This story is the stuff of novels and movies. A hometown boy, educated in Brooklyn schools, goes on to college and returns home, ready to perform Great Deeds in his chosen profession. He has some initial success working for the top company in his field, he gets married to a beautiful woman and has five lovely children, and he is recognized in his profession as a rising star. One day he is asked to join a competition. If he wins, he will achieve one of the greatest pinnacles of his profession’s success, and he will be a household name. Against all odds, and against incredible competition, he wins, and his name is plastered all over the papers. But before he can proceed with his project, he is shot down by political machinations, his name is stepped on, and his star falls rather rudely to earth. What happens next is both tragic and mysterious. That, in a nutshell, is the story of Brooklyn architect Washington Hull. (more…)
A big mixed-use project at the corner of Fulton and Clermont Avenue, long in the works, moved forward today with a filing for a new-building permit — and Aufgang Architects is the architect of record. The details appear to match what developer GFI Capital told Community Board 2 in January, when the board renewed an approval for a land use variance for the project.
The filing is for 810 Fulton Street, a new address, currently one of the last undeveloped lots on Fulton Street in Fort Greene. The project, which is to connected to alterations to the forbidding gray building next door at 470 Vanderbilt Avenue, also owned by GFI Capital, will occupy 16 small lots on the wedge-shaped parking area between Clermont and Vanderbilt, pictured above, all of which will be merged into one tax lot.
Plans at 810 Fulton Street, as previously reported, call for a 12-story building with 363 apartments. The 327,000-square-foot development will have 34,308 square feet of ground floor retail. There will also be parking for 163 cars (79 stackers and five spaces), a laundry room, gym and children’s area, according to Schedule A documents. It will also have 85 affordable rentals, which is 23 percent of the 363 units, as previously reported.
Aufgang Architects, based in Suffern, N.Y., is also working on the adaptive reuse of the landmarked former Brillo pad factory at 200 Water Street in Dumbo. The Fort Greene project has been in the works since 2009.
Name: Private house Address: 373 Carlton Avenue Cross Streets: Lafayette and Greene avenues Neighborhood: Fort Greene Year Built: Late 1860s Architectural Style: Second Empire Architect: Unknown Landmarked: Yes, Part of Fort Greene Historic District (1980)
The story: Unlike its next door neighbor, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene is not known for its mansions. Sure, there are a few pretty impressive row houses here that qualify as mansions in comparison to smaller houses, but as for large houses on large lots –- not so much. Fort Greene is largely a speculative row house neighborhood. But scattered here and there, you come upon surprises. Like this large brownstone mansion, one of the largest houses in the Fort Greene Historic District.
According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s report, the house was built in the late 1860s. In design, it is very much in keeping with urban mansions in Brooklyn, and is similar in design to houses of the same period in Clinton Hill, and elsewhere. It is a generous 36 feet wide and 45 feet long, on a 100 foot deep lot. (more…)
Brooklyn neighborhoods are getting into the holiday spirit this weekend and next weekend with Christmas tree lightings in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Fort Greene. The first tree lighting will happen Saturday at 5:30 pm at Restoration Plaza, located at 1368 Fulton Street in Bed Stuy. Attendees can enjoy hot beverages, live jazz, sweets and a dance performance. On Sunday, Fort Greene will welcome the holidays with a tree lighting at 4 pm in Fort Greene Park, where there will be music, hot chocolate and snacks. And Crown Heights will host its holiday festivities in Brower Park next week. The tree lighting will take place on Wednesday, December 17 from 6 to 7 pm.
Name: Row house Address: 291 Cumberland Street Cross Streets: Lafayette and Greene Avenues Neighborhood: Fort Greene Year Built: 1892 Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival Architect: Parfitt Brothers Other Buildings by Architect: St. Augustine RC Church, Grace Methodist and row houses in Park Slope, apartment buildings, office buildings, row houses, churches in Bedford Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North and Brooklyn Heights. Landmarked: Yes, part of Fort Greene HD (1978)
The story: This house is the architectural equivalent of “pimp my ride,” or I suppose a better word might be “McMansioning.” Only this time, our 19th century poseur hired one of the best firms in Brooklyn to do the deed. Is it grossly inappropriate to celebrate a house that is clearly out of context, or does the resume of the architect make this just hunky-dory? How come it’s perfectly great to celebrate this, and then turn around and damn those who do it today? What’s the difference of a hundred years? Well, taste and talent, for one thing.
Ok, if I were around back then, and this was going to happen, I probably wouldn’t be a champion. The row of vernacular wood framed houses on this block is great. There are several different styles here, by several different builders, and to the right and the left of 291 Cumberland, these are very nice clapboard houses. What’s not to like? Wide generous porches, Classical style columns and capitals, the once-high stoops on 293 and its neighbors, and gracious proportions. 291 Cumberland was also one of these; an 1850s clapboard vernacular house. (more…)
ODA Architecture has replaced Karl Fischer as the designer of a 45-unit mixed-use building going in on the corner of Myrtle and Vanderbilt in Fort Greene, home to a Gulf gas station, and New York YIMBY got ahold of ODA’s new rendering for it. It looks quite boxy to us, but at least it’s not routine.
The design of the street-level retail facades are particularly interesting and original, we think. First, they are double height, and second, the large expanses of small squares of glass are broken up by what appear to be rusted Corten steel panels framing the doors. We like the three-dimensional I-beam shape of these, which seems industrial yet more decorative than a flat panel.
By the way, the building will be six stories, according to the permit, even though the rendering seems to show seven or eight. What do you think of the design?
Former District Leader Renee Collymore has organized an emergency town hall meeting with school principals, residents and business owners to discuss safety in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill after an incident last month when 20 or 30 “unsupervised students from local schools began a terrifying brawl outside a quiet coffee shop,” on Vanderbilt between Dekalb and Lafayette, according to a flyer we spotted in the neighborhood. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Laurie Cumbo are expected to attend.
Collymore witnessed the fight on October 9, and said police did not show up when called to break up an earlier fight on October 5, according to a story in DNAinfo. The meeting is set for Wednesday, November 19 from 6:30 to 8 pm at P.S. 20 at 225 Adelphi Street.
We’re a little late to this news, but Le Petit Bakery at 354 Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene shut its doors at the end of September. The owners didn’t give a reason but posted a farewell note on Facebook, Fort Greene Focus wrote at the time. Meanwhile, a new bakery called Isabelle’s appears to be moving in three doors down 154 Adelphi in the old Little Louie’s Pizza spot — but it turns out it is only a temporary set for a film shoot.
Click through to see the cute storefront and a notice about the filming. Thanks to a tipster for the photo of Isabelle’s. GMAP(more…)
We sure have been coming across a lot of whole townhouses for rent in Brooklyn lately. This one is right across from Fort Greene Park. Unfortunately, a renovation has taken it somewhat in the McMansion direction with a blingy chandelier, open-plan parlor floor and exposed brick, but it still has beautiful inlaid and parquet floors, marble fireplaces and the original staircase.
It’s also huge, of course — 3,200 square feet — with four bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a backyard, as well as a basement cellar that can be used for storage. What do you think of it for $10,500 a month?
An unnamed real estate firm is setting up shop at 11 Greene Avenue, a worker inside told us when we stopped by recently. This is in one of the 19th century storefronts in three Italianate row houses near the intersection of Fulton Street in Fort Greene.
Unfortunately, the new cement window surround looks out of place, but at least it didn’t replace anything historic. The retail space, previously the longtime home of Jessy’s House of Styles unisex salon and barbershop, had a modern metal facade. GMAP
Update: A Corcoran spokesperson just confirmed this will be Corcoran’s sales office for the Lefferts Place Mews condos in Clinton Hill.
You can’t celebrate Brooklyn or 10 years of Brownstoner without the Williamsburgh Bank building, one of Brooklyn’s greatest structures.
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building Address: 1 Hanson Place, corner of Ashland Place Neighborhood: Fort Greene Year Built: 1927-29 Architectural Style: Art Deco, with Byzantine and Romanesque influences Architect: Halsey, McCormack & Helmer Other buildings by architects: Central Methodist Church, next door, redo of Former Dime SB at Fulton Mall, Former Kings County SB at Nostrand and Eastern Parkway, former Brevoort SB on Fulton Street, Bed Stuy. Landmarked: Yes. Brooklyn Academy of Music HD,1977. Bank interior, lobby, landmarked in 1996.
The story: Like thousands of Brooklynites who worked or walked in the area, I used this building hundreds of times to check the time. My mother’s dentist was in this building. For many people, this building IS Brooklyn, almost as much as the Brooklyn Bridge is. For many years, Brooklyn’s tallest building, (second now, thanks to the Brooklyner) the Williamsburgh Bank Building is an icon of our borough, as well as one of New York City’s most beautiful skyscrapers.
The firm of Halsey, McCormack and Helmer produced some great bank buildings, not only in Brooklyn, but also the Dollar Savings Bank in the Bronx, and the Greenwich Savings Bank on 57th Street in Manhattan. The firm organized in 1920, with Hayward Halsey, a developer, former banker George H. McCormack, and architect Robert Helmer, who took charge of the design office, and is responsible for actually designing all of their buildings. If you think about it, this partnership was perfect. Banker McCormick was well-connected to the industry, and could get their foot in the door. He also knew intimately what was needed in the design of a proper bank. Helmer designed, and Halsey got it built. (more…)