07/31/14 12:15pm

65 south elliott place fort greene 72014

The exterior has been restored, but it seems there is not a shred left of the once-beautiful early Italianate interior of this historic circa-1853 home. Brownstoner readers who’ve been following this property since it was abandoned, then for sale, and finally under going an exterior restoration will want to check out this rental listing for the upper triplex to see the transformation. (more…)

07/28/14 3:00pm

333 Adelphi St. SW,PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Wood-frame row house
Address: 333 Adelphi Street
Cross Streets: Lafayette and Greene avenues
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Year Built: 1855
Architectural Style: Transitional Greek Revival/Italianate
Architect: Edward W. Genung, builder
Landmarked: Yes, part of Fort Greene HD (1978)

The story: Adelphi Street was named for the Adelphi, a neighborhood of terraced (row) houses in London, first begun in 1768. Nearby streets in Fort Greene, such as South Oxford and South Portland streets, are also named after neighborhoods or cities in England. Fort Greene’s early developers were trying to evoke the ambiance of those upscale places to their new projects, making living on those blocks even better than the houses themselves would suggest. Marketing really hasn’t changed all that much over the years. But even without the hype, most of the housing on these blocks was quite good, anyway. Look at this delightful example of mid-19th century charm. (more…)

07/28/14 1:30pm

130 fort grene place fort greene 72014

This four-story brick house has beautiful Greek Revival features but is in need of a top-to-bottom overhaul. Built in 1856, according to the listing, the landmarked house has a classical pediment over the front door, ear moldings around openings on the parlor floor, marble mantels with arches or flattened neoclassical columns, and original pocket doors.

The two-family house is 20 feet wide by 40 feet deep with an extension on the two lower floors. No kitchens or bathrooms are shown, and the listing says the property “will need complete updating.”

Think it’s worth the $2,395,000 ask?

130 Fort Greene Place [CORE] GMAP

07/23/14 1:30pm

384 vanderbilt avenue fort greene 72014

The Fort Greene house with radiant heat controlled by an iPad we told you about last month is now on the market. Renovated by Stuyvesant Group, it is unusually luxurious even for a high-end renovation and has an open floor plan, a double height kitchen in the rear of the parlor floor, marble counters and slabs of marble on the walls in the kitchen, and a high-efficiency boiler.

The house was a shell so there were no details to save, developer Adam Cohen told us, but he purchased three salvage pier mirrors and now one of them conceals a TV behind smoked glass. It’s set up as a triplex over a garden rental. We suspect this will go quickly at $3,500,000. What do you think?

384 Vanderbilt Avenue [Halstead] GMAP

07/22/14 10:45am

LIAC Cumberland Ave Clubhs, interior, BE,1904

You might think that any invention as wonderful as the automobile would be embraced by everyone. Anything that could be done to improve motoring in Brooklyn, Long Island and the general New York City area would immediately be approved, and the car would take its rightful place at the head of the transportation table. Well, if you were an early 20th century autoist; one of the first people to own an automobile, you would probably feel that way. If you were everyone else, it was going to be a much tougher sell.

The Long Island Automobile Club was founded in Brooklyn in 1900 by four wealthy men who wanted a place where they could indulge in their new hobby of racing, tinkering with, and talking about automobiles. In a few short years, they grew in membership to several hundred car enthusiasts; all well-to-do men who could afford a custom vehicle that cost as much as many a working man’s entire yearly salary. Like the bicycle clubs many had belonged to only a couple of years before, the LIAC sponsored races, enjoyed outings and social events, and advocated for paved roads throughout the city and out on Long Island. (more…)

07/18/14 1:00pm

475 1st street park slopePark Slope
475 1st Street
Broker: Brown Harris Stevens
Price: $3,000,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:30

8 4th place carroll gardens 72014Carroll Gardens
8 4th Place
Broker: Elliman
Price: $2,999,000
Sunday 12:00 – 1:30

394 vanderbilt avenue fort greeneFort Greene
394 Vanderbilt Avenue
Broker: Fillmore
Price: $2,500,000
Tuesday 6:00 – 7:30

127 halsey street bed stuyBed Stuy
127 Halsey Street
Broker: Sharon Scott
Price: $2,000,000
Sunday 1:00 – 4:00

07/18/14 10:45am

A. Schrader's Son, 470 vandy, composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

They used to make things in Brooklyn. Everything you could possibly imagine was made here, at one time or another, in one place or another. Before we became the catchword for hip and happening, Brooklyn was known throughout most of the 20th century as a blue collar city. Its busy factory districts were humming with activity, and it was possible for a man or a woman to go from high school to a good factory job that enabled them to make a living. Many people grew up, like John Travolta’s character in “Saturday Night Fever” never even going across the bridge to Manhattan. There was no need, everything, including your job, was right here.

In addition to the larger factory districts such as Wallabout, Dumbo, Bush Terminal, the Navy Yard and Gowanus, there were factories all over the place, in just about every neighborhood. Proximity to public transportation was key to any successful industrial venture and downtown and Fort Greene, with great transportation, had a fair amount of factory buildings along major thoroughfares like Atlantic Avenue. Today, many of those buildings are gone, some, like the Ex-Lax building, are now housing, and some still stand making one wonder “What did they used to do here?” (more…)

07/11/14 10:30am

138 S. Oxford St. Lockwood School composite

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Two teachers at the prestigious Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute named Aaron Chadwick and Dr. Edward Bunker decided to quit their jobs and open their own boy’s school. The year was 1862, and even as the Civil War raged on, Brooklyn continued to grow, as did its population of upper middle class and wealthy families. The two men saw a growing pool of eligible male students available, and so opened a private elementary school on Adelphi Street in Fort Greene. They had 60 boys enrolled the first semester. However, after six months, they found out that owning an elite school was great, but running it was beyond them, and they returned to teaching at Polytech. They had a building and a name, which they sold to a Quaker educator named John Lockwood. (more…)


New York YIMBY uncovered new renderings for Two Trees’ planned skyscraper at 286 Ashland Place, also known as the BAM South site, by landscape architects Grain Collective. The renderings of the landscaping show a new view of the 32-story tower as well as details of the outdoor and cultural space. The public courtyard features a stepped sitting area and raised platform. (more…)

06/25/14 1:30pm

48 st felix street fort greene 62014

This four-story brownstone at 48 St. Felix Street has been chopped up into a three-family with an absolutely standard rental-type renovation. There doesn’t seem to be a shred of original detail left but it does look to be in move-in condition, or close to it.

Yet the ask of $2,000,000 seems low for a whole townhouse in Fort Greene, so maybe there’s a catch. In 2006, the owner applied to convert the house from a two-family to a three-family but we’re not sure anything came of it since there is no certificate of occupancy on file at the building department. HPD says it has five “Class B” SRO units and one “Class A” unit. It’s currently configured as two floor-through units over an owner’s duplex, according to the floor plan.

The listing says “bring your contractor and architect to design the home of your dreams,” which could refer to the C of O situation or mean the house isn’t in as good condition as it looks in the photos. The exterior looks like it could use some work.

Do you think it’s a good deal?

48 St. Felix Street [Elliman] GMAP