PP Picnic House, Bridge And Tunnel Club, 2

This story concludes our weeklong look at Brooklyn’s greatest treasure, Prospect Park.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Prospect Park Picnic House
Address: 95 Prospect Park West
Cross Streets: Behind Litchfield Villa at 5th Street and Prospect Park West
Neighborhood: Closest to Park Slope
Year Built: 1927
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: J. Sarsfield Kennedy
Other Work by Architect: The “Gingerbread House” in Bay Ridge; houses in Prospect Park South, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope and elsewhere
Landmarked: Yes, in 1975. Also on the National Register of Historic Places

The story: The grass had hardly begun to grow in the new Prospect Park before eager picnickers swarmed the Long Meadow and other areas, ready to enjoy the outdoor spaces. The year was 1868, and the park wasn’t even done yet.

The city had already received seven requests for permits from groups of over 100 who wanted to have picnics. In response, a picnic shelter and concession stand was built in 1876.

The popularity of the park grew steadily, and as time went by, more shelters, restaurants and other buildings were added inside the park, all designed to make the park experience easier for patrons and to add to the park’s ambiance. Some of the buildings were quite charming, some quite unusual, and some just silly. (more…)

234 St. Johns Place

This Neo-Grec brownstone at 234 St. Johns Place in Park Slope is surprisingly similar to yesterday’s House of the Day, another Neo-Grec brownstone. It too has lavish original details and renovated kitchens and baths, although they are not as recent.

But this one has many more original and rare Neo-Grec details. The stunning burl-wood doors and several unusual mantels are rare and notable. The carved white marble fireplace is quite amazing and unlike any other we have seen before. (more…)


We can’t make heads or tails of the floor plan of this grand circa-1900 mansion, which was divided into eight “Class A” units in 1948, according to the listing, but has no certificate of occupancy. Designed by architect Thomas Bennett, the house includes what must be the fanciest dining room we’ve ever seen, complete with original painted landscape scenes, coffered ceiling, paneling, a huge and elaborate fireplace and stained glass.

Not every detail is intact: Some of the floors have been replaced with tile, for example. It’s one block from Prospect Park and also has an elevator.

It’s 20 by 82 feet, for a total of 6,136 square feet, according to PropertyShark. The listing claims it would be easy to convert back into a single family.

What do you think of it and the ask of $11,800,000?

106 8th Avenue [Stribling] GMAP (more…)

Meadowport Arch, Wally Gobetz on flickr 1

This week, in anticipation of summer, we are revisiting articles about the greatest masterpiece in Brooklyn: Prospect Park.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Meadowport Arch
Address: Prospect Park
Cross Streets: Roughly between Union and Carroll streets
Neighborhood: Closest to Park Slope
Year Built: 1868-1870
Architectural Style: Victorian Orientalist
Architect: Calvert Vaux with Frederick Olmsted
Other Buildings by Architect: Olmsted and Vaux designed all of the picturesque arches and bridges within the park
Landmarked: Yes (1975), also National Register of Historic Places

The story: All of the arches in Prospect Park are great for different reasons, but nothing beats the sensory experience of coming out of the Meadowport Arch and seeing the Long Meadow stretching into the distance. Only the Endale Arch, a close second, compares in this regard. For both, as Francis Morrone says in his Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn, “WHAM!”

Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted were able to create this powerful experience through just the use of a tunnel and double entrance, artfully placed in front of a huge meadow. That, in a nutshell, is the mark of genius.

While the experience of walking through the tunnel is certainly quite something, especially for us greenery-starved New Yorkers; the arch itself ain’t bad either. It’s actually quite complex. (more…)

5th Avenue street fair

There will be live music, a vintage car show, crafts, rides and more at Park Slope’s Annual 5th Avenue street fair this Sunday. An art walk between 1st and 2nd streets will feature local artists, and was curated by artist Jonathan Blum.

The Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair will take over the length of the avenue between Sterling Place and 12th Street. Restaurants and bars on the stretch will offer outdoor sidewalk seating, and boutiques will set up outdoor racks. (more…)

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…)