house tour1

Spring house tour season is here again and a number of neighborhoods across Brooklyn will be opening up some of their most stunning houses for anyone to see. Here’s a roundup of the tours coming up over the next month.

The 31st annual Brooklyn Heights house tour will take place on Saturday, May 9 from 1 pm to 5 pm. The self-guided tour, put on by the Brooklyn Heights Association, will showcase five homes. Children under 13 will not be allowed in the houses, except for infants in front packs, and photographs are prohibited. Tickets are $80 and can be purchased here.

The 2015 Park Slope House Tour takes place on Sunday, May 17 from noon to 5:30 pm. Shuttle buses will pick up and drop off at various sites throughout the neighborhood to help people reach all of the homes.

Houses on the tour include two homes designed by architect Charles Pierrepont Henry Gilbert, and an 1875 Neo Grec and many more. (The photo above and the first photo after the jump show two houses on the tour.) After the tour, at 6 pm, local architect-historian Francis Morrone will give a talk titled, “Brooklyn Landscapes: From Green-Wood Cemetery to Brooklyn Bridge Park.” (more…)

722 A Union Street1 Park Slope Brownstone Conservatory

This Italianate brownstone has had quite a few striking renovations over the years, the most recent of which is a conservatory off the kitchen with an automatic garage door that opens to the garden. The front parlor appears to have had a later upgrade that added heavy crown moldings over the windows and a late 19th century wood mantel with mirror and tile.

There are also plenty of original details in the form of pocket doors, moldings and marble mantels in this Park Slope Brownstone. The kitchen and baths have been updated, and there is a contemporary office with built-in bookcases.

It’s set up as a one-family and has three stories, including the garden floor. It’s 17.75 feet wide and just under 2,400 square feet. Do you think the ask of $2,495,000 is a good deal for the size and location, not far from the Park Slope Food Co-op?

722 A Union Street [Halstead] GMAP
Photos by Halstead (more…)

398 dean street 1

This four-bedroom upper triplex in the very northern corner of Park Slope is full of details — original moldings and plaster medallions, marble fireplaces, wood floors and pocket doors. It also has a remodeled kitchen and two baths as well as a deck off the kitchen and a rear garden (no pets allowed).

There aren’t too many rentals on the market in Brooklyn that are this nicely done and this large. And, of course, that all comes for a significant price. What do you think of it for $10,000 a month?

398 Dean Street [Corcoran] GMAP
Interior photos by Corcoran; exterior photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark


367 7th Avenue

Since the 1970s, the storefront at 367 7th Avenue in Park Slope has been shuttered. In January of 2014, the whole building was on the market, asking $3,499,000.

It turns out the building belonged to a reclusive artist, Leo J. Bates, who used the retail space as his studio, a story in The New York Times over the weekend revealed. The neighborhood changed dramatically over the decades, but still the space remained locked.  (more…)


Big changes are in the works for Pavilion movie theater, a beloved Park Slope institution that has been showing signs of wear. (In recent years it has been in the news for bedbug infestations.)

Developer Hidrock Realty plans to turn the movie house at 188 Prospect Park West into a 24-unit apartment building, but will leave the exterior intact and possibly include a new movie theater in the retail space as well. The developer, which has owned the building since 2006, filed an application for an alteration permit Wednesday, The Real Deal reported. (more…)

Bike Jumble-4-20-15

The Brooklyn Bike Jumble is back. The only flea market devoted exclusively to bikes in New York City, it’s where bike aficionados can get their summer gear fix.

New and used bikes, parts and accessories, clothing, collectibles, artwork and more will be available at bargain prices from a collection of east coast vendors. There is also a not-for-profit component: Bike organizations the Bicycle Messenger Foundation, Times Up! and WE Bike will be there to meet cyclists. (more…)

515-533 2nd St. KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 515-533 2nd Street
Cross Streets: 7th and 8th Avenue
Neighborhood: Park Slope
Year Built: 1894-1898
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Robert Dixon, James Nelson, J. L. Allan
Other Buildings by Architect: Robert Dixon was responsible for row houses and flats buildings throughout Brownstone Brooklyn
Landmarked: Yes, part of Park Slope Historic District (1973)

The story: This group of 10 houses is the product of the cooperation of three separate and otherwise unconnected architects. While that has probably occurred in our brownstone neighborhoods more often than we think, this is one of the few documented cases.

The houses were built for a single developer between 1894 and 1898, but were designed by three separate architects who decided to work together to design complementary houses.

The literature is unclear as to the roles Robert Dixon, James Nelson and J. L. Allan played in the design of the houses. Of the three, Robert Dixon is the best known, with a great body of work to his credit, including elsewhere in Park Slope, as well as Bedford Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North, Prospect Heights and Clinton Hill. He worked in Brooklyn from 1876 until 1903.

Perhaps Dixon laid out the general plan, and the others filled in the details, or the interiors. In any case, this is a beautiful row of houses in the Romanesque Revival style, characterized by the arched windows and doors. (more…)

Wards Bakery, ballpark, 1915 Baseball Magazine 1

The Ward Bakery Company was one of Brooklyn’s largest commercial bakers, operating at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1911, their huge new gleaming white factory on Pacific Street and Vanderbilt Avenue began producing the first of millions of loaves of bread that would roll down their assembly line.

Ward’s was at the vanguard of a new kind of commercial baking. Gone were the bakers hand kneading their dough and shaping their loaves. Ward’s perfect loaves of bread were never touched by human hands.

As told in Part One, automated machines guided the baking process from the measuring of the flour until the packaging of the finished product. The customer’s hand that opened the package and lifted out that fresh loaf, ready to be sliced, was the first human hand on each loaf. Their advertising proudly proclaimed this, a guarantee of pristine freshness.

The new plant and all of Ward’s activities were the brainchild of the Ward family. The company had been started by James Ward in 1849, in a little bakery shop in Manhattan. James’ son Hugh, and his sons Robert and George had taken the company first to Pittsburgh, and then in 1910, back to New York.

In the years between, they had grown the company and were among the largest commercial bakers in a territory covering the market from Chicago to Boston, New York and Pittsburgh.

The new plant in Brooklyn had a twin in the Bronx, built at the same time. Both plants produced Tip Top Bread, the company’s signature loaf. These two factories produced all of the Ward’s bread sold in the metropolitan area. (more…)


The windows and facade are in but the balconies are still under construction at 61 Park Place in Park Slope. A filing last month for a division of the property into two tax lots reveals the building will be condos.

Inside, the drywall appeared to be up, at least in the units we could see from the street. The five-story building will have 17 apartments, as previously reported.

There will also be parking for 15 cars, nine bicycles, a day care facility in the cellar, and an 81-square-foot “community facility,” according to the Schedule A. The architect is Shiming Tam, and the developer is Brandon Hornbeck.

It’s been under construction since 2013 and is supposed to wrap in the next few months, according to a sign posted on the construction site. Click through for more photos and the previously published rendering.

61 Park Place Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP


a taste of fifth

Forty of Park Slope’s best bars and restaurants will once again set up shop tomorrow at Grand Prospect Hall for A Taste of Fifth, which benefits 15 neighborhood charities. Participating restaurants include Stone Park Café, Taco Santo, Luke’s Lobster, Bricolage, Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn, Beygl, Jakes’s Handcrafted, Bogota Latin Bistro, Freddy’s Bar, M & S Prime Meats and The Chocolate Room. (more…)