME TO THE INSIDER, Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design or renovation project, written and produced by journalist/blogger Cara Greenberg. Find it here every Thursday at 11 am.

rustic-modern row house

SOMETIMES A GUT JOB is the only answer, as was the case with this 15-by-44-foot four-story row house in Bed Stuy. It had been ripped apart by a developer and then abandoned during the recession, even becoming home to squatters for a time.

“It was a total wreck. There was nothing at all worth saving,” says Gitta Robinson of Brooklyn-based Robinson + Grisaru Architecture, the firm hired by new owners to transform a shell into a home.

Brick party walls and wood joists were practically all that remained. At least the joists were in decent shape.

The architects decided to keep them uncovered on the two lower floors, to add ceiling height, and painted them white. Exposed brick was likewise kept exposed.

“There was a debate on whether it would stay natural or be painted white,” Robinson recalls. Natural won.

Where a chimney breast was removed in the dining area at the rear of the parlor floor, above, the void was patched in with mortar. The homeowners — he is a graphic designer and she a landscape designer — loved the effect and kept it, even matching the mortar treatment on the rear wall of the parlor floor.

In a bold design stroke, the architects removed 2.5 feet of flooring at the rear of the parlor level, creating an open two-story slot that connects the garden and parlor floor acoustically and lets in extra light. Ideally, the architects and homeowners would have liked to replace the whole back wall on the two lower stories with glass, but a tight budget prevented it. (more…)

233 34th street1

Over the weekend six listings went up for the condo building at 233 34th Street in Greenwood Heights called 233 Greenwood. The units range from studios to two-bedroom apartments priced from $500,000 to $868,000.

The units have floor to ceiling windows, wood floors and an attractively spare design. A ground floor duplex, Unit 1D, is quite large at 1,688 square feet but the lower portion of that duplex is below grade. The two-bedroom units are between 815 and 905 square feet. (more…)

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Mayor de Blasio intends to lease unused land at public housing projects to private developers to build towers with 50-50 market rate and subsidized rentals, he announced Tuesday. Van Dyke and Ingersoll Houses as well as one complex in the Bronx will be the first in the project, which aims to raise $200,000,000 in fees from developers over 10 years as well as create 10,000 affordable units, The New York Times reported.

The money will go toward maintaining existing NYCHA housing, to make up for losing more than $1 billion in federal subsidies since 2001. Separately, an advocacy group for the elderly today recommended in a report that 39 parking lots at low-income senior housing be transformed into housing for seniors, The Wall Street Journal reported. (more…)

96 Parkside Ave, Peristyle, SSpellen 1

We continue this week’s look at Brooklyn’s natural treasure: Prospect Park. Summer is coming!

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Prospect Park Peristyle, aka Grecian Shelter, aka Croquet Shelter
Address: 96 Parkside Avenue
Cross Streets: Park Circle and Ocean Avenue
Neighborhood: Flatbush
Year Built: 1905
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: McKim, Mead & White
Other Works by Architect: In Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza park entrance, and other entrances and structures within Prospect Park (Stanford White)
Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (1968)

The story: Who doesn’t love this Classical Greek inspired structure? For many people, Prospect Park begins and ends on the Park Slope side, but other parts of the park have some of the best goodies, some hidden, and some, like this shelter, in plain view.

And to learn that it was designed by one of the finest architectural firms in the history of American architecture is just icing on the cake. As summer rapidly is upon us, let’s take a look at this wonderful folly on the Flatbush side of the park. (more…)

234 St. Johns Place

This Neo-Grec brownstone at 234 St. Johns Place in Park Slope is surprisingly similar to yesterday’s House of the Day, another Neo-Grec brownstone. It too has lavish original details and renovated kitchens and baths, although they are not as recent.

But this one has many more original and rare Neo-Grec details. The stunning burl-wood doors and several unusual mantels are rare and notable. The carved white marble fireplace is quite amazing and unlike any other we have seen before. (more…)

225 Eastern Parkway1

This three-bedroom condo at the Traymore at 225 Eastern Parkway, a Crown Heights prewar condo building, is immense. At 2,043 square feet, it has two bathrooms, three bedrooms, an office and large living/dining room.

Many of the rooms feature custom woodwork, including built ins and wainscotting. We are really liking the use of rich, dark colors, especially in a space with so many windows and so much natural light. The building is right across the street from Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum and the Botanic Garden.

The unit was a Condo of the Day back in 2013 when it was asking $1,750,000. Two years later, the ask is $2,195,000 and maintenance is $1,134. Real estate tax is an additional $373 a month. What do you think?

225 Eastern Parkway, #5A [Stribling] GMAP
Condo of the Day: 225 Eastern Parkway [Brownstoner]
Interior photos by Stribling, exterior photos by Mike Hernandez for PropertyShark

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67-south-3rd-1-050615

We were interested to see this renovation in progress at 66 South 3rd Street in Williamsburg when we passed by a few weeks ago. The Italianate row house has been peeled and stripped back to its elemental parts, revealing layers and the structure underneath.

There is brick (which looks like it might be missing some mortar), brownstone details around the windows, and a carved wood door surround. An addition with a setback is rising on the roof.

Most interesting of all, the back wall was completely gone when we stopped by. You could see straight through the house from the front windows to the yard behind. (more…)

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A vacant lot protected by roll-down gates at 1425 Fulton in Bed Stuy is up for sale and could become a 33-unit apartment building with stores on the ground floor.

The seller, who’s offering it through GFI Realty Services Inc., is looking to get a whopping $6,000,000 for the site, located between Marcy and Tompkins. Ambitious, perhaps, though the broker touts development rights allowing for a 22,365 square foot mixed-use building.

That works out to $268 per buildable square foot. (more…)