1010 Ocean Ave, Brush House, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Thomas H. Brush house, then Temple Beth Ohr, then Redeption Gospel Outreach, now doctors’ offices
Address: 1010 Ocean Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner Newkirk Avenue
Neighborhood: Ditmas Park
Year Built: 1899
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: George Palliser
Other Buildings by Architect: Many houses in the Barnum/Palliser Historic District in Bridgeport, CT, as well as other buildings in historic districts in Bridgeport, Westport and Waterbury, CT. Also houses in Main, Indiana, Vermont and Utah.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Ditmas Park HD (1981)

The story: Connecticut architects George and Charles Palliser were busy men during the latter half of the 19th century. In 1976, George had published an architectural style book called “Model Homes for the People.” In it he illustrated plans and patterns for housing. He boasted that the 25 page book was sent to every state and territory in the Union, and even in the provinces. A year later, he and his brother Charles formed their company, Palliser, Palliser & Co. and set out to write and publish many more books of model houses and architectural how-to’s. Between 1876 and 1900, they published at least ten, including on all-purpose guide for towns and cities called “Palliser’s Court Houses, Village, Town and City Halls, Jails and Plans of Other Public Buildings,” which was published in 1889. (more…)

557 myrtle avenue clinton hill 82014

Three brothers from Bay Ridge who’ve been roasting and selling their coffee wholesale in Red Hook are bringing their brew direct to the public with a cafe, Brewklyn Grind, opening this week at 557 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.

Alain, James and Craig Farelly began roasting coffee in Alain’s Brooklyn apartment in 2003, and within a few years, they moved their operation to a former furniture factory on Coffey Street in Red Hook. After Hurricane Sandy obliterated most of their equipment, they’ve spent the last two years rebuilding and branching out into small grocery stores throughout the city.

The new shop will offer baked goods from Balthazar and Ovenly, and serve single-origin coffees, a blend and a rotating list of seasonal varieties. Andy Schulz, who owned the now closed De Luxe coffee shop in Park Slope, is managing the shop. The space used to be a wholesale produce and meat market, and still sports its tin ceilings and walls. A soft opening takes place this Friday, starting at 8 am. The store plans to be open from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week.

Click through for interior shots. GMAP (more…)

2835 bedford avenue flatbush 82014

For apartment hunters looking for value, they could do a lot worse than to explore the part of Flatbush around Brooklyn College. There are lots and lots of prewar buildings and houses — and the campus itself is beautiful. This new listing at 2835 Bedford Avenue, for example, has 1,100 square feet of space and lots of original details. It’s only got one bathroom and a pretty unsexy kitchen but for $299,000, this appears to qualify as a good deal these days.

2835 Bedford Avenue, #4B [Corcoran] GMAP

Lane Bryant Ad, maternity gown, 1911, BEWestern society has long had a strange attitude towards pregnancy. Throughout much of its history, much has been made of producing children, whether they are the heirs to the throne, or workers on the family farm. We’ve told women that it is a biblical duty to have children, but up until the end of the 20th century, many Western societies have been loath to see a woman walking around pregnant. As soon as a woman was showing, in polite society, she entered her “confinement” and rarely left home until after the baby was born. It all has to do with attitudes about sex, and the war between fulfilling the biological and societal imperative to go forth and multiply, and the fact that one has to have sex in order to do it. We are a conflicted and messed up people.

At any rate, this is a story about a fashion empire and Brooklyn’s part in that empire. Pregnancy is at the heart of our story. At the turn of the 20th century, maternity clothes were not available the way they are now. Women of means had their maternity clothing custom made. Those who could sew made their own, and everyone else made do by letting their clothing out, or wearing larger clothes. Or they didn’t leave home much.

But this was not the Middle Ages. Women were out and about, unescorted, in record numbers. Many middle and upper middle class women had jobs, many more were active in sports like bicycle riding, and most did not want to spend half their pregnancies locked behind closed doors. There was a real need for well-fitting maternity clothing, including the ever present corset, so women could go out, be pregnant, and look beautiful and healthy. The conditions were right for the right person to come along and revolutionize the market. That woman was a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant named Lena Himmelstein. (more…)

carlton mews townhouses fort greene 82014

Two years after construction started, the Carlton Mews townhouses in Fort Greene look like they could be getting ready to hit the market. The stoops are in, and the five townhouses are ready for cornices. The neotraditional homes have all their windows and brick facades, and it looks like interior work is under way. Construction signage says they’ll be finished by December.

The project has come a long way since one of the townhouses collapsed, killing a construction worker in September 2012. (more…)

KCW, Grant Square, Composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

During the last two decades of the 19th century, there were no cooler men on earth that the members of the Kings County Wheelmen’s Club of Brooklyn. They were like rock stars and the championship Yankees rolled into one; a collection of men’s men, gushed over by young ladies and reporters alike, the intrepid “Knights of the Silent Steed.” They were Brooklyn’s best and most famous amateur bicycle club.

While pictures of mustachioed men in striped shirts and caps on enormous high wheeler cycles are in the popular imagination for this period, the truth is that the bicycle of the day looked pretty much the same then as they do now. They were easy to ride for men, women and children, and their mobility made them as popular then as they are today. Mass production soon made them affordable to almost anyone, and they sold like hotcakes. The Victorians were a very social bunch, and loved getting together in organizations, so it didn’t take long for bicycle clubs of all kinds to spring up all over the country. (more…)

60 water street dumbo rendering 82014

Two Trees’ large Dock Street Dumbo project rising next to the Brooklyn Bridge has a new rendering, which more clearly shows what the buildings will look like. Curbed published the new view of the 290-unit development, which will apparently be quite reflective. 

The property will encompass a 17-story tower, a nine-story building, and a 50,000-square-foot middle school, as reported.

Construction is pretty far along. Below are some new photos of the buildings rising on the construction site, which we snapped yesterday. (more…)

42 west street greenpoint 82014

Eight years after a 10-alarm fire engulfed several of its buildings, Greenpoint Terminal Market’s vacant warehouses are finally seeing some new life. 67 West Street, a five-story brick warehouse that survived the fire, has since been transformed into event spaces for weddings, galleries and artist studios. And across the street, a 65,000-square-foot factory building at 42 West Street (pictured) is slowly being converted to commercial space. (more…)