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…)

Lng-02People who love old houses tend to love their quirks, so the couple who bought a mid-19th century brownstone on Joralemon Street were charmed by the fact that the house is not perfectly rectilinear. It’s a rhomboid, or slanted rectangle – that is, the opposite sides are equal in length and parallel to each other, but the corners don’t quite form right angles (as you can see in plan, below).


“It’s a funny little house,” said Erin Fearins, an interior designer at CWB Architects, who headed up the furnishing and decorating of the home’s parlor floor and master bedroom after whole-house renovations were complete. “To make the weird wall condition less noticeable, we created a neutral envelope with simple window treatments, interjecting color and texture.” (more…)

2015_05_17 Pierhouse 47

You may have thought the movement to save the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade was dead, since the lawsuit over the Pierhouse development was decided in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s favor in June, but community group Save the View Now is hoping to resurrect its case. Last week the organization filed a motion to amend its complaint and renew its motion for a preliminary injunction based on what claims is newly discovered evidence that the developer, Toll Brothers and others involved in the project misrepresented the use of the controversial 30-foot bulkhead that blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The City, Empire State Development Corp, Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital have always contended that the bulkhead, which exceeds the legally mandated building height of 100 feet but is not counted as part of the building, was needed to house the building’s mechanicals since, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they could no longer be located in the basement. Save the View Now says it has uncovered plans that show that the bulkhead will be used for more frivolous purposes than housing mechanicals. (more…)


A group of seven 19th century buildings on Atlantic Avenue close to the water, including the home of the last of the longshoreman’s bars, Montero’s, is for sale for $56,000,000. However, despite a wave of development on this gritty stretch by the BQE on-ramp, the chances of the row being razed and turned into condos — or even selling at all, at this price — are slim, because they are all landmarked.

Just across the street is the former Long Island College Hospital campus, where two 40-story condo towers are brewing, and a block away near the water Brooklyn Bridge Park is preparing for two more towers on Pier 6. (more…)

194 Columbia Hts, B Eldredge 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row House
Address: 194 Columbia Heights
Cross Streets: Pierrepont and Clark streets
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1860
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Heights Historic District (1965)

The story: Brooklyn Heights is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in New York City. A historic row house on Columbia Heights, with rear Promenade and Manhattan views, is quite alluring, so it’s no wonder that a neglected, boarded-up house in that location would be the subject of curiosity and desire.

Unfortunately, this report does not solve that mystery. The property has been owned by Dr. Austin Moore since 1969. For whatever reason, he’s been unable or unwilling to do anything with it, other than emergency repairs. He has also refused to sell. But today’s BOTD is not about that.

Rather, it’s a look at the original owner and his family – a family that had the house built and lived in it for at least 80 years. (more…)

Brooklyn Heights Public Library1

At its meeting tonight, Brooklyn Community Board 2 will vote on the controversial plan to sell the Brooklyn Heights Library site to a private developer, Hudson Companies, which aims to build a 36-story condominium tower that will include a new library on the ground floor.

As we’ve covered extensively, there are strong partisans on both sides of this one: Those who call it a prime opportunity to upgrade the ailing facility at 280 Cadman Plaza West and generate much-needed cash for the borough’s libraries and those who call it an unconscionable handoff of public land to a private developer.

Whichever way the board goes, “CB2’s vote will be momentous,” judges the group Citizens Defending Libraries, which strongly opposes the $52,000,000 sale, believing it would “set the table for future developers to feast on public assets.” (more…)


It’s hard to find a whole lot of fault with this five-story brownstone, at 44 Grace Court in Brooklyn Heights. It’s palatial, it’s gorgeous, it’s on a block as nice as any in Heights, and it looks to be in fantastic condition.

One word this house brings to mind is “abundance.” Space? There’s around 5,500 square feet. Bedrooms? There are eight, half of them king-sized. Marble fireplaces? There are eight of those as well. Ceilings, high; windows, tall. A lovely landscaped garden and a deck on the fourth floor.

There’s detail all over the place — original moldings, beauteous parquet floors, walnut and mahogany woodwork, the works. There’s a sleek, modern kitchen on the garden level that looks great, and backs up the claim in the listing that the house “has successfully blended its significant history and architectural details with modern living.” (more…)


This one-bedroom co-op at 24 Monroe Place in Brooklyn Heights has a classic, elegant look. It’s got picture rail moldings and oak parquet floors that look to be in fine shape.

It all looks to be in fine shape, actually. That includes the kitchen, which looks tiny, but is nicely renovated. There’s no picture of the bathroom, but the listing promises that it’s been “elegantly restored to its original luster.”

The place isn’t gigantic at 630 square feet, but the living room and bedroom are reasonably sized. And they appear to get a fair amount of light. (It’s on a high floor, and a sliver of skyline can apparently be seen from the bedroom window.) (more…)


A new ice cream shop is coming to 115 Montague Street, almost directly across from the country’s first Haagen Dazs. Emack & Bolio’s is a rock-n-roll themed chain originating in Boston.

They’ve taken the space that was vacated by Connecticut Muffin earlier this year after the rent got too d*mn high. Curious peepers can see purple-painted columns above the brown paper. (more…)


There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles attached to this one. No landscaped roof deck, no on-site yoga studio, no marble-countered kitchen in which to “unleash your inner Wolfgang Puck.” What we’ve got here is a straight-up, modest one-bedroom in prime Brooklyn Heights in decent shape for under $2,000.

They’re calling the bedroom “good-sized” — “not very big” would be another way to describe it. Without a floor plan we can’t tell if there’s a closet in there — if so, presumably we’re not talking about a walk-in. The kitchen is small and drab, though serviceable. (more…)