Bushwick Mural House 140 Central Avenue

Bushwick’s mural-covered house at 104 Central Avenue, which seems to have launched a trend of colorful facades in Bushwick, has been sold as a development site and will be razed. The sale closed last week for $1,285,000 but has not yet hit public records.

Seller and local business owner Jeremy Sapienza was fed up with Bushwick and saw opportunity in soaring property values. He and partner Luis Velazquez plan to close the last of their two Florida-style Bushwick cafes Sunday, they announced via Facebook Wednesday.

“We’re closing because I haven’t made a dime in two years, Bushwick is a nightmare on earth full of obnoxious yuppie brats, and I’m tired. Maybe that’s not a nice angle, haha,” Sapienza told Brownstoner. (more…)

338-evergreen-avenue

In March, Brownstoner revealed that David Cohen of Bushwick Realty Holding had purchased an entire block in Bushwick and was fixing up a long-derelict but attractive turn-of-the-last-century building on it. The developer was also revamping the former Menorah Home for the Aged and Infirm into a “nonprofit/philanthropic” with “sleeping accommodations” for 113 people.

Now YIMBY has more information about the development and what will happen to the rest of the block, which contains a large empty lot ripe for development. (more…)

330-334 Ellery St. PS 52, SSpellen 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

This 1883 schoolhouse, one of hundreds designed by Brooklyn school architect James W. Naughton, has been repurposed as space for artists and performers.

Name: Former Public School 52, now “The Schoolhouse”
Address: 330-334 Ellery Street
Cross Streets: Broadway and Beaver Street
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1883
Architectural Style: Late Italianate with some High Victorian Gothic detailing
Architect: James W. Naughton
Other Works by Architect: Many other school buildings in Brooklyn, including PS 9 Annex in Prospect Heights, Girls High School and Boys High School, both in Bedford Stuyvesant, and PS 107 in Park Slope
Landmarked: No

School Architecture in the City of Brooklyn
Bushwick’s first school was built in 1662. That one was augmented in 1815 by the building of Bushwick District School 2, on Stanwix and Noll streets. Bushwick was still an independent town back then.

In 1855, Bushwick became part of the city of Brooklyn, and the school’s designation was changed to Public School 24. By the 1880s, Brooklyn’s Board of Education had changed greatly in just 30 years.

There were new ideas about educating students and a new Superintendent of Buildings, James W. Naughton, was settling in after replacing Samuel B. Leonard, the last holder of that job.

A Good Building Can Help Make a Good School
James Naughton, an Irish Immigrant who studied architecture at Cooper Union, was one of many educators who realized that the school building itself could be an aid to good education. (more…)

bushwick-painted-104-central-avenue

Colorful painted facades are becoming a thing in Bushwick. We count at least six houses in Bushwick that have painted murals or colorful geometric designs adorning their otherwise plain stucco exteriors.

One reason for the design trend may be that Bushwick has a lot of frame houses. You’d probably never guess looking at Bushwick now, but many were once painted ladies with lots of gingerbread trim, just like in San Francisco. (more…)

church-1255-bushwick-3-081015

Finally, some action at 1255 Bushwick Avenue, where Brookland Capital has been planning a conversion of the former St. Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church into apartments. The developer has been steadily chipping away at the old building, and now it’s down to just a facade.

It’s braced in place, and ready for a foundation to be dug and an addition to rise behind it. The property is extensive and goes back deep into the block, wraps around the house next door, and continues out to the next side street. (more…)

Bushwick residents packed a town hall meeting convened by a local community group to push for affordable housing at the massive Rheingold Brewery development in Bushwick. City Council Member Antonio Reynoso called on developer Rabsky to live up to a 2013 promise made by its predecessor, developer Read Property, to include affordable housing.

The former industrial space, which is being redeveloped as apartments and shops, covers about 10 city blocks close to Flushing and Bushwick avenues. However, the protest may be much ado about nothing.

Rabsky already said in June it has every intention of including affordable housing in its developments. The community group, the Rheingold Construction Committee, apparently isn’t buying it.  (more…)

735 and 737 Bushwick Avennue

Tenants in two buildings on Bushwick Avenue are being evicted to make way for a renovation, according to a tipster. “Although they tried to fight it the tenants are getting evicted,” she told us. “Construction is set to start in a month.”

We checked into permits at 735 and 737 Bushwick Avenue, and sure enough, the owner is planning to add a fourth floor to each building and increase the number of units. (One will go from three to seven units, and the other from three to six.) The plans were filed this month but have not yet been approved.

This is one example of change taking place all up and down Bushwick Avenue and throughout the neighborhood. We have noted many townhouses being gut renovated, spruced up, enlarged with top-story additions, and even being demolished and replaced by larger apartment buildings over the last year or so.  (more…)

grotto-with-arrow

For more than a century, the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes stood as a beloved neighborhood landmark. Built into the corner of 2 Aberdeen Street at the intersection of Aberdeen and Broadway, the stone structure housed a statue of the Virgin Mary. Several generations of locals considered it to be a sacred space; a place where they could pause, reflect, ask for mercies, or meditate.

“The grotto was a special place in our lives,” says local Robert LaRosa. “Every time I’d pass by, I’d have my special silent prayer.”

But the grotto was torn down last week, much to the chagrin of hundreds of Bushwick residents, several of whom visited the scene to collect stones from the rubble and pay their respects.

(more…)

1173-1179 Bushwick Ave, CB, PS 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 1173-1179 Bushwick Avenue
Cross Streets: Cornelia Street and Jefferson Avenue
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1880
Architectural Style: Transitional Italianate/Neo-Grec
Architect: Thomas F. Houghton
Other works by architect: St. Agnes Catholic Church and school, Carroll Gardens; Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, Stuyvesant Heights; St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Park Slope. Also row houses and other buildings in Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North, and elsewhere
Landmarked: No

The story: At first glance, these transitional Italianate and Neo-Grec homes are just another group of four modest brownstones. But here, as in all of his work, architect Thomas Houghton created beauty in the details.

These four houses were designed by one of the East Coast’s premiere Catholic Church architects, best known for his churches here in Brooklyn, Manhattan and in Massachusetts.

Houghton learned from the best of the best, Patrick Keely, and became part of the family by marrying the boss’s daughter. (more…)

1255 Decatur Street

Plans were filed last week for a five story building to rise in place of this wood frame house in Bushwick. As with many wood frame houses that are being torn down around the borough, this one at 1255 Decatur Street is small and sits on a relatively large lot.

The original house is quite small, only 25 by 32 feet and set all the way back at the end of the 100 foot long lot — an unusual configuration for Brooklyn. The new building will be much larger — 5,311 square feet. (more…)

rheingold brewery rendering 2

The developer behind a building at the Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick is being accused of trying to back out of affordable housing promises that were made during the rezoning process, according to a report by DNAinfo. In a statement forwarded to us, the developer denied the claims.

The planned seven story, 393-unit rental building at 10 Montieth Street, developed by Rabsky Group and designed by ODA New York, will feature a 25,000-square foot green roof, according to the renderings released in March. According to DNAInfo, however, plans currently filed with the city show that affordable housing isn’t part of the plan. (more…)

600 Bushwick Avenue Combo2

Six stories of modern glassy apartments will replace this low-slung brick building that garaged and serviced cars at 600 Bushwick Avenue for 100 years. The existing building, a Building of the Day in 2013, has a pleasing symmetrical design with Neo-Classical columns and triangular pediments.

The new design, by Hustvedt Cutler Architects, adds four stories to the existing building, and replaces its triangular pediments with glassy, asymmetrical bays and balconies. At first we thought the renderings showed an entirely new building, but the contemporary adaptation retains the brick base and second-story windows of the original. (more…)