02/24/14 1:30pm

This sweet little bay windowed Colonial in South Midwood looks like it has a ton of potential and won’t take much work. We’re digging the spacious floor plan, the wallpaper in the dining room, Chambers stove, claw foot tub, and built-in bookcases. The bathrooms, while not original, look to be in good condition. There is also a garage.

While the listing says nothing about mechanicals or roofs, going by the photos all it seems to need is a new kitchen, a mantel in the dining room, and some sprucing up with some fresh paint. What do you think of it for $990,000?

792 East 21st Street [Mary Kay Gallagher] GMAP

 

02/19/14 1:30pm

The interior of this single-family Midwood house looks like a shopping mall or cruise ship, but we have to give the architect points for not designing a typical McMansion on the outside. There is perhaps a bit too much going on, particularly with the second story balcony, but overall the facade is refreshingly original — at least we’ve never seen anything like it. We like the asymmetry and the curious window detail on the bottom left.

Although the listing says it’s a one-family, it also says there’s a separate one-bedroom, one-bath apartment with its own entrance in the basement. In the owner’s triplex, there are five bedrooms and two baths. There’s also a fountain, pictured above, marble floors and a “breath grasping chandelier,” as the listing puts it.

Sheepshead Bites noted the ask of $1,850,000 is about twice what houses usually go for in Midwood. Think they’ll get it?

1133 East 24th Street [Oxford Property Group] GMAP

02/11/14 1:00pm

It’s rare to find a house in Brooklyn that needs only cosmetic restyling to totally transform it, but this one-family at 1220 East 28th Street might be one of them. We think we spy under a lot of curtains tons of original Craftsman detail, including a built-in breakfast nook, moldings, faux painted doors, coved ceilings, inlaid floors and — best and rarest of all — original windows.

The ad says nothing about mechanicals but the house looks well maintained in the photos. The recently updated kitchen is not bad at all — love those wood floors — and with new paint, knobs, a subway tile backsplash, and an Ikea butcher block counter, it could be even better.

There are three bedrooms, one bath, and a two-car garage. For $761,000, it seems like a pretty good deal to us. What’s your opinion?

1220 East 28th Street [Elliman] GMAP

01/09/14 1:30pm

Usually a two-family consisting of two identical units on two floors would be too small for an owner-occupant, but this one strikes us as very livable for a family. Each apartment has three real bedrooms off a hallway, and the entertaining rooms are graciously arranged enfilade with a sunroom and lots of windows.

There are also some nice early 20th century details, such as moldings and doors. And it comes with a garage and a small yard. The listing makes no mention of the mechanicals or other systems, though. Did anyone see it when it was an open house pick? Does the ask of $1,200,000 seem reasonable for this location?

1591 East 17th Street [Stribling & Associates] GMAP

01/07/14 12:15pm

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?

770 Ocean Parkway [Fillmore] GMAP

12/17/13 12:56pm

This new listing at 1119 Ocean Parkway isn’t the sexiest apartment in town but at $370,000 for 1,150 square feet it’s one of the better bangs for the buck on the market right now. In addition to two bedrooms, there’s a huge living/dining space, part of which could be annexed for a third bedroom, it looks like. The kitchen and bathroom are recently remodeled, but look a little drab to us nonetheless. The monthly maintenance is $760. What do you think of it?

1119 Ocean Parkway, #6H [Keller Williams] GMAP

11/08/13 3:30pm

1073 Ocean Ave. OurLadyOfRefuge, nycago.org 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church
Address: 1073 Ocean Avenue
Cross Streets: Foster Avenue and Farragut Road
Neighborhood: Midwood
Year Built: 1933-1934
Architectural Style: French Gothic
Architect: Henry V. Murphy
Other works by architect: St. Peter Claver School in Bed Stuy, garage/house at 152 Berkeley Place in Park Slope, with Edward H. Lehmann, first four buildings of St. John’s University, Queens.
Landmarked: No

The story: It’s not often we have a good photographic record of a Brooklyn building’s construction. The parishioners at Our Lady of Refuge are fortunate, as are those of us who appreciate church architecture. The Brooklyn Eagle took a lot of pictures when this building was going up, giving us an excellent visual history to go along with the names and dates.

Houses of worship are important parts of neighborhood development, so when Irish and German Catholics began settling in Midwood at the turn of the 20th century, it was important for them to have a church in their midst. Brooklyn’s Catholic Bishop in 1911 was Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell. He authorized the building of a new parish, and sent out Rev. Robert O’Donovan to be the first priest. For some reason it was hard to buy land in this part of Flatbush, but Fr. O’Donovan prevailed, and was able to buy this plot on Ocean Avenue near Foster. The cornerstone for the first church was laid, and a small, one story church was built in 1912.

This simple chapel didn’t take much time to build, and only two weeks later, the first mass was held in the unfinished space. That September, only five months from the ground breaking, the church was done, and was dedicated by the Bishop. Photographs show a modest chapel, which the congregation soon outgrew. By 1928, Our Lady of Refuge was in dire need of more room.

Father O’Donovan organized a fund raising campaign, and eminent Catholic church architect Henry V. Murphy was signed on to design a large new church, big enough to accommodate more community growth. Murphy, who was a very versatile designer of sacred spaces, designed a French Gothic church that still manages to be very 20th century, with a hint of Deco sensibility. Just take a look at his St. Peter Claver School to see him go full blown Catholic Deco. (more…)

10/29/13 4:00pm

Councilman David Greenfield announced today at a press conference that he had secured funding to build a new public plaza in front of the Midwood branch library at 975 East 16th Street near Avenue J. The $250,000 project, financed from the 2014 city budget, will likely feature benches, trees and various kinds of plants, according to a press release. GMAP

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

08/28/13 3:00pm

1262-1286 E 84th St. Vitagraph. googlemaps 1

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Originally Vitagraph Studios, then Warner Brothers Studio, now JC Studios
Address: 1262-1286 East 14th Street
Cross Streets: Corner Locust Avenue
Neighborhood: Midwood
Year Built: 1905, 1912, 1914, and later
Architectural Style: Original building, 19th century brick factory, plus additional buildings, last one built in 1956
Architect: W. L. Stoddart, and unknown others
Other works by architect: Stoddart- Ponce De Leon Hotel, Atlanta, and other hotels, mostly in the South
Landmarked: No

The story:
In 1897, two enterprising visionaries founded a company called American Vitagraph, here in Brooklyn. They were going to start a business not too many people knew anything about back then: movie making. J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith, with later distributer William “Pop” Rock were among the first American movie entrepreneurs. Blackton had seen Thomas Edison’s new film projector, and after inventor talked him into buying one, Blackton couldn’t get enough. He wanted to make his own movies. Vitagraph produced some of the first American newsreels, and produced the world’s first animated movie, “The Humpty Dumpty Circus” which was also the first use of stop-motion photography.

The men opened offices in Lower Manhattan, and by 1907, they were the most prolific film production company in America, producing hundreds of silent movies and newsreels. Their first feature film was shot on the roof of their Nassau Street offices, but they soon realized that in order to really produce quality films, they needed space to build sets, store costumes and props, and coordinate special effects. They needed someplace large and cheap, preferably away from the distractions of the city. They choose the fields of Brooklyn; Midwood, to be exact. (more…)

08/21/13 12:15pm


It’s rare to see a six-digit ask these days that starts with the numeral one, so this one-bedroom co-op at 1119 Ocean Parkway caught our eye simply because of the price of $179,000. What’s more, the Midwood co-op is actually in good shape, having been recently renovated. And while the finishes are pretty generic, it’s hard not to see this as an interesting entry point in a heated marketplace, especially since the maintenance is just $585.

1119 Ocean Parkway, #6N [Corcoran] GMAP

08/06/13 1:00pm

657-east-24th-street-brooklyn-0813

It’s neo-colonial meets Arts and Crafts at this 1915 South Midwood house close to Ditmas Park. There are bay windows, a porch, plenty of stained glass, inlaid floors, neo-colonial mantels and a simple yet charming updated kitchen. Our only quibble is the powder room that steals space from the breakfast room; maybe it could go in the pantry, and a new pantry could extend into the kitchen. The house also has two other bathrooms, six bedrooms and a two-car garage. Do you think it’s a good deal for $980,000?

657 E 24th Street [Mary Kay Gallagher] GMAP