04/18/14 10:00am

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A tipster sent us a construction-site rendering of the seven-story, 35-unit building going up on the large empty lot at 1035 Fulton, and we then found more on the website of the now-ubiquitous Issac & Stern.

The red brick building resembles 19th century warehouses of the type you see in Soho, Dumbo and the South Street Seaport. If it’s executed like the rendering shows, we think the retail section at ground level is going to be appealing, with a canopy and lots of steel or iron mullioned windows and doors to attract passerby. We also appreciate the thoughtful treatment of the under-window air units, which are covered in matching steel or iron cross bars.

The building is obviously modern yet should fit well into a historic context. (Nearby are other 19th century warehouses as well as carriage houses and townhouses.) We’d like to see more of this type of design in Brooklyn. What do you think of it? Click through to the jump for more.

Large Apartment Building Planned for Fulton and Downing in Clinton Hill [Brownstoner]

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04/15/14 10:00am

Clinton Hill Library reopened yesterday with an improved interior after five months of renovations. Improvements include a new self-checkout, new central A/C and heating, LEED lighting and ceiling panels, a new paint job, a drawable wall in the children’s room, an updated information desk, new window treatments, new furniture, and a reconfigured, brighter interior space.

The library first opened in 1974 at 380 Washington Avenue. It’s between Lafayette and Greene. Click through to the jump for interior photos.

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Last week, a reader spotted an ad on Fillmore for Manny’s asking $240,000 for the business. “Fully equipped turnkey French style cafe business for sale,” said the ad. The price would include taking over the 10-year lease as well as all the interior fittings and equipment of the cafe, above, which the owners had beautifully decorated with wood panelling and a vintage mantel.

Manny’s opened at 212 Patchen Avenue in Bed Stuy in October of 2012 and closed about a year later, promising to reopen after they put in gas service. They opened as a cafe serving a variety of sandwiches and baked goods from sister businesses Choice Market and Dough but the intention was always to be a full-service restaurant.

Meanwhile, over at Choice Greene, the mini-empire’s grocery store at 214 Greene Avenue in Clinton Hill, the store is now almost empty of goods and fixtures except for one person in the back preparing bagels, another reader tells us. In February, we reported that their sign had come down and they were advertising a “close-out sale” but were not going out of business, according to one of the workers at the counter.

We reached out to the owner for comment and to see if he could share with us his plans for Choice Greene, but have not yet heard back. In the meantime, the ad for Manny’s has disappeared off the Fillmore site. We hope that means they’ve found a buyer, but in any case, we have enjoyed all their businesses (we’re eating a Dough doughnut right now) and wish them well in everything they do.

04/08/14 3:30pm

Editor’s note: In honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Pratt Area Community Council, we are pleased to feature historic buildings PACC has redeveloped as our Building of the Day for four consecutive days. PACC is a community development corporation that preserves and develops affordable housing in central Brooklyn. Brownstoner is a proud media sponsor of PACC’s 50th Anniversary Gala, which takes place April 23.

15 Quincy St. NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Apartment building called “Quincy 15”
Address: 15 Quincy Street
Cross Streets: Downing Street and Classon Avenue
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: 2007-2008
Architectural Style: Brick apartment building
Architect: ND Architecture & Design P.C.
Other work by architect: Modern and adaptive use projects throughout Brooklyn
Landmarked: No

The story: Today’s BOTD is another of the Pratt Area Community Council’s affordable housing buildings. PACC has been at this for 50 years, with many of their projects being rehabs of existing historic buildings. This is one of their new-builds; a 48-unit building providing affordable housing in the form of nine studio apartments and 41 one-bedroom apartments for low-income residents, some of them formerly homeless people.

The building is on the same block as last Friday’s BOTD, the former Frederick Loeser & Co. stables and warehouse building, and occupies the space once taken up by another important Brooklyn business. This was one of the locations of the Borden Milk Company, which had a block wide plant here, with its main entrance on Lexington Avenue.

That plant had been there since at least 1904, and held a number of industries over the years. In 1911, it was home to a bakery called Mills Homemade Bread. By 1922, it was W. M. Evans Dairy, and by 1926, belonged to Borden’s, which used the entire building to pasteurize and bottle milk shipped in from New Jersey. The milk, which actually came in daily from upstate New York, was loaded into special glass lined refrigerated train cars, shipped to Hoboken, and then trucked over in special glass lined refrigerated trucks to Brooklyn. (more…)

04/07/14 3:00pm

Editor’s note: In honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Pratt Area Community Council, we are pleased to feature historic buildings PACC has redeveloped as our Building of the Day for four consecutive days. PACC is a community development corporation that preserves and develops affordable housing in central Brooklyn. Brownstoner is a proud media sponsor of PACC’s 50th Anniversary Gala, which takes place April 23.

418-422 Classon Ave, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses, now called “The Hawthorne”
Address: 418-422 Classon Avenue
Cross Streets: Gates Avenue and Quincy Street
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: Early 1890s
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: Langston & Dahlander. Rehab by Feder & Stia Architects, LLP
Other work by architect: L&D – numerous row houses and flats buildings in Bedford, Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights, Park Slope. F&S – 272 Gates Ave for PACC
Landmarked: No

The story: This is one of those great examples of rehabilitation that shows that even the worst looking group of buildings can be brought back from the dead, if you have a vision, good architects and a reason to do so. Of course, it always helps to have something great to work with in the first place.

This group of three houses was designed by Frederick B. Langston and Magnus Dahlander in the early 1890s. The two men, both talented architects on their own, were partners for a couple of years, during which time they designed some of Brooklyn’s most interesting row houses and flats buildings. They specialized in the Romanesque Revival/Queen Anne style, characterized by massing of shapes and forms, a combination of building materials, such as smooth and rough-cut brownstone, brick and terra cotta, along with ornamental stained glass and decorative pressed metal.

The use of Romanesque style arches was a big feature of these styles, and here, Langston & Dahlander used them with great skill and even daring, as in stretching the arch all the way across the building, and incorporating the door into the arch. The partners used this building-wide arch only four times, and their buildings are the only houses with this feature in Brooklyn. The other houses are on Herkimer Street and Jefferson Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant and on Garfield Street in Park Slope. (more…)

04/04/14 3:00pm

22 Quincy St. NS, PS 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former Frederick Loeser & Co. warehouse and stable, now Salvation Army depot and store
Address: 22 Quincy Street
Cross Streets: Corner Downing Street
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: 1902
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival factory/warehouse
Architect: Unknown, perhaps George W. Morse, or Francis Kimball
Other work by architect: Morse: Downtown store buildings for Frederick Loeser, Abraham & Straus, as well as Temple Bar Building and Franklin Trust Building, Brooklyn Heights. Kimball: Buildings for Frederick Loeser, as well as Montauk Club and Emmanuel Baptist Church
Landmarked: No

The story: Most of this week’s BOTD’s have been commercial or factory buildings, and here’s another. I’ve been shopping or donating to this Salvation Army facility since the early 1980s, but only recently actually looked at the building. It’s quite nice, and has not been changed much since it’s been built. It’s had a long history, and started out as a warehouse and stables for Frederick Loeser & Company, one of Brooklyn’s largest and most prestigious department stores.

Frederick Loeser & Co. was founded as a dry goods store in 1850, on Fulton Street. Loeser partnered with lace importer William Gibb in 1887, and the two built one of Brooklyn’s finest and largest department stores. By the early 1900s, the Gibb family was running the store, and expanded their warehouse and storage facilities well beyond their huge downtown Fulton Street location. They appealed to the upscale carriage trade, and one of their amenities was door to door delivery. They started out with horse drawn delivery wagons, and then moved to gas an electric powered motor vehicles.

The building is a great old Romanesque Revival warehouse, with arched windows and decorative banding and terra cotta trim. The architect may have been either Francis Kimball or George Morse. Both did work for Loeser’s, and both were adept at this style and both were quite used to using terra cotta ornament and other details of the building. Morse designed the beautiful Abraham and Straus warehouse on Gallitan Place and Livingston Street, while Kimball designed the large extension of the Loeser store, on Elm Street. Both were prominent architects with a large history of fine buildings in Brooklyn. (more…)

04/01/14 12:15pm

This two-bedroom apartment in Clinton Hill looks bright and perfect for a couple or small family. It’s also rent stabilized, but the rent will vary based on income, according to the listing.

Both bedrooms are large enough for a queen size bed and include closet space, the listing says. The location is convenient: It’s only two blocks from the C train at Clinton-Washington.

The rent will be between $2,698 and $3,183 a month. What do you make of it?

471 Vanderbilt Avenue [Charles Rutenberg] GMAP

03/31/14 9:30am

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The lastest new development on the market from Brookland Capital’s Boaz Gilad is a group of condos in three buildings accented with copper in Clinton Hill, as BuzzBuzzHome first reported. The homes at 260 Greene Avenue, collectively named Copper House, are priced from $899,000 for a full-floor two-bedroom, two-bath condo to $1,350,000 for a 1,580-square-foot three-bedroom duplex.

Each unit comes with private outdoor space, Carrara countertops, herringbone pattern hardwood floors and 11-foot ceilings. Click through the jump for interior shots. How do you like the way they turned out?

260 Greene Avenue Listing [Halstead]
Listings Out for Boaz Gilad’s Insta-Patina Copper House at 260 Greene in Clinton Hill [BuzzBuzzHome]
Copper Clad Condos on Greene Are Done [Brownstoner] GMAP
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03/27/14 10:00am

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A seven-story, 35-unit apartment building is planned for 1035 Fulton Street, on the corner of Downing. A new building permit was approved earlier this month.

The architect is Issac and Stern, a favorite of Brookland Capital. The owner is an LLC called The Fulton Hill Corner, which purchased the lot in 2013 for $2,000,000, according to public records.

Work doesn’t seem to have started yet, although there was a pile of wood in the lot when we stopped by. Click through to the jump for a photo.

Fulton Street Mixed Use Site Is up for Sale [Brownstoner] (more…)

03/24/14 11:30am

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It’s been eight months since we last checked the huge development at 76-90 Lefferts Place in Clinton Hill. Construction started in August, but it looks like they are still working on the foundation. Also plans have changed: Permits at 76 Lefferts Places called for three units and now it’s slated for eight, according to permits.

The sign on the construction fence shows three more similar buildings going up at Nos. 80, 84 and 88.

The owner is an LLC; the sign on the fence says Avo Construction is the contractor. A reader wrote us to say Avo Construction appears to be the new owner — “aka Rocco Basile, aka Basile Builders. Looks like their first project in the area. They used to bulldoze nice Victorian wood frame houses back when I lived in Bay Ridge and put up Fedder style new construction. Hope this one is better!”

Click through to the jump the construction site and a schematic of the buildings.

Development Finally Coming to Large Lefferts Place Lot [Brownstoner]GMAP (more…)

03/19/14 3:00pm

351 Washington avenue, CB, PS 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Private house
Address: 351 Washington Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner Lafayette Avenue
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill
Year Built: 1860-61
Architectural Style: Originally Italianate, now Colonial Revival/Federal (1922)
Architect: Ebenezer L. Roberts; architect used for renovation unknown
Other work by architect: Many houses in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, including other houses on this block and a mansion for Charles Pratt at 232 Clinton Avenue. Also Washington Avenue Baptist Church, Chapel at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Clinton Hill. Also designed a bank at 160 Atlantic Avenue and row houses in Brooklyn Heights.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Clinton Hill HD (1981)

The story: I’ve looked at this house for years, and I never knew that it was originally much different. Back in 1985, I began working around the corner from here, on Hall Street, and this corner was my bus stop for the Lafayette Avenue bus. I must have stood looking at the side of this building hundreds of times. At the time, the foliage in the yard was always overgrown, but yielded a lot of flowers in the spring and summer, making the kind of run down house a colorful and pleasing addition to Clinton Hill’s streetscape. To be honest, I could probably tell you much more about the side of the house, and very little about the front, as my path didn’t often take me that way.

I never thought it a bit arbitrary that a Colonial Revival style brick house was built on a block chock filled with every other kind of building, but that was, and is, the charm of Clinton Hill’s architecture; just about any period style popular during the 19th and early 20th century shows up somewhere within its borders. It turns out that 351 and its neighbor, 353, were actually built in the same style, and at the same time. They are pretty early examples of the first wave of housing built in Clinton Hill, before the robber baron mansions. (more…)