Plans for a Wyckoff House Visitors Center have been in the works for two years, and yesterday the Parks Department filed an application for a new building. The plan calls for a two-story visitors center and caretaker apartment at 5914 Clarendon Road next to the Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House, the city’s oldest structure and now a museum.
As we reported in March, nArchitects is designing the 4,780-square-foot building, which is strategically placed to shield the 17th-century house from the street. The strikingly modern building will house museum activities and displays, event space and administrative offices. GMAP
Some preliminary designs are out for Hello Living’s Flatbush project at 2415 Albemarle Road. The plan calls for 44 condos with balconies and elevators opening directly into units, BuzzBuzzHome reported.
Floor plans show 630-square-foot one-bedrooms and 816-square-feet two-bedrooms. There will be 30 parking spaces and a gym, according to the Hello Living site. No permits have yet been filed. Click through to the jump to see a floor plan.
Nonprofit developer CAMBA said it plans to demo the former psych ward at Kings County Hospital in Flatbush and build affordable housing in its place, DNAinfo reported. The building at 560 Winthrop Street closed in 2009.
The new building, pictured above, will make up the second phase of CAMBA Gardens, which occupies the sites of two other former hospital buildings nearby on Albany Avenue.
This development will have 293 apartments over 97,000 square feet. The architect is John Woelfling of Dattner Architects. The project is expected to wrap in 2016.
Name: Semi-detached row houses Address: 1-14 Martense Court Cross Streets: Flatbush and Bedford Avenues Neighborhood: Flatbush Year Built: 1915-1916 Architectural Style: Colonial Revival with Flemish details Architect: Cantor & Dorfman Other buildings by architect: Similar houses and apartment buildings and garages across Flatbush and southern Brooklyn Landmarked: No
The story: Martense Court is a small cul-de-sac containing just fourteen houses, just off Martense Street in Flatbush. The streets are named for Flatbush resident Joris Martense, one of the area’s prominent citizens during the Revolutionary War era. Martense was the grandson of Martin Adriance, at one time the largest landowner in Flatbush. Not sure who was going to win the battle between the colonies and the British, Martense hedged his bets, supporting the king while also heavily invested in supplying the patriot cause with money and guns. After the war, he must have been forgiven, and was one of several Flatbush citizens to establish the Erasmus Hall School.
The semi-detached houses with garages out back were the brainchild of developer Charles Goell. He was a prominent Jewish developer in Flatbush, Crown Heights South and East New York in the first three decades of the 20th century. Goell had come to the US from Dvinsk, Russia, as a boy of 13. He quickly learned English, and got himself into the building trades. He got his first job as a construction foreman at the age of 17. He soon had his own company, and set out building his first 350 houses in the East New York/Brownsville area.
A biography of Mr. Goell and other prominent Jewish businessmen, written by someone for whom Yiddish was probably their first language, from the overall syntax, describes Goell’s inspiration for this group of Flatbush houses: “The exquisite Martense Court, Flatbush, is another of his projects, which, amazing as it may seem, he fully visualized in the course of a mere street car ride to Flatbush. Martense Court is thus the embodiment of a half-hour’s mental manipulation which evolved into the mind’s eye image of which it is the concrete prototype.” (more…)
Massey Knakal is marketing a senior home in Flatbush as a development site with a special tax abatement for $20,000,000, The Wall Street Journal reported. The property at 123 Linden Boulevard currently houses a four-story building, but it has air rights that allow for up to 250,000 square feet of development. Or it could be developed up to 316,000 square feet as a community building.
New York Congregational Community Services is selling the property, which has a 15-year tax abatement through the 421a program. The program encourages developers to build market-rate and affordable housing in underdeveloped neighborhoods. 421a requires that 20 percent of apartments in new developments be affordable housing, but the property will be eligible for the tax abatement even if only market-rate apartments are built.
The Colonial Revival building, a former Building of the Day, was built in 1918 and designed by the Parfitt Brothers.
This junior four co-op at the edge of Midwood and Flatbush Kensington is small but charming. The master bedroom is decently sized and the second one is 8 by 10 feet and off the galley kitchen, according to the floor plan. It seems like a good choice for a couple with a small child or roommates who don’t mind splitting the rent unevenly.
The kitchen and bathroom are recently updated, according to the listing, although the photos don’t show it. The bathroom has kind of a retro feel with the brown accents. Do you think the $1,800 a month rent is ambitious for the location?
Name: Former Lincoln Savings Bank, now McDonalds Address: 2848 Church Avenue Cross Streets: Corner Nostrand Avenue Neighborhood: Flatbush Year Built: 1932 Architectural Style: Early Deco, with pared down neo-classical elements Architect: Unknown, but perhaps Halsey, McCormack & Helmer, it’s very much in their style Landmarked: No
The story: The German Savings Bank of Brooklyn was chartered in Brooklyn in 1866. The next year, the Brooklyn Eagle announced that the bank, which was founded by a group of successful German businessmen, and was opening for business soon. Interestingly enough, in their charter documents, which named the principals in the bank’s organization, most of the names were not German. Perhaps they thought they needed Anglo front men… At any rate, they opened their first branch on Montrose Street. By the way, the German Savings Bank was not the same institution as the Germania Savings Bank, which was chartered by an all-German group of investors, but they were both in the same Williamsburg/Bushwick area. Ok, moving forward.
The German Savings Bank of Brooklyn did well, and by the first decades of the 20th century had its headquarters on Broadway, and had a branch up the road, in Williamsburg, on Graham Avenue. The German community, as well as others, made this one of the most successful banks in Brooklyn. But then World War I happened. Suddenly, being German was no longer cool, and in a move to distance themselves from any anti-German frenzy, and to prove they were good and loyal Americans, the bank changed their name to the Lincoln Savings Bank. You can’t get more American than that. (more…)
Small real estate brokerages are doing well in brownstone neighborhoods in Brooklyn, according to the Times, where buyers seek their local expertise and deep connections. In Bed Stuy, Evans & Nye is becoming known for having sold some of the most beautifully appointed and highest priced brownstones in the neighborhood, many just under $2,000,000. In April, the firm sold a limestone by Magnus Dahlander at 242 Decatur Street, above, for $1,700,000.
Firm co-founder Ban Leow is a long-time resident and owns the furniture and antique store CasaBAN across the street from his real estate office on Tompkins. It also helps that one of the firm’s agents, Morgan Munsey, is a walking encyclopedia of Bed Stuy architecture and seems to know every resident of the area. Over in Victorian Flatbush, the 93-year-old Mary Kay Gallagher has flourished for almost 50 years by charting a similar path. She is famous for her deep knowledge of the area, where she also lives. Her three-person family firm sold a colonial on Westminister Road for $2,000,000 this past fall, a record.
If you are buying or selling, do you look for a big name or a small one?
This two-bedroom, two-bath condo for rent in Flatbush has plenty of living space and looks brand new. The bedrooms and living room seem spacious, and there’s a private terrace. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances typical of a condo, including a dishwasher, and a great amount of cabinet space. There’s some lovely dark tile and rather ornate, marble-topped sinks in the bathrooms, which seem very nice and bright. The apartment also has a washer and dryer in the unit and can come with a parking space for $200 more a month. The building has a roof deck and fitness center, and it’s close to SUNY Downstate and the 2/5 trains. Do you think the rent is fair at $2,195 a month?
If you don’t like the idea of paying $1,000 a square foot to own in Brooklyn, maybe it’s time to check out Flatbush. This sweet semi-detached two-family, built in 1930 according to the listing, appears to have all its original moldings, French doors and hardwood floors. The kitchens have been nicely updated with white subway tile. It’s configured as a three-bedroom duplex over a three-bedroom rental. And there’s a garage. At 2,421 square feet with an ask of $599,000, that works out to less than $250 a square foot. What do you think of it?
Flatbush’s Melrose Hotel was a popular layover for Coney Island travelers, as well as businessmen and visitors to the area. The rather small hotel was once the mansion of the Willink family, a reclusive clan who once owned part of the land now the southeastern part of Prospect Park and around the beginning of Ocean Avenue. Once high on a hill, the mansion had been moved, and now sat near the intersection of Flatbush, Ocean and Empire Boulevard, then called Malbone Street. The story of the hotel and the beginning of our tale of mayhem and murder can be found on the highlighted links.
In 1909, Mr. and Mrs. Harry C. Pope checked into the Melrose. By this time, times had changed, and the hotel’s reputation had slipped a bit. While they still got tourists and businessmen as guests, more and more the hotel was becoming used as a convenient space for local meetings and events, and as a headquarters for athletes and trainers using the nearby park as a training ground. It was also becoming a convenient place for quiet assignations and love affairs. The staff and guests of the Melrose that evening in February of 1909 noted the young couple when they checked in as man and wife, as they were well dressed, handsome and beautiful, and so obviously in love.
Harry C. Pope was in his early 30s, the son of a prominent Williamsburg lawyer. His father had died ten years before, leaving Harry and his mother and sister quite well off. Harry, however, was one of those stereotypical rich man’s sons, the kind immortalized in novels and warned about by suspicious mothers of beautiful daughters. He enjoyed his upscale lifestyle, but never seemed to make his own business ventures work out. By 1909, he had blown through his inheritance, had even tried to make it in the gold fields of Alaska, but came back empty handed. He and a business partner ended up opening a saloon in Williamsburg, and Harry decided to go into politics. (more…)
It’s quite possible to live in New York City and never own a car. We have great public transportation to almost anywhere in the city, and failing that, there are always car services, taxi cabs, Zip cars, bikes or your feet. Yet in spite of this abundance of ways of getting around, there are no more dedicated automobile owners than New York City’s. The car has always done well here, especially in the “outer boroughs.” There have always been, and always will be, people who feel the need to own a car, in spite of alternate side of the street parking, hyper-vigilant meter attendants, a lack of parking spaces, car theft, and other urban annoyances.
Our city planners, especially Robert Moses, also loved cars, and in the mid-20th century, they cut highways and built bridges and tunnels in order for us to get around better, and get out of town when necessary. Consequently, a large industry of automobile dealers, service facilities, garages and auto supply businesses developed on Bedford Avenue and other “Automobile Rows” throughout the city. When these businesses first developed in the teens and 1920s, there were a lot of different car companies, with different models, price ranges, and amenities. You could get anything you wanted, as long as it was black.
But by the 1940s and ’50s, the field had narrowed, but it also grew. There weren’t as many American car companies anymore; many had failed, and the rest had been bought out, consolidated and gathered into Detroit’s Big Three. But the Big Three had more cars than ever. You had every variety of price range, sizes, styles and amenities, and all of them came in a growing range of colors! So much to choose from! As the makes and models and colors grew, the small automobile showrooms of yesteryear, which often could only house four or five cars, weren’t going to cut it. A modern car dealership needed to show you just about every make and model your car company made. And for that, you needed some room. (more…)