1044-4046 Sterling Place, SSpellen 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 1044-1046 Sterling Place
Cross Streets: Brooklyn and Kingston avenues
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1892-1900
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: King & Symonds
Other buildings by architect: Many railroad buildings such as train depots, round houses, pumping stations for Adirondack & St. Lawrence Railroad, as well as stables, houses and other projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn
Landmarked: Yes, part of new Phase III, Crown Heights North Historic District

The story: This unique pair of houses has long been a mystery. Tucked quietly away on Sterling Place, these two houses are unlike any others nearby. That’s saying something in an area with such diverse architecture as Crown Heights North.

Like the majority of the row houses in this neighborhood, they are two-family houses, built for a middle class clientele that wanted generous space for themselves as well as an upper apartment for income. Like most of these two family houses, they were built to look like one family homes, keeping the architectural integrity of the neighborhood intact.

The houses are in a unique Queen Anne style. They stand out on the street because of their curved corners, highly stylized Greek Key trim, and Ionic columns between the windows on the top floor.

The arched ground floor windows, one of which curves around the corner, are unusual for houses of this type. So are the decorative quoins, now painted to emphasize the patterns they make against the rest of the façade.



Now taking applications for seven affordable rentals: 96 Brooklyn Avenue. If you’ve spent any time in north Crown Heights, you’ve probably seen this eye-catching 1880s Queen Anne building. Designed by noted 19th century Brooklyn architect firm Parfitt Brothers, it’s landmarked but has crumbling and hidden under overgrown shrubbery for years.

Nonprofit housing developers NIA JV LLC and ELH Management LLC acquired it in 2013 with plans to turn it into seven affordable rentals and restore the exterior as per LPC requirements, as we detailed at the time. (ELH Management also handled the award-winning restoration of Montrose Morris’ Imperial Apartments on the corner of Pacific Street and Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights.)

Also now taking applications are seven more affordable rentals in other historic buildings in Crown Heights and Bed Stuy, as this online notice from HPD and New York City Housing Connect details. The deadline to apply is May 13.

Rents range from $877 a month for a studio to $1,541 for a three-bedroom. Income requirements range from $36,680 for one person to $120,240 for a household of six. Check out the online notice for more details on rents and income. (more…)

1095 Prospect Ave, S.Spellen 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Apartment house
Address: 1095 Prospect Place
Cross Streets: Kingston and Albany avenues
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1908
Architectural Style: Arts & Crafts with Tudor Revival details
Architect: Jack Z. Cohen
Other Buildings by Architect: Small projects in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn
Landmarked: Yes, part of new Phase III of Crown Heights North Historic District (2015)

The story: One of the many great things about the architecture of Crown Heights is the diversity of styles and functions. Because the large neighborhood developed from the 1850s through the 1940s, the gamut of residential architecture in Brooklyn is represented somewhere in the neighborhood.

Crown Heights South is very different from Crown Heights North, which is the older part of the neighborhood. Within CHN are many different housing options, but this building is one of a kind, at least within the historic districts.

Crown Heights North has single family row houses, two family row houses, several styles of the “Kinkos” double duplex row houses, and all kinds of flats buildings, tenements and elevator apartment buildings. And this place – an apartment HOUSE. (more…)


This top-level duplex in a striking Crown Heights row house is spacious and attractive, with plenty of room for shares or a family. We see lots of original details, including mantels, doors and inlaid floors.

The kitchen retains its original hardwood floors but has been updated and outfitted with modern appliances. The 1.5 baths are modern as well.

There are two full bedrooms, plus a smaller bedroom that could also work as a nursery or office. (The living room could also be used as a bedroom, as the listing points out, although that wouldn’t leave much common space.) There is also a private backyard with a deck.

It’s pricey for Crown Heights at $4,200 a month, but it’s also top of the line. Do you think it will rent quickly?

1046 Sterling Place, #2 [Douglas Elliman] GMAP
Photo above by Douglas Elliman; photo below by Property Shark


nassau brewery building franklin avenue and bergen crown heights

In a major about-face, Community Board 8 wants to rezone an industrial area in northern Crown Heights to allow residential buildings. It would allow taller buildings and require subsidies for the housing, to make it affordable to those earning the median in the area.

The board voted yes Thursday to send a request to City Planning to study the area for a rezoning, DNAinfo reported. Readers may recall that a similar request from neighboring Community Board 9 has been bogged down in controversy for more than a year.

This is a major change of direction for the board, which a few years ago rejected an attempt by a group of artists to create artist-owned live-work housing in a building in the area. The board wanted to keep the area industrial to limit gentrification in the area. (more…)

1070 Bergen Street1

This over-the-top Queen Anne brownstone in very good estate condition has been a House of the Day four times already — a record.

A little history: The Crown Heights home sold in 2008 for $999,990, then went into lis pendens. It sold again in September for $800,000, to what appears to be a real estate firm.

The exterior is an eye-catcher, with a turret and rusticated brownstone and red brick facade. The inside features oodles of woodwork, marble mantels, and a center hall stair with a fireplace and built-in seating in a niche. The marble sinks in the passthroughs and bathrooms are still intact, and there are lots of built-ins. The floor plan looks unchanged. (It’s a one-family.)

We imagine it will need the works, inside and out but, based on the photos, it’s in way better condition than most we see. What do you think of it and the new ask of $1,850,000?

1070 Bergen Street [Halstead] GMAP
Photo above by Halstead; photo below by PropertyShark


1352 Prospect Pl, GS,PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Private house
Address: 1352 Prospect Place
Cross Streets: Schenectady and Utica avenues
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North/Weeksville
Year Built: Unknown
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: Eastern Crown Heights is an interesting neighborhood. The blocks that surround the avenues that were named after cities in upstate New York have not really been on anyone’s radar – ever. At least, not until recently, when the search for an affordable row house has taken people to places they would never have thought of venturing before.

Not too many people ventured here for a very long time. This was the 9th Ward, practically the eastern end of Brooklyn, and much of it was farmland and undeveloped property until the very end of the 19th century. This was also considered to be Weeksville.

Only a few blocks from here, James Weeks and a group of African American Brooklynites founded a town called Weeksville in 1838. It was a place where black people could be free build their homes and walk their streets unquestioned. They opened and operate businesses, schools, churches and charitable organizations, all free of the ingrained prejudices and restrictions all too present in mid-19th century Brooklyn.

Today’s Weeksville Heritage Center has preserved the last remaining group of these houses, and a rich cultural center has been built up around it. But people forget that Weeksville was not just one block of houses. It was a town, and its informal boundaries stretched out in all directions for a number of blocks. (more…)

950 St. Marks Ave, composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

I freely admit to a fascination with St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights North. Along the length of the street, between Rogers and Albany Avenues, lay opulent real estate belonging to some of the wealthiest people in Brooklyn during the Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

These residences often make up this Past and Present column because with rare exception, they are all gone. Only photographs, written descriptions and perhaps a few undiscovered photographs remain. Here’s another to add to the list.

Not only is this enormous house gone; the photograph shows it after a disastrous fire that gutted it in 1898. This 1905 photo shows the house just before it was torn down, and replaced by the handsome flats buildings that stand now. In fact, nothing in this photo is still standing, except the row houses in the background.

That’s another thing about St. Marks Avenue that makes it so fascinating and unique. The huge mansions are gone, but with few exceptions, they were all replaced by attractive, even elegant buildings. We may not have the houses of the rich to gawk at anymore, but we did get some fine architecture in return. (more…)

1317 Park Place2

Though the listing doesn’t give the square footage, this Crown Heights three-bedroom with a home office looks to be spacious. And it has some nice details, including hardwood floors and original moldings. Since it’s a corner building there are lots of windows and the kitchen appears to have been recently redone.

The building is pretty far east as Crown Heights goes — on the corner of Park Place and Schenectady Avenue. But the transit options are decent: It’s four blocks to the 3 and 4 trains on Eastern Parkway. The rent is $2,450 a month. What do you think?

1317 Park Place, #3F [Aptsandlofts] GMAP


1515 bedford avenue fox savoy crown heights 32015

Work has begun on the 10-story apartment building that will rise on the site of the former Fox Savoy Theater at 1515 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights. Earth movers began excavating at Bedford and Lincoln last week, digging out the basement for the new building and pulling out the last remaining pieces of the old theater’s foundation.

The Thomas Lamb-designed movie palace was originally built in 1926 for motion picture magnate William Fox of 20th Century Fox, and it featured an ornate neo-Classical facade made of white terra cotta. The grand old building was torn down last fall, after its most recent owners, a church, sold it to a developer for a low-seeming $575,000, as readers will recall.  (more…)

1056 president street 1

Here’s an early-20th-century one-family close to the park in Crown Heights south with a lot of charming period details.

There are beams, a working fireplace with an original mantel, herringbone floors, charming moldings, a globe light on the newel post — the works. We’re guessing it will need some skim coating in a bedroom and work in the main bathroom, at least, but the bones are good.

We like the location two blocks from the park and not far from shops and restaurants on Franklin on the other side of Eastern Parkway. But just be aware, it’s next to a church and close to one of the two Crown Heights armories at 1555 Bedford Avenue.

There’s an open house this Sunday from noon to 2 pm. What do you think of the house and the ask of $1,100,000?

1056 President Street [B.H. Tal Real Estate] GMAP


brooklyn avenue kinko houses

The Landmarks Preservation Commission this morning voted to landmark the proposed Crown Heights North III Historic District. The vote was unanimous.

It was a very short meeting, about 15 minutes. The vote took place after a quick presentation about the proposed district, which had been “calendared” way back in June 2011.

Some noteworthy features of the district, which includes 640 buildings between Brooklyn and Albany avenues, are the quaint one- or two-block stretches of Hampton, Revere and Virginia places. These blocks feature Colonial and Renaissance Revival homes, as well as a collection of two-family “Kinko” houses (shown above) built between 1907 and 1912. Designed by Mann & McNeille, every house includes two duplexes, each of which has its own front door, house number, stairway, porch and cellar. 

The Crown Heights North Association and members of Community Board 8 were jubilant about the vote, which they’ll discuss at an upcoming town hall meeting. “I think it’s wonderful,” said CB 8 member Adelaide Miller, who’s lived on Virginia Place for 67 years. “I go into areas where they tore down beautiful churches and buildings, and I’m happy that won’t happen here.” (more…)