Vito Lopez

Known for his old-school politics and scandalous downfall, Brooklyn native Vito Lopez died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital on Monday after a years-long fight with cancer. He was 74.

A Bensonhurst-bred Italian-American, Vito Lopez represented a favor-for-loyalty type of machine-style politics where, for a vote, he was known to bring supporters jobs, housing, and health care. (more…)

Bachelor Pad Design Bushwick Brooklyn

Not everyone could get away with an apartment that feels like a nightclub, but Vikas and Vishal Sapra, brothers as well as roommates, come by the black walls, mirrored bar and bubble chandelier honestly. Vikas is a renowned DJ and founder of the soon-to-launch music app Rippi; Vishal works for a creative and technology agency.

After meeting designer Stefania Skrabak of Art Home Garden while they were all working on an event for the men’s online magazine UrbanDaddy, the Sapra brothers hired her to take their chaotically furnished two-bedroom Bushwick rental to a new level of organization and stylishness. (more…)

Bushwick Brooklyn -- 81 Beaver St, William Ulmer Brewery History

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Brooklyn has been a beer lovers’ town since the 1850s. But there are only a few of the original brewery buildings still standing. This one is the most well known.

Name: William Ulmer Brewery — main brew house and addition
Address: 81-83 Beaver Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Belvidere Street
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1872, 1881
Architectural Style: Rundbogenstil Romanesque revival
Architect: Theobald Engelhardt
Other Works by Architect: The William Ulmer Brewery office next door and William Ulmer’s mansion on Bushwick Avenue, as well as mansions, row houses, tenements, churches, factories and breweries mostly in Bushwick, Williamsburg and Eastern Bedford Stuyvesant
Landmarked: Yes, the entire brewery complex was landmarked in 2010.

In 1871, German immigrant William Ulmer became a partner in the Vigelius & Ulmer Continental Lagerbier Brewery, on the corner of Belvidere and Beaver streets in Bushwick. By 1879, Ulmer had become sole proprietor and renamed in the William Ulmer Brewery.

The Bushwick section of Brooklyn had become home to most of Brooklyn’s German immigrants, starting in the late 1840s. They brought many different industries and products to this country, but are best known for lager beer, which soon became the drink of choice in New York and, eventually, the entire country.

Before Prohibition Brooklyn had at least 24 breweries, many of them in the predominantly German Eastern District, which included Bushwick, parts of Williamsburg and Eastern Bedford Stuyvesant. The Ulmer brewery was one of the most successful. (more…)


Read Property Group, developer of the massive Bushwick mega-project Rheingold Brewery — it encompasses at least 10 city blocks — has sold part of the site to another developer, named Joel Goldman. The sale has not yet hit public records, but Read told local Council Member Antonio Reynoso and community development watchdog group Rheingold Construction Committee about the sale, City Limits reported.

It’s business as usual for developers to resell or flip development sites. But Reynoso and community organizers are worried Goldman and another developer, Rabsky — which also bought part of the site last year, for $53,000,000 — won’t honor the promises Read made to build affordable housing on the site in exchange for a 2013 rezoning. (more…)

Silent Barn Fire -- Bushwick Venue Asks for Help

On Friday night, the Bushwick performance space and artist community Silent Barn suffered a fire on the building’s third floor while a concert took place downstairs.

All residents and concertgoers were safely evacuated, but the third-floor apartment where the fire started — one of four units that house nine members of the Silent Barn community — was ruined. Smoke and water damaged the other apartment and the downstairs performance space.

The cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical malfunction, according to a post on the venue’s website. (more…)


A Brownstoner reader and longtime resident of Bushwick sent Brownstoner her thoughts about recent changes and gentrification in Bushwick:

“Just a quick email to see if you can help me understand what exactly is occurring in Bushwick. I have lived in Bushwick for what seems like forever and seen the changes that have happened here.

Yes I must agree some things are in the best interest of all who reside in this area but then again many of our longtime residents are forced to leave. Why you ask — well the rents are increasing rapidly and it is very difficult for the families to pay this. (more…)