21 Devoe Street, SSpellen 3

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Detached wood framed row house
Address: 21 Devoe Street
Cross Streets: Lorimer Street and Union Avenue
Neighborhood: East Williamsburg
Year Built: Before 1880
Architectural Style: Probably Italianate under the siding
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: With all of the hype around the Williamsburg being the epicenter of hip and happening Brooklyn, it’s often easy to forget that the neighborhood is much more than the modern towers and converted factories along the shoreline, or the homes and shuls of a huge Ultra-Orthodox Jewish population. There’s also a large portion, technically in East Williamsburg, on the Greenpoint border, with blocks of streets made up mostly of wood framed houses in various states of authenticity and condition. Devoe Street, between Union and Lorimer is one of them. Like many neighborhood streets, its building stock is a combination of older wood framed houses and newer infill construction.

I never spent a lot of time in Williamsburg, so wandering around there is always interesting. I stumbled across this street this last summer, in my quest for a parking space. And there was this little house, made up to be a pink castle. It’s hard to tell what it looked like under the siding, but I’m going to go with Italianate. (more…)

244 bushwick avenue bushwick 112014

The big selling point for this penthouse apartment at 228 Bushwick Avenue in East Williamsburg is the huge private roof deck. The way it spans the entire length of the apartment, with entrances from both the living room and the bedroom, is great. The rest of the one-bedroom unit is nicely proportioned and modern in style. As far as we can tell, the total indoor space comes to about 600 square feet. With an asking price of $844,000, that’s putting a high value on the deck!

228 Bushwick Avenue, #7A [Bond] GMAP

288 Jackson St. Gnpt Hosp. SSpellen 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time

Address: 288 Jackson Avenue
Cross Streets: Kingsland, Maspeth and Debevoise Avenue
Neighborhood: East Williamsburg
Year Built: 1912-1914
Architectural Style: Northern Italian Renaissance Revival
Architect: Frank J. Helmle
Other Buildings by Architect: Bossert Hotel, St. Barbara’s Catholic Church, St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, Prospect Park Boathouse, Greenpoint Savings Bank, Williamsburg Trust Bank, and many other buildings.
Landmarked: No, unfortunately

The story: As the population of a neighborhood or city grows, the need for more hospitals and medical care facilities also grow. By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the population of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint had swelled to enormous proportions, and so had the industry in the area. Most of the people who most needed these facilities could not afford medical care or private hospitals, so the city’s Department of Public Charities decided to erect a new public hospital in the middle of these neighborhoods. (more…)

32 maspeth avenue east williamsburg

No unlandmarked wood frame house in Brooklyn is safe! Demolition permits have been filed to take down this two-story wood frame at 32 Maspeth Avenue in East Williamsburg; the owner hopes to replace it with a six-story apartment building.

Whenever we see a wide frame house in this area, one of the original Dutch settlements of Brooklyn, we wonder about its age, although this one doesn’t look much older the 19th century, at least from the outside. The settlement was deeded in 1638 and named Boswijck in 1661.

The new building will have nine units spread across 6,200 square feet of space, along with a roof deck, according to a new building application that was disapproved in July. The architect of record is Wieslawa Jasiulewicz Majran, and permits list the owner as Andrzej Potrapeluk. The two-family house sold for $1,275,000 last October, after about two months on the market.  GMAP

Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

30-52 Sharon St, CB, PS 4

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Single family attached homes
Address: 30-52 Sharon Street
Cross Streets: Olive and Morgan avenues
Neighborhood: East Williamsburg
Year Built: 1940-41
Architect: Arthur E. Allen
Other Buildings by Architect: Similar projects for Insured Homes in Ridgewood, Astoria, St. Albans, Laurel Hill, and other parts of Queens
Landmarked: No

The story: Sharon Street is a one block enclave facing Cooper Park in East Williamsburg. Cooper Park, Sharon Street, and the surrounding area were all part of the estate once owned by Peter Cooper, of Cooper Union fame. A fascinating man with only a year of formal schooling, he became one of New York’s most successful industrialists, inventors and philanthropists. He helped lay the first transatlantic telegraph cable, designed and built the first functioning steam engine in the U.S., and patented powdered gelatin. (more…)

227 Marcy Ave, EDHS, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former Eastern District High School, now Bais Ruchel School for Girls
Address: 227 Marcy Avenue
Cross Streets: Rodney and Keap Streets
Neighborhood: East Williamsburg
Year Built: 1907-08
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival/Collegiate Gothic
Architect: C.B.J. Snyder
Other Buildings by Architect: Erasmus Hall High School, John Jay High School, PS 93, 132, 133, 157 and many others in Brooklyn, as well as elementary, middle, and high schools across New York City.
Landmarked: No

The story: In 1894, State Senators in Albany were fighting on the floor of the State House over whether or not to build a high school for the Eastern District of Brooklyn. Williamsburg was growing by leaps and bounds with thousands of new immigrants crowding the newly built tenements in the district, adding to those who were already there. Most of the new families had children, and local elementary schools were overcrowded. Most of them had already moved students to nearby buildings purchased as annexes. The school system couldn’t build fast enough. (more…)

151-153 Maujer St. Dept Health, CB, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Originally Williamsburg-Greenpoint Health Center, part of the New York City Board of Health, now Williamsburg Child Health Clinic, part of Woodhull Hospital
Address: 151-157 Maujer Street
Cross Streets: Manhattan and Graham avenues
Neighborhood: East Williamsburg
Year Built: 1936-37
Architectural Style: Art Deco
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: New York City’s first Board of Health was founded in 1793, in reaction to a yellow fever epidemic. The first Health Commissioner was John Pintard, who was appointed in 1804. Over the course of the next 70 years, the city only reacted to various epidemics, including yellow fever, cholera, smallpox, diphtheria and other infectious diseases. But as the century progressed, doctors and city officials realized that public health had to do more than just react, it had to be proactive in setting health standards and guidelines for the city. (more…)

73 montrose avenue williamsburg 72014

We found this schematic on the fence at the corner of Leonard Street and Montrose Avenue in East Williamsburg, where a five-story building is rising. The apartment building at 73 Montrose will have 40 units spread across 29,731 square feet of residential space, in addition to 2,762 square feet of community space occupied by medical offices, according to new building permits(more…)

46 north henry street williamsburg 62014

This Fedders-style building two doors from the BQE in East Williamsburg is asking $2,350,000. It doesn’t have much curb appeal, but the rent roll could be pretty high. There are two three-bedroom units and two one-bedroom apartments, according to the listing, although PropertyShark lists it as a three-family.

Since the property is 30 feet wide and 3,564 square feet, the ask works out to be less than $700 a square foot. Do you think they’ll get it?

46 North Henry Street [Elliman] GMAP

Silvershore Properties recently struck deals for three buildings in East Williamsburg, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens for a total of $6,200,000. PR reps for the property management company say 400 5th Avenue in Park Slope, a 4,000-square-foot walk-up building with three apartments and a storefront, sold for $1,800,000. Next up was 103 3rd Place in Carroll Gardens, an eight-unit walk-up that also sold for $1,800,000. And the third buy was a six-apartment building with a storefront at 754 Grand Street in East Williamsburg (pictured), which changed hands for $2,600,000.

The company plans to keep the buildings as rentals, said an exec for the real-estate firm, which owns more than 50 multifamily properties in the city. In December, the company purchased four apartment buildings for $7,225,000 in Greenpoint, Crown Heights, Clinton Hill and Sunset Park, The New England Real Estate Journal reported at the time.

Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark


We are very excited to show you the exterior restoration of a wood frame house. Brownstoner commenter Williamsburgguys very generously shared photographs and all the details of his renovation with us. The house on Orient Avenue in East Williamsburg is one of several on the block neighbors are refurbishing.

Some are using real wood and others HardiePlank. The advantage of the latter is that is durable, non-flammable and looks identical to wood, according to our renovator. He used HardiePlank for his siding and also to rebuild his cornice.

“So it looks like it did in 1895 yet should hold up with less maintenance,” he said. He and his partner hired a siding and cornice contractor for those two jobs because “I don’t do heights and I know nothing about installing siding or building a cornice from scratch,” he said, but they handled other aspects of the restoration themselves. They built the porch canopies, refurbished and installed the salvage front doors and are stripping and repointing the brick base of the house.

The duo have plenty of construction experience: Williamsburgguys grew up helping his dad and uncles with construction, and he and his partner used to buy and flip a neglected property every summer when they lived in the south and Williamsburgguys had time off from his teaching job.

The house was built with two others to its left in 1895 to 1896. In the 1939 tax photo, the house was already covered in fake brick tarpaper. Luckily the double door entry enframement and 120-year-old wavy glass transom were still there, although hidden under Sheetrock. The fence and gate are original.

Rather than restoring the appearance of the house exactly as it appeared in the 1930s tax photo, they kept the picture window and, inspired by another nearby restoration at 124 Ainslie, used off-the-shelf components to create a credible period look. (more…)