Polo at PP, composite

We continue our weeklong look at Brooklyn’s greatest treasure, Prospect Park.

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

The first polo game in Prospect Park was played on June 11, 1879. It was between the Westchester Polo Club and a club from Queens.

Up until that day, “polo” had a totally different meaning to Brooklyn’s sports lovers. It meant ice polo, a game we now call hockey. It had been played in Brooklyn for several years, inaugurated by the Crescent Athletic Club and other well-to-do sports clubs.

They played in the Clermont Rink in Fort Greene, against clubs from nearby colleges like Yale and Columbia as well as other sports clubs.

As Brooklyn was getting richer, so too were her sports. Polo, the game with horses, had been played in Persia for centuries. A version of it traveled to the east, and was in play for hundreds of years in India before it was encountered by bored aristocratic British officers stationed there in the middle of the 19th century.

Two British soldiers started a polo club to introduce the sport — basically hockey on horses — to their countrymen, and the game took off and has been popular ever since.  (more…)

96 Parkside Ave, Peristyle, SSpellen 1

We continue this week’s look at Brooklyn’s natural treasure: Prospect Park. Summer is coming!

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Prospect Park Peristyle, aka Grecian Shelter, aka Croquet Shelter
Address: 96 Parkside Avenue
Cross Streets: Park Circle and Ocean Avenue
Neighborhood: Flatbush
Year Built: 1905
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: McKim, Mead & White
Other Works by Architect: In Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza park entrance, and other entrances and structures within Prospect Park (Stanford White)
Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (1968)

The story: Who doesn’t love this Classical Greek inspired structure? For many people, Prospect Park begins and ends on the Park Slope side, but other parts of the park have some of the best goodies, some hidden, and some, like this shelter, in plain view.

And to learn that it was designed by one of the finest architectural firms in the history of American architecture is just icing on the cake. As summer rapidly is upon us, let’s take a look at this wonderful folly on the Flatbush side of the park. (more…)

2527 Church Avenue

Development could be coming soon to this modest three-story building and adjacent vacant lot in Flatbush. Both lots sold to an LLC for $600,000 in November.

Now the parcel is for sale as a development site, and the new owner is asking $2,029,000 — quite an increase in just a few months. Epic Commercial Realty is the agent. (more…)

blueprint1

What did your Brooklyn row house look like originally? What year was it built? Who was the architect? Was it a two-family, one-family or something else? These are all questions original blueprints can answer. You may want to know because you are renovating, you have a passion for old houses, you are a new owner or you’re just curious.

Finding your original blueprints requires some legwork, ingenuity and persistence, as Brownstoner reader chemosphere recently discovered when researching his house in Flatbush.

He posted about the process, what he found and questions about the 100-year-old shorthand he was trying to decipher in a few separate posts in the forum. He has kindly allowed us to use those posts and the pictures of the blueprints he found to discuss in more detail how to find and read your original blueprints. (more…)

Erasmus high school

Atlantic Yards watchdog and blogger Norman Oder will be leading a Municipal Arts Society walking tour of Flatbush this weekend. “Generations in Flatbush” will cover a lot of ground both metaphorically and literally.

Participants will get to check out the West Indian part of Flatbush Avenue and landmarks such as Kings Theatre and Erasmus High School (pictured above). The tour will also include the Albemarle-Kenmore Terraces Historic District and the large detached houses of Prospect Park South. “Please note that this tour moves at a brisk pace,” says the writeup. (more…)

kings-theatre-matt-lambros1

Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will be honored at the Flatbush Development Corporation’s 40th anniversary gala at the recently restored Kings Theatre Wednesday night. Markowitz is a founding member of the organization and was instrumental in the restoration of the theater, which the Flatbush Development Corporation helped save from the wrecking ball in the 1970s.

The event is a fundraiser for the community organization, and tickets are still available. (more…)

157-erasmus

A wood frame house at 157 Erasmus Street in Flatbush was recently listed for sale as a development site asking $2,500,000. The home, which could date from the mid-19th century, sits on an oversized lot measuring 50 by 142.08 feet — catnip to developers.

The R6 zoning and 2.20 FAR would allow a developer to replace the house with a 15,629-square-foot rental or condo building.

This lot will likely join others in what is a bit of a building boom on this tiny street (Erasmus runs only between Bedford and Nostrand). (more…)

flatbush-developments-map-040615

Flatbush is the new hotspot for development in Brooklyn, according to an interactive map put together by Prospect Lefferts resident Jacob Garchik. It catalogues an astonishing 50 new-building projects happening southeast of Prospect Park.

Most of the mapped developments are in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, although they fall into other areas of Flatbush as well. The sites cluster most densely around Clarkson and Church avenues, the heart of historic Flatbush. Dotted with standalone, turn-of-the-20th-century wood frame Victorian and Edwardian houses, the area is also home to many apartment buildings already. (more…)

416 ocean avenue 3

Here’s a spacious and affordable three-bedroom co-op for rent near the park in Flatbush. There are three nicely sized bedrooms, a large separate living room, and a windowless office off the foyer. Beamed ceilings and herringbone floors also give it a nice prewar feel. However, the co-op board does have to approve any potential renters. What are your thoughts on it for $2,600 a month?

416 Ocean Avenue, #35 [Corcoran] GMAP

(more…)

2100-2110 bedford avenue prospect lefferts gardens 32015

Three adorable wood frame Victorians are being torn down on Bedford Avenue between Lenox and Caton Avenues in Flatbush, according to a Brooklynian poster who snapped this photo. They’re coming down to make way for an eight-story Karl Fischer-designed building at 2100 Bedford Avenue, according to permits filed in December. The new development will have 78 units spread across 60,074 square feet, as well as 40 parking spaces on the cellar and first floor. 

The properties at 2100-2110 Bedford Avenue sold for a combined $4,600,000 last year, public records show. Each of the homes sits on a lot that’s 40 feet wide and at least 100 feet deep, which means that a developer will have a 15,000-square-foot plot once the houses have bitten the dust.

Wood frame houses are falling prey to development all over the borough, and activity is especially intense in PLG and Flatbush right now. GMAP

Photo via Brooklynian

1542 nostrand avenue flatbush 32015

Here’s a freshly renovated three-bedroom near Brooklyn College in Flatbush. The living room looks fairly large and has 14-foot ceilings and a skylight. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, including a dishwasher, and granite countertops. It’s not the cheapest apartment in the neighborhood, but the location is pretty convenient. It’s across the street from the 2/5 trains, close to lots of shops on Flatbush Avenue and two blocks from Brooklyn College. Do you think $2,700 a month seems decent?

1542 Flatbush Avenue, #2 [Corcoran] GMAP

225-247 E.31St, 225, NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 225-247 E. 31st Street
Cross Streets: Cortelyou and Beverly Roads
Neighborhood: Flatbush
Year Built: around 1905
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: The town of Flatbush, in Kings County, did not become a part of the City of Brooklyn until 1894. They liked their independence, and had remained a separate entity since the Dutch began farming there in the 1600s. The architectural development of the neighborhood was sporadic, and is a combination of all kinds of urban and suburban styles, ranging from mega-mansions on large lawns to huge block long apartment buildings, and everything in between.

I’ve always found Flatbush fascinating from an architectural perspective. In taking the bus through the various parts of the neighborhood, and later, driving, you can pass late 19th century row houses, early 20th century two family houses, wood-framed suburban houses and six story apartment buildings all in a three block radius. (more…)