clinton hill society walking tour

Brownstoner columnist Suzanne Spellen will lead a walking tour of Clinton Hill this weekend covering the neighborhood’s rich history and unique architecture. She’ll discuss everything from 19th century mansions to elegant apartment buildings. The Society for Clinton Hill is organizing the tour, which will run from 11 am to 1 pm this Sunday, September 28. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Eventbrite.

Photo via Society for Clinton Hill

305 vanderbilt avenue clinton hill 92014

The kitchen and bathroom in this Clinton Hill two-bedroom aren’t super fancy, but the apartment’s got solid prewar bones. The layout seems better suited to a couple than roommates, because the second bedroom is a smaller room off the master bedroom.

It’s 840 square feet and occupies the top floor of a brownstone. The location is all right too: a few blocks from Pratt, two blocks from the G and six long blocks to the C at Clinton-Washington. Do you think $2,600 a month is fair?

305 Vanderbilt Avenue, #3 [Corcoran] GMAP


Clean Society cleaners at 307 Grand Avenue has been shut down by court order. The spot has been a notorious hotbed of suspicious activity for years, as we wrote in April when the owner was shot (but not killed). At the time of the shooting, a tipster told us he saw DEA agents taking cash and drugs out of the storefront.

A week later, the police claimed the owner and a customer got into a “verbal altercation about clothes” and the shooting was not drug related, according to DNAinfo.

Now there are two signs on the door, as you can see in this photo a reader sent us today. One says “Closed by Court Order.” The other is a restraining order that specifically prohibits removing anything from the premises. It also says “The following activity is prohibited: use and occupancy.” And then it just says “marijuana.”

broken angel exterior 4-6 downing street

The Broken Angel condo development now has a teaser site and is prepping to launch sales next month, because the state’s attorney general recently approved its offering plan, according to developer and architect Alex Barrett. The former tenement at 4-8 Downing Street in Clinton Hill, once one of Brooklyn’s most unusual landmarks, now bears little trace of former owner and artist Arthur Wood’s fantastical creation — other than a drawing of an angel, a reference to the building’s past, in a new mural on the construction fence.

At 4 Downing, partitions are framed, and workers are installing windows, basic plumbing, electrical and sprinklers. Eventually, the four-story building will house eight condos, according to alteration permits. Next door at 8 Downing, they’re about to start pouring the concrete foundation for a four-story, two-unit building.

Barrett bought the property for $4,100,000 in January. Click through to see photos of the construction progress so far.

Broken Angel Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photos by Travis Mark Dubreuil for Barrett Design and Development



The Good Batch opened this morning in a recently revamped commercial space at 936 Fulton Street in Clinton Hill. On the menu are all kinds of cookies, muffins, cake, ice cream sandwiches and savory scones. There is also coffee, tea, ice tea, lemonade and Arnold Palmers.

The Good Batch started out selling ice cream sandwiches made with their own not-too-sweet cookies and stroopwafels at the Brooklyn Flea. This is their first store. Anyone checked it out yet? GMAP (more…)

337 grand avenue clinton hill 92014

With brownstones on Grand Avenue now priced well over $2,000,000, the half a brownstone at No. 337 might at first glance seem to be attractive at its asking price of $995,000. Potential buyers should keep in mind however that, despite efforts to add some traditional detailing, the 1,010-square-foot duplex is located in a townhouse built in 1989 and whose footprint is quite a bit smaller than many of its older neighbors. The result is a price per square foot just shy of $1,000. That seems a bit aggressive to us given the product. What do you think?

337 Grand Avenue, #B [Corcoran] GMAP


The new owner of an Edwardian apartment building in Clinton Hill is renovating and raising rents as tenants vacate. The renovated apartments have more bedrooms and less common space than the old ones. It’s a pattern we’re seeing all over the borough in neighborhoods where rents are rising quickly, such as Bed Stuy and Crown Heights. (more…)

557 myrtle avenue clinton hill 82014

Three brothers from Bay Ridge who’ve been roasting and selling their coffee wholesale in Red Hook are bringing their brew direct to the public with a cafe, Brewklyn Grind, opening this week at 557 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.

Alain, James and Craig Farelly began roasting coffee in Alain’s Brooklyn apartment in 2003, and within a few years, they moved their operation to a former furniture factory on Coffey Street in Red Hook. After Hurricane Sandy obliterated most of their equipment, they’ve spent the last two years rebuilding and branching out into small grocery stores throughout the city.

The new shop will offer baked goods from Balthazar and Ovenly, and serve single-origin coffees, a blend and a rotating list of seasonal varieties. Andy Schulz, who owned the now closed De Luxe coffee shop in Park Slope, is managing the shop. The space used to be a wholesale produce and meat market, and still sports its tin ceilings and walls. A soft opening takes place this Friday, starting at 8 am. The store plans to be open from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week.

Click through for interior shots. GMAP

Update: They’re pushing their opening to Monday.


higgins hall 61 st james place pratt bryan chang

Pratt is kicking off the launch of its new MFA writing program with performances and readings from local artists tomorrow. Performers include Jacques Servin, cofounder of the Yes Men; LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, interdisciplinary poet and sound artist; Celina Su, author and Associate Professor of Political Science at CUNY; Mendi Obadike, poet and a member of Pratt’s writing faculty; and Keith Obadike, composer and sound designer teaching at William Patterson University. The event will take place tomorrow from 6 to 7:30 pm at the auditorium in Pratt’s Higgins Hall at 61 St James Place (pictured).

Photo by Bryan Chang

937 Fulton Street,SB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally Rubel Coal and Ice Corporation, now drug rehab clinic.
Address: 937 Fulton Street
Cross Streets: Corner Waverley Avenue
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: 1928
Architectural Style: Neo-classical
Architect: Edward M. Adelsohn
Other Buildings by Architect: Jewish Orphan Asylum, New Hebrew School–Brownsville (both gone), Temple Petach Tikvah in Crown Heights, Brooklyn Hygeia Ice Plant, Brooklyn Hebrew Maternity Hospital, row houses, commercial buildings, stores in Brownsville, Crown Heights and other areas of Brooklyn and Queens.
Landmarked: No

The story: In 1907, Samuel Rubel could be found hauling his pushcart through the streets of Brownsville selling ice. He later began carrying coal, in season, as well. He was a fixture in this new Jewish immigrant community, and he managed to make a living for his family, one cartful of these lifesaving elements at a time. Twenty-some years later, he was the owner of Brooklyn’s largest coal and ice business. His company had assets of over $40 million, with 134 coal and ice branches across every borough except Staten Island. He had a staff of over 400 people, and the coal and ice was delivered in 800 Rubel trucks. In 1927, he decided it was time to build a new headquarters in a more central part of Brooklyn. (more…)

315 Washington Ave, SW, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Free-standing brick house
Address: 315 Washington Avenue
Cross Streets: DeKalb and Lafayette Avenues
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: late 1860s, new mansard roof added 1894
Architectural Style: now
Architect: Building architect unknown, Roof extension by Parfitt Brothers
Other Buildings by Architect: Parfitt Brothers – in Clinton Hill – 331-335 Wash, just down the block, Cornelius Hoagland House, Clinton Ave and several other row houses and flats buildings. Also row houses, apartment buildings, flats buildings, mansions, office buildings and churches in Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Clinton Hill Historic District (1981)

The story: I would have loved to have seen Clinton Hill just after the Civil War. The neighborhood was already popular with wealthy Brooklynites who enjoyed living on “the Hill,” where the air was clean and two main streets, Clinton and Washington Avenues, were lined with spacious homes on large lots. Many of those homes at that time were large wood framed suburban villas. Today, in the entire neighborhood, there are only a couple left. These wealthy folk were also beginning to build more substantial homes of brick and brownstone, and both Washington and Clinton are dotted with large boxy masonry houses dating from the late 1860s. They add a wonderful gravitas and simple elegance to the neighborhood, and are typical of Victorian style. This house is one of them. (more…)