07/29/14 3:00pm

193-195 9th St. KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally row houses, then Our Saviour’s Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church, now American Legion Post 1636
Address: 193-195 9th Street
Cross Streets: 3rd and 4th avenues
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Year Built: 1860s, remodeled as a church in 1885, more alterations, 1928
Architectural Style: Italianate under it all
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: As Gowanus grew as an industrial area, the thousands of workers who worked in the factories, warehouses and piers needed homes for themselves and their families. By the dawn of the Civil War, in 1860, a row of small two story Italianate row houses was built here on the eastern side of 9th Street, part of the effort to meet local housing needs. They weren’t fancy or grand; they were utilitarian houses for the working class. Most of them were probably subdivided into apartments or rented out as boarding house rooms. There were not too many people here who could afford an entire house.

As the war began in earnest, most people here were probably not aware that they lived on top of a battlefield themselves. This entire area was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, where the newly minted Continental Army was almost destroyed at the very beginning of the Revolutionary War, in 1776. The British had far superior forces, training and guns, and the Americans soon found themselves retreating towards the harbor. (more…)

07/25/14 10:00am

399 4th avenue gowanus schematic 72014

We found this schematic for a hotel on the fence at 3rd Avenue and 6th Street, a block from Whole Foods in Gowanus. Globiwest Hospitality is building the six-story boutique hotel at 399 Third Avenue, as DNAinfo reported last year. It will have 58 rooms spread across 19,127 square feet, as well as four parking spaces, an exercise room and a meeting room, according to new building permits filed a year ago. Michael Kang Architect is the architect of record.


07/14/14 10:45am


“Lander’s whole process was rigged to create a forced consensus to give the developers a green light to go forward,” said an 11-year resident of Gowanus at the Take Back Gowanus meeting Wednesday, referring to Councilman Brad Lander’s series of public meetings earlier this year.

Proposals from speakers at the meeting were wide ranging. Some mentioned in a story in the Brooklyn Eagle:

*An end to residential development on the banks of the canal.
*Designating the first few floors of any new residential building as manufacturing.
*Upgrading infrastructure, whether tied to new development or not.

Some of the proposals aimed to reform the political process: (more…)

07/08/14 4:00pm

take back gowanus flyer

Several community groups dissatisfied with Brad Lander’s “Bridging Gowanus” planning meetings are organizing their own forum, called “Take Back Gowanus,” Wednesday night. Katia Kelly of Pardon Me for Asking writes that the purpose of the meeting is to “bring local residents, business owners, and manufacturers together for a true democratic discussion on the future of Gowanus. The goal of ‘Take Back Gowanus’ is to create a manifesto of what the community wants to see in the neighborhood they live and work in.” Neighbors and community groups felt that Lander’s meetings were “highly curated affairs” where facilitators stuck to scripts and didn’t engage in a real discussion, according to Kelly.


07/02/14 1:30pm

248 9th street gowanus 62014

Here’s a low key but charming brick row house in Gowanus close to the Park Slope border. It doesn’t look like the type of property that was ever brimming with high-end luxuries such as burled hardwoods and the renovation doesn’t look too recent, but it’s still very attractive and there are plenty of original details such as moldings and floors.

We’re guessing from the floor plan it may have been built as three railroad apartments originally. In any case, it’s 21 feet wide and currently set up as three floor-through units that are actually condos.

The listings says it’s “in excellent condition structurally, mechanically and cosmetically.” It’s located on a fairly busy street, 9th Street between 3rd and 4th avenues. What do you think of it for $2,000,000?

248 9th Street [Corcoran] GMAP

06/30/14 10:00am

152 3rd street coal pockets gowanus 62014

On the Gowanus industrial property where the Burns Brothers coal pockets used to be, the steel skeleton of a building has started to rise. We’re not entirely sure what’s going on, because the DOB hasn’t issued any recent permits for the site, which we believe is 141-173 6th Street. The structure faces the Gowanus Canal on 6th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues. If you’ve got any tips about this mysterious construction, let us know! More photos after the jump.

Update: A helpful commenter pointed out some alteration permits for 15 2nd Avenue, the lot to the west of where the coal silos used to be. Plans filed last August call for a two-story addition, 35 parking spaces on the first floor, and offices on all three floors. The DOB issued permits in March to construct the 61,307 square-foot commercial building.


06/27/14 9:30am

470 4th avenue demo 1 62014

Developer Adam America has finished demolishing the six wood-frame houses and three commercial buildings at the corner of 4th Avenue and 11th Street, where a 12-story apartment building will eventually rise. The development at 470 4th Avenue will have 105 units, ground floor commercial space, and 36 underground parking spaces. As reported, Aufgang Architects is designing the building, which will look like this. Click through the jump for more photos of the destruction.

470 4th Avenue Coverage [Brownstoner]


06/25/14 3:00pm

405 Carroll St. CS Bridge, wiredny.1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Gatehouse, Carroll Street Bridge
Address: 405 Carroll Street (approximately)
Cross Streets: Nevins and Bond streets
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Year Built: 1888-1889
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Brooklyn Department of City Works (Van Buren, Ingram, Fritzche)
Landmarked: Yes, as part of the Carroll Street Bridge, an individual landmark (1987)

The story: The Carroll Street Bridge is one of five bridges to cross the Gowanus Canal. They are all interesting crossings, in terms of seeing how the Gowanus winds its way through the area, but the Carroll Street Bridge is special for another reason. It’s a rare example of a retractile bridge, one of only three left in the entire country. One still stands in Boston and another on Borden Avenue in Queens.

Carroll Street Bridge is the oldest of the three, and was built in 1888-89 by the Department of City Works of the City of Brooklyn. This makes it the oldest retractable bridge in the United States. A retractile bridge rolls back from the waterway by means of a track, pulley and roller system. The span of the bridge swings out at an angle and back, allowing tall barges to chug past the bridge. This type of bridge was never popular, as it takes room for the tracks and equipment, and engineers found easier ways to open bridges for traffic. (more…)

06/23/14 9:30am

kentile floors edit small

The partially deconstructed Kentile Floors sign got its final hurrah Friday thanks to an artist collective, which used high-powered projectors to illuminate the sign one last time before it comes down for good. Artist group Vanderbilt Republic projected light and animations onto the sign for two hours beginning at sundown, using 20,000-lumen projectors. They also beamed the animated program onto the scaffolded side of the 9th Street Bridge, where it could be seen more clearly. Workers began dismantling the sign last Thursday, and now only the “I” and “Floors” remain. Click through to see more photos.


06/20/14 9:00am


Workers started dismantling the Kentile sign yesterday and by early evening the first two letters, a “K” and an “E,” were already gone, numerous outlets reported. Plans to light up the sign by remote projection tonight will go on, according to DNAinfo.

Two Letters Removed From Kentile Floors Sign [DNAinfo]
Breaking: Kentile Sign Letters Being Removed Right Now [Gothamist]
Workers Begin Dismantling 8-Story-Tall Kentile Floors Sign Atop Brooklyn Warehouse [NY Daily News]
Photo by Nikhita Venugopal for DNAinfo