07/30/14 3:00pm

723 Manhattan Ave, Meserole Theater. CB, PS

Name: Former Meserole Theater, now Rite Aid Pharmacy
Address: 723 Manhattan Avenue
Cross Streets: Norman and Meserole Avenues
Neighborhood: Greenpoint
Year Built: 1921
Architectural Style: Neo-Classical Georgian
Architect: Eugene DeRosa
Other Buildings by Architect: Brooklyn — Terminal Theater, Park Slope, Kenmore Theater, Flatbush. Manhattan — 8th Street Playhouse, Times Square Theater, Broadway Theater, Apollo Theater (42nd Street).. Also St. George Theater on Staten Island, and other theaters in NYC and around the country
Landmarked: No

The story: The Meserole family was one of the five founding families of Greenpoint. Jan Meserole came to this area in 1663 and settled in. The family homestead was centered here, and the family mansion stood on the site of this former theater. In 1919, when plans for this building were announced, the old mansion house was home to the Young Women’s Hebrew Association. It was quickly torn down, and Sol Brill, a well-known theater and amusement park impresario had this theater built.

It’s a deceptive building, at least the entrance is. The narrow lot on Manhattan Avenue would lead one to believe that this is a very small building. It’s only got a 25 foot width on the Manhattan side, in what looks like a one story building scarcely big enough for any kind of theater. But walk down the length of the lobby, and the building opens up to a huge theater space, all of which faces out onto Lorimer Street. When the Meserole Theater opened in 1921, it had seating for two thousand people. (more…)

07/30/14 10:00am

1 woodrow court greenwood heights 72014

This interesting addition is rising on top of a townhouse at 1 Woodrow Court in Greenwood Heights, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 30th Street. The little two-story brick townhouse is being enlarged with a third floor and 836 more square feet, according to alteration permits. The architect of record is Eric Safyan, and his website includes more construction photos and a schematic, which we’ve included after the jump. (more…)

flatbush-avenue-072914

After years of getting the brush off on requests to limit building heights in Prospect Lefferts Gardens to six stories, PLG residents, activists and community board members are now meeting with City Planning to consider how the neighborhood should be rezoned.

In addition to supporting a rezoning of Flatbush Avenue, pictured above during this past winter, that would limit building heights there to six stories, neighborhood group The Movement to Protect the People (MTOPP) opposes a brand-new move to rezone commercial district Empire Boulevard to allow residential, MTOPP President and PLG homeowner Alicia Boyd told us. (more…)

07/29/14 4:00pm

bergn beer hall

Berg’n Beer Hall will open its doors in a former garage in Crown Heights on August 27, as Grub Street first reported. The 9,000-square-foot space at 899 Bergen Street will offer food from Mighty Quinn’s, Pizza Moto Slice Shop, Asia Dog, and Ramen Burger for lunch and dinner, and locally roasted Parlor coffee and Dough doughnuts for breakfast. Berg’n will also have a 40-foot antique bar that serves locally brewed beer and pints of Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale. The beer hall is connected to 1000 Dean Street, a 150,000-square-foot former Studebaker service station that’s been converted to office space.

07/29/14 3:00pm

193-195 9th St. KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally row houses, then Our Saviour’s Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church, now American Legion Post 1636
Address: 193-195 9th Street
Cross Streets: 3rd and 4th avenues
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Year Built: 1860s, remodeled as a church in 1885, more alterations, 1928
Architectural Style: Italianate under it all
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: As Gowanus grew as an industrial area, the thousands of workers who worked in the factories, warehouses and piers needed homes for themselves and their families. By the dawn of the Civil War, in 1860, a row of small two story Italianate row houses was built here on the eastern side of 9th Street, part of the effort to meet local housing needs. They weren’t fancy or grand; they were utilitarian houses for the working class. Most of them were probably subdivided into apartments or rented out as boarding house rooms. There were not too many people here who could afford an entire house.

As the war began in earnest, most people here were probably not aware that they lived on top of a battlefield themselves. This entire area was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, where the newly minted Continental Army was almost destroyed at the very beginning of the Revolutionary War, in 1776. The British had far superior forces, training and guns, and the Americans soon found themselves retreating towards the harbor. (more…)

07/29/14 1:30pm

636 macdonough street bed stuy 72014

If you’re buying in east Bed Stuy, the 600 block of MacDonough is certainly an attractive one. This particular house at No. 636 appears reasonably well maintained and has plenty of cute original details, though a buyer may want to customize the kitchens and baths.

It has not changed hands recently, and appears to have passed to a family member from an estate in 2007. Do you think it is appealing for $1,200,000?

636 MacDonough Street [IPG Real Estate] GMAP