Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Row houses
Address: 1609-1627 St. Marks Avenue
Cross Streets: Thomas S. Boyland Street and Rockaway Avenue
Neighborhood: Ocean Hill
Year Built: 2003-2005
Architectural Style: Modern row house
Architect: Magnusson Architects and Planning (MAP)
Other buildings by architect: Similar houses on Boyland Street and Bergen Street. Also Rheingold Gardens in Bushwick, Atlantic Terrace in Fort Greene, and many other projects in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island
The story: Affordable housing is a mantra in this city, as the sales and rental prices of houses and apartments continue to rise, and people try to figure out how they can afford to stay here. Meanwhile, as the prices and demand for houses in some neighborhoods skyrocket, other lower income neighborhoods have seen entire blocks of buildings disappear into rubble and empty lots. As developers and advocates for affordable housing plan new buildings for these lots, the necessary balance between cost and aesthetics has often been backburnered or ignored. Consequently, we’ve gotten a class of buildings that are often called “Fedders houses.” These are infill houses in our neighborhoods that, to cut to the chase, have been just plain ugly. Many people say that you can’t have good design in affordable housing, it’s not a priority and it’s not cost effective. But there are too many examples that just cry “Not true.” Take this project, for example.
Today’s Buildings of the Day are a part of a development in Ocean Hill called the Vernon Cherry Homes. They are named in honor of Vernon Cherry, a Brooklyn firefighter who died at the Trade Center on 9-11. The houses were developed by Loewen Development, for a joint partnership between the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York City Housing Partnership. The architects on the project were Magnusson Architects and Planning. Magnus Magnusson, the head of the company, was the chief architect. The Vernon Cherry Houses are scattered in a five block radius around Bergen and Thomas Boyland Streets, Eastern Parkway, St. Marks and Saratoga Avenues. (more…)