Passive House Brooklyn Brownstone

Though currently a hot commodity, brownstones aren’t known for their energy efficiency.

“It’s amazing how much money is spent just heating building materials,” Michael Ingui, Partner at Baxt Ingui Architects, recently told Brownstoner. But that’s no longer the case in at least one newly renovated townhouse — the first passive-certified, landmarked home in Brooklyn. (more…)

Thaddeus Young Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Nets player Thaddeus Young bought a $5,400,000 condo in Brooklyn Heights’ One Brooklyn Bridge Park earlier this summer. Apparently he’s already learned that the Atlantic Antic doesn’t make for a fast commute and that Brooklyn Bridge Park is a great place to let the kids cut loose.

But there’s more to life in Brooklyn Heights. To help Young get hip with the Heights crowd, we’ve put together a handy guide of five things he needs to know about his new ‘hood right now.


Brooklyn History Dumbo Empire Stores John Arbuckle

If coffee was a controlled substance, most of us would be addicts of the worst sort. Our national morning jones for caffeine has been the catalyst for fortune and failure over the centuries. Everyone loves a coffee shop, and most are welcomed into any neighborhood like a water fountain in the desert.

There have been countless arguments, discussions and even culinary classes about the world’s best coffee — how to grow the beans, roast them, package them and brew them. Our stores are full of different devices that do whatever we need to get us our fixes.

Although many people, especially in upscale urban and suburban communities, swear by their special blends, their small batch, artisanal and exotic coffees, most of the coffee brewed in America comes from a few large companies that supply supermarkets and restaurants across the nation.

The Arbuckle Brothers, working out of Brooklyn, were one the coffee giants of the 19th and early 20th centuries. They roasted and packaged the first popular coffee brand, called Ariosa, and created Yuban coffee, a brand still on the market after 150-plus years. (more…)

Brooklyn Heights -- 18 Cranberry St History

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

This elegant Brooklyn Heights row house was built back when the “fruit blocks” were at the center of the Heights.

Name: Row house
Address: 18 Cranberry Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Willow Street
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: Around 1845
Architectural Style: Greek Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Heights Historic District (1965)

Cranberry Street, like Orange and Pineapple streets, was named by the Hicks brothers, who owned this land before the street grid was laid out in the early 1800s. Cranberry once stretched from Columbia Heights out beyond Fulton Street, now Cadman Plaza West.

By 1821 there were 15 houses along the length of the street. This house was built around 1845 and included the fenced-in yard and the carriage house behind it, today a separate address.

The house is similar to 15 Willow Street, on the corner of Middagh Street: both are brick Greek Revivals, with side entrances. The side of 18 Cranberry faces Willow Street, and was designed to complement and complete the adjacent row of houses.

This house was built to be the same height as its neighbors, but sometime in the 20th century an extra story was added and the cornice was removed. The elegantly curved staircase is original.

The bricked-in windows may or may not be original. Interestingly, 15 Willow has the same windows bricked in. They may have been false windows to begin with, or filled in when Brooklyn’s row houses became boarding houses and apartments. (more…)

Brooklyn Heights Co-op For Sale -- 35 Pierrepont Street

Today’s co-op is a stately four-bedroom, three-bath unit on a prime Brooklyn Heights block. Located at 35 Pierrepont Street, it’s a classic seven in form, and it’s classic in the general sense of the word as well, with understated prewar elegance.

Listed by Karen Heyman at Sotheby’s, the place has a fair amount to offer. It’s fully renovated and, unless trick photography has been brought into play, in excellent condition. It’s got nice spaces, a functional layout, good proportions, and light from three exposures. (more…)

Atlantic Antic 2015 -- Brooklyn Street Fair Photos

Thousands of Brooklynites made their way across a mile-long stretch of Atlantic Avenue on Sunday for the 41st annual Atlantic Antic, New York’s largest street fair.

Local shops sold their wares, from vintage finds to bespoke jewelry and art prints, soundtracked by performances from marching bands, jazz acts and more.

There was plenty of typical street-festival fare — grilled corn, arepas, fried Oreos and gyros — as well as booths from local food purveyors like Luke’s Lobster, the Good Batch, Landhaus, Sahadi’s and Damascus Bread & Pastry.

See our photos from the fest below. (more…)

2015_09_16 Pierhouse 36

Despite recent legal drama, construction progress continues at Marvel Architects’ 1 Hotel and Pierhouse, the controversial hotel and residential condo development at the boundary of Brooklyn Bridge Park. (Monday, a judge dismissed a second attempt by a community group to dismantle the 30-foot-high bulkhead on top of 1 Hotel, which blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade.)

The Toll Brothers’ 100-foot-tall development topped out in January. Since then, work has been under way on the exterior envelope and interiors.

The glassy facade of 1 Hotel, the 200-key eco hotel from Starwood Capital Group,  has been significantly complete since the May update. Throughout the summer, the facade of the adjacent Pierhouse condo building at 90 Furman Street has been covered in construction scaffolding. (more…)

Brooklyn Heights Hotel -- Bossert Plans to Reopen by Winter

Brooklyn Heights’ historic Bossert Hotel may finally reopen this winter under the operation of Argentinian hotelier Fën Hotels, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

The Bossert will not be Fën Hoteles’ first venture in Brooklyn, as they recently opened the Dazzler Brooklyn downtown, on Flatbush Avenue Extension and Tillary Street. UnderFën’s discretion, the Bossert Hotel will be transformed into the “Esplendor Bossert.”


Brooklyn Heights Library Plan Disapproved By Borough President Eric Adams

In a surprising move, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams submitted his official recommendation to “disapprove with conditions” the plan to sell and redevelop the Brooklyn Public Library branch at 280 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights. Adams’ announcement is an official part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and means that nine affirmative votes are required from the City Planning Commission on September 22 in order for the development plan to move forward for a City Council vote.

Adams took issue with the fact that the plan contained no explicit guarantee that cash from the library sale would go back to the Brooklyn Public Library rather than into the city’s general fund. He proposed additional changes to the proposal, including adding a public school annex for the overcrowded PS 8 and permanent affordable housing to the site.

Adams also outlined an entirely new model for funding Brooklyn’s library system.


UMD Urgent Care Brooklyn Heights Coming to Montague Street

Empty no more! Another long-vacant storefront on Montague Street is showing signs of life. When Brownstoner walked past just the other day, we saw that a UMD Urgent Care will soon occupy 109 Montague.

The location was previously a Crumbs cupcake shop. The bakery closed abruptly in June of 2014 just before the chain filed for bankruptcy. For a year, the storefront languished.


Brooklyn, one building at a time.

This is one of the oldest houses in Brooklyn Heights. Its place next door to the historic Plymouth Church also assured that a lot of history passed through these doors over the years.

Name: Wood-frame house
Address: 69 Orange Street
Cross Streets: Hicks and Henry streets
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1828
Architectural Style: Federal, with later Victorian add-ons and alterations
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Heights Historic District (1965)

Almost Two Centuries of Architectural Changes

This Federal-style clapboard house has seen a lot of physical changes in its 187-year history. Sometime in the post–Civil War years, someone added another story to the house using a mansard roof.

There were also changes to the windows — which were lengthened — as well as the door and the railings. According to Mrs. Iago Gladston, who lived in the house in 1961, there was also a porch she had removed 24 years before when she and her husband moved in.

That porch would also have been a Victorian-era addition, but Mrs. Gladston didn’t like the way it jutted over the front steps. She was interviewed for a Long Island Historical Society article in 1961.

There was also a house next door, to the left. It was a similar clapboard house that can be seen in old photographs of Plymouth Church. (more…)