259 21st Street, KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally St. John the Evangelist School, now St. John’s Condominium
Address: 259 21st Street
Cross Streets: 5th and 6th avenues
Neighborhood: Greenwood Heights
Year Built: 1904-1905
Architectural Style:
Architect: T.H. Poole Company, renovation into condos – Van J. Brody
Other Buildings by Architect: St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Flushing
Landmarked: No

The story: The parish of St. John the Evangelist was established in Greenwood Heights in 1849. They were established for the growing Irish Catholic population in this neighborhood, which at this time was made up of small working class wood-framed homes. The first church was also a wood framed structure, built in 1850, on 21st Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. By 1888, the wood framed church was still there, and the church also had two schools attached to it, both masonry buildings. One was the St. John’s School next door, the other behind it on 22nd Street, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph’s, with a convent next door. That was probably the girl’s school, and St. John’s was for boys. (more…)

brooklyn theater fire

Green-Wood Cemetery and Brooklyn Historical Society are hosting a lecture and tour about the tragic Brooklyn Theater Fire, a conflagration that killed hundreds at a Brooklyn Heights theater in 1876. After the fire, a mass grave was donated to Green-Wood, and a memorial was erected at the theater’s former site on Washington and Johnson Streets (now Cadman Plaza).

Historian Joshua Britton will give a free talk in the cemetery’s chapel examining how the blaze affected the city’s policies and Brooklyn’s cultural growth and development. Then there will be a guided trolley tour of the cemetery, which costs $20, or $15 for members. The event will happen Saturday, November 22 from 1 to 3 pm. Head over to Green-Wood’s event page to buy tickets.

Image via Bowery Boys

green-wood at night

The Beat Festival is bringing its funky vibes to Green-Wood Cemetery this weekend with site-specific dance performances and evening tours highlighting the musicians, actors and artists buried on the cemetery’s hallowed grounds. Atlas Obscura is leading the tours, which will focus on the tombs of performing artists and conclude in the catacombs.

The performances, called “Crossing Over,” will feature choreography from Elisabet Torres Aguilera, Shige Moriya, Ximena Garnica, Shirel Jones and Sophia Schrank. There are four tours starting at 7:30 each night on Friday and Saturday, and tickets cost $35. Head over to the Beat Festival for tickets and details.

The festival has a full schedule of spoken word, musical and dance events starting this Thursday with a free opening opening night at the Brooklyn Museum, and continuing through the closing party on September 20.

Photo via Beat Festival

166 22nd street greenwood heights 92014

This garden apartment in Greenwood Heights has been completely opened up and gutted, with new floors and exposed brick. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but the renovation included some charming vintage-style details such as a subway tile in the kitchen, wainscot in the living room, hefty trim and tin ceilings.

The floor plan has been flipped so the combined kitchen-dining-living (a great room) is in the windowless middle, with windowed bedrooms (there are two) at either end. The apartment is being marketed as a duplex of 2,000 square feet, but we’re dubious since the second level appears to be in a below-grade cellar. The floor plan shows two “rec rooms” on that level, so the apartment “can be used as three to four bedrooms with two full baths,” according to the listing copy.

There is also a very attractive private garden and a washer/dryer. Do you think it’s worth $5,000 a month?

166 22nd Street, #1 [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

coney island whip postcard

Green-Wood Cemetery will host an exhibit next month celebrating the life of William F. Mangels, the master mechanic and designer of several turn-of-the-century Coney Island rides, including The Whip, The Tickler, The Wave Pool, and The Human Roulette Wheel.

“William F. Mangels: Amusing the Masses on Coney Island and Beyond” will feature plenty of historical Coney Island artifacts, such as a Marcus Illions carousel horse, original sketches and vintage photos,  a 22-foot-long shooting gallery, a Whip car, a Pony Cart, a Speed Boat, and fire engines. The exhibit will open September 7 in Green-Wood’s chapel and run through October 26.

Image via Green-Wood Cemetery

1 woodrow court greenwood heights 72014

This interesting addition is rising on top of a townhouse at 1 Woodrow Court in Greenwood Heights, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 30th Street. The little two-story brick townhouse is being enlarged with a third floor and 836 more square feet, according to alteration permits. The architect of record is Eric Safyan, and his website includes more construction photos and a schematic, which we’ve included after the jump. (more…)

236 17th street south slope

A seven-story apartment building is planned for the corner of 17th Street and 5th Avenue in Greenwood Heights, in the parking lot of the former Aaron’s Fine Ladies Apparel. The project at 236 17th Street will have 17 units spread across 19,993 square feet, according to a new building application filed last week. It will also include seven enclosed parking spaces.


233 34th street greenwood 72014

We stumbled across some interior renderings for these nearly complete condos across the street from Green-Wood Cemetery. The five-story development at 233 34th Street will have 18 units spread across 15,021 square feet, according to new building permits. Amenities include nine off-street parking spaces, nine bike storage spots and a roof deck. A sign on the door calls them the “233 Greenwood Condominiums” and says they’ll be finished this summer. (more…)

niblo's garden

Theater owner William Niblo was known for throwing parties at his Green-Wood mausoleum, and this Saturday, the cemetery is re-creating one with outdoor performances and a picnic. Guests can bring blankets and snacks and  enjoy watching fire jugglers, singers and a knife thrower. “A Night at Niblo’s Garden” will take place this Saturday from 7 to 10 pm, and tickets are $30 for members of Green-Wood or Brooklyn Historical Society and $35 for the general public.

Photo via Green-Wood Cemetery

OK, it’s really narrow and there are a lot of down lights but this Greenwood Heights house at 396A 19th Street looks pretty cute to us. Goes to show what some great rugs and Timorous Beasties wallpaper can do, right? That bath looks pretty slick, and we also like the new unpainted clapboard exterior.

We’re not so sure about the location, though — it faces the Prospect Expressway. What do you think of it and the ask of $1,669,000?

396A 19th Street [Betancourt & Associates] GMAP

207A-209 18th St. KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 207A-209 18th Street
Cross Streets: 4th and 5th Avenues
Neighborhood: Greenwood Heights
Year Built: Before 1888
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No, but these blocks should be

The story: In 1844, the city of Brooklyn voted to extend open up 18th Street from 9th Avenue, now Prospect Park West, and the Gowanus Bay. For the next 40 years, the neighborhood remained undeveloped and was a dumping ground for all kinds of things, including bodies. The body of a baby was found here in 1846, seen abandoned by a couple who drove away in a wagon. But it would not be an undeveloped scrub land for long. Industry was growing at the waterway, and after the Civil War, the blocks began to be with row houses, most of them wood framed. The blocks were relatively close to Green-Wood Cemetery, a popular tourist attraction as well as burial place; so traffic here on 18th and on the other Green-Wood Heights blocks was busier than one might think.

These two buildings were built sometime after the Civil War, but before 1888. Stylistically, I’d put them in the mid-1880s. They, and the rest of the row going towards 5th Avenue, are in place when the maps for 1888 were published. There was a wood framed house or building on the large lot to the left of 207A that is now the buff colored Renaissance Revival flats building. There was also a greenhouse complex on this side of the street, closer to 5th. Wood framed row houses dominated both sides of the block, at this point, and a large Methodist Church was in place across the street from here, up a bit towards 5th. That church is now gone Today it’s a Greek Orthodox Church.

On first glance, one might think these two buildings are an odd pair. 207A is a four story house and 209 is only three. The windows are not even lined up with each other. But they do share many similar features, and were obviously built at the same time, by the same builder. I hope to find the architect and builder one of these days. This neighborhood is not well documented. Stylistically, the house shares elements of the Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, and Neo-Grec styles, with a bit of terra cotta thrown in, making it a Queen Anne catch-all confection. (more…)

The Associated Supermarket that was burned out in a fire four years ago will be returning to the corner of 5th Avenue and 17th Street in Greenwood Heights. We found this rendering on the fence at 617 5th Avenue, beneath a big green banner announcing “Marketplace ‘Coming Soon’” (though we’re unsure why there are quotes around “coming soon”).

Construction will finish this spring, according to the sign on the fence. Owner Clarista Realty Group is also repairing the building’s 10 apartments, according to permits.

South Slope News was the first to report that Associated would return. Click through the jump to see a picture of the building.

Demolition Under Way at 5th Avenue Fire Site [Brownstoner] GMAP