st gregory the great crown heights 82014

The Crown Heights North 7th Annual House Tour takes place this Saturday. Highlights include the Bedford Central Church on Nostrand and an original Kinko-style home built by the Kings and Westchester Land Company. Altogether there will be eight homes, two churches and the Bergen Community Garden.

The self-guided tour starts at 10:45 am on Saturday with a continental breakfast and opening ceremony at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church (pictured), on the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and St. Johns Place. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the tour. They’re available on CHNA’s website, at Barbara’s Flowers at 1096 Bergen Street, or at Yanatiba at 714 Washington Avenue. 

542 st marks avenue crown heights 92014

After only a year in business, it looks like Cafe Allegria has closed its doors at 547 St Marks Avenue in Crown Heights. On Saturday morning, we spotted a sign on the front that said the property had been sold and the cafe was closed. Does anyone know what happened? When we interviewed the owners last year, they told us they had bought the house in 2003 and then decided to renovate and move into it three years ago. The public records don’t list any recent sales.

Crown Heights Cafe Opens in a House Just off Franklin Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP

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Here’s a nice blank slate for someone who wants to put his or her mark on a prewar pad. The 1,618-square-foot classic seven apartment at 255 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights has original floors, plaster walls and 11-foot ceilings. The only negative we can spot is that it appears it might be on the ground floor — or at least just up from street level. The asking price of $999,000 comes in at $617 per square foot.

255 Eastern Parkway, #A3 [Corcoran] GMAP

1590 Bedford Ave, Google Maps

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former Simons Motor Sales Co.
Address: 1590 Bedford Avenue
Cross Streets: Union and President Streets
Neighborhood: Crown Heights South
Year Built: 1926
Architectural Style: Vaguely Colonial Revival with Medieval details
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No, although an Automobile Row historic district would be great.

The story: It must have been quite exciting to have been around at the dawn of the automobile age. Like today’s personal computer and cell phone age, as soon as a couple of pioneers established the basics of the product, dozens of other people immediately saw ways to improve it, and came up with their own makes and models. Today, there are only a few American car companies still in existence, but back in the first half of the 20th century, there were dozens.

Most are unfamiliar, except to auto aficionados, but some names that are still familiar, like Ford, Chrysler and Dodge, belonged to real people back then – automobile manufacturers who were trying to get their cars produced and distributed across the country. Not everyone can invent, but some people are born salesmen, and these men helped make the automobile industry grow. Guy O. Simons was one of the great automobile salesmen, and this building was at the heart of his empire. (more…)

forte cafe 619 st johns place crown heights 2 92014

When we stopped by the old Nimba space at 619 St. Johns Place in Crown Heights, the owners of the new Forte Cafe told us they plan to open by October 1. They’ll serve coffee, tea, made-to-order salads, sandwiches, pastries, and bagels and lox. They plan to do most of their baking on site. The interiors look pretty much the same as when Nimba occupied the space, except for a fresh paint job on the bar and new art on the walls.

New Cafe Moving Into Old Nimba Spot in Crown Heights? [Brownstoner] GMAP

341 eastern parkway interior 1

The pricey rental building at 341 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights is over 65 percent rented, according to PR reps for Aptsandlofts.com, which is handling leasing for the building. Designed by Meshberg Group and developed by Bluejay Management, the eight-story development has 63 units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, some of which have private terraces.

Asking rents start at $2,200 for a studio, $2,700 for a one-bedroom, $3,400 for a two-bedroom and $3,800 for a penthouse duplex. The building launched in July, and move-ins started in August. Capital One Bank and Starbucks, which is scheduled to open this month, are the ground-floor retail tenants.

341 Eastern Parkway [Aptsandlofts.com] GMAP
341 Eastern Parkway Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering via Aptsandlofts

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We can already imagine a condo-filled future for a large lot that sold last week in eastern Crown Heights. The big property with a small apartment building at 906 Prospect Place changed hands for $3,500,000, according to public records.

The 10,000-square-foot piece of land between New York and Brooklyn avenues could accommodate a bigger residential building up to six stories tall with 24,349 square feet of space. The developer and signer on the mortgage is Jeffrey Gershon, who’s also building projects at 190 South 6th Street in Williamsburg and at 22-22 Jackson Avenue next to 5Pointz in Long Island City.

The lot currently has a two-story building measuring 40 by 45 feet that we’re guessing will be demolished, but no demo permits have been filed yet. Interestingly, the property, which had a lis pendens, sold for over twice its asking price of $1,450,000GMAP

Photo by Gregg Snodgrass for PropertyShark

122-134 Brooklyn Ave, SSpellen 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Semi-detached row houses, with garages
Address: 122-134 Brooklyn Avenue
Cross Streets: Bergen Street and St. Marks Avenue
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1918
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: Eric O. Holmgren
Other Buildings by Architect: Evening Star Baptist Church (former LDS Chapel), Gates Ave, Bedford Stuyvesant; 189 Ocean Avenue, PLG; theaters in Williamsburg; Alku Toinen Cooperative Apartments, Sunset Park.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Phase I of Crown Heights North HD. (2007) both landmarked CHN historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places (2013)

The story: These are among the last single family houses built in Phase I of the Crown Heights North historic district. They were built right at America’s entrance into World War I, a watershed moment in the country’s national psyche. By the time the war was over, New York City had lived through not only war, but also an influenza pandemic, the worst subway disaster in the city’s history, and the rise of a growing middle class, dancing its way to the Roaring Twenties. Much of that middle class was settling in Brooklyn.

This particular row of houses consists of two pairs of semi-detached houses, and a single house at the end of the row, this one in the middle of the block between Bergen Street and St. Marks Avenue. They were designed for developer Harry Hanson by Eric O. Holmgren, a Swedish-American architect who enjoyed a long career here in Brooklyn. (more…)

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Urban farm stand Bread Love Weeksville is hosting a series of events this fall called Sunday Dinners. The events take place from 2 to 6 pm Sundays at the Weeksville Heritage Center at 1698 Bergen Street starting yesterday and continuing through October 12. The menu changes each week.

Above, a chicken dinner at Weeksville. Jerk Chicken and Fish Fry is scheduled for the 28th, a Pig Roast for October 5, and Seafood Boil for Oct. 12. Local musicians and DJs will perform. The dinners are part of the month-long collaboration between Creative Time and Weeksville called “Black Radical Brooklyn.”

As you may recall, sadly, Bread Love Cafe at 275 Stuyvesant had to close after a fire earlier this year. We’re glad to see them back in the form of a pop-up.

Photo by Bread Love Weeksville GMAP

starbucks 341 eastern parkway crown heights 92014

Starbucks signage went up earlier this week at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights. There’s already furniture inside, and it looks like the storefront could open soon. Brooklynian says it’s scheduled to open September 27. The coffee chain signed a lease in June at 341 Eastern Parkway, where rents start at $2,575 for a one-bedroom.  GMAP