759 President St. KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Built as the Skene Sanitarium, now apartments
Address: 759 President Street
Cross Streets: 6th and 7th avenues
Neighborhood: Park Slope
Year Built: 1884, with addition added in 1902, and another in the 1930s
Architectural Style:Italianate
Architect: Original architect — R. B. Eastman, others unknown
Other Buildings by Architect: Hospitals and other public buildings in Brooklyn and Vermont
Landmarked: No, but in proposed expansion district for the Park Slope HD

The story: Alexander J. C. Skene was the descendant of Scottish lairds. His family story extended far back into Scotland’s history and included participation in many famous battles and encounters with historical figures. But young Alexander wanted to expand his horizons beyond the Highlands, and came to the United States at the age of 19 to further his education and to study medicine. He enrolled in the University of Michigan and completed his medical studies at the Long Island School of Medicine in 1863. The Civil War was raging on at the time, and Dr. Skene enlisted and served as a doctor for the Union Army, seeing the aftermath of some of the worst battles in the war.

After the war, he returned to Brooklyn, and became an adjunct professor at LICH. He soon gained great renown for his skills as a diagnostician. The horrors of war may have influenced his move into the relatively new field of gynecology and women’s medicine, and by the 1880s, he was one of the most influential doctors in the field. (more…)

A mansion at 45 Montgomery Place in Park Slope set a record for the neighborhood when it sold for $10,775,000 last month. It previously sold for $6,050,000 in 2006 and was asking $14,000,000 in 2013.

It is one of several houses in Park Slope asking more than $10,000,000 in the last two years, but the first to sell above that figure.

The 1890s house was designed by C.P.H. Gilbert and Babb, Cook & Willard, and sits half a block from Prospect Park, as we noted when it was a House of the Day in 2013. It has a dramatic round center staircase, a round dining room, butler’s pantry, servant’s quarters, an office suite with a gym, bathrooms with marble and patterned tile, an original Otis elevator, two La Cornue stoves as well as a Blue Star stove, and three Meile dishwashers.

The one-family house has 7,660 square feet and is 30.5 feet wide by 65 feet long. It sits on a lot that measures 30.5 feet by 87.92 feet.

It is the third most expensive townhouse sale in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn Heights, 70 Willow Street sold for $12,500,000 and 212 Columbia Street sold for $11,000,000, both in 2012.

Other pricey Park Slope mansions still looking for buyers include the former home of Jennifer Connelly at 17 Prospect Park West, asking $14,000,000; 105 8th Avenue, asking $13,000,000, down from $25,000,000; and the Foer-Krauss house at 646 2nd Street, now asking $13,000,000, down from $14,500,000.

Curbed was the first to write about the sale, which hit public records yesterday.


Midwood Investment and Development Corp. is touting two huge retail spaces available for lease at 800 Union Street that could lure big-box retailers to the heart of Park Slope, but the Department of Buildings disapproved conversion plans for the building, a parking garage, in November 2013 and little progress appears to have been made on the project since. The ground floor space would have 7,248 square feet and the lower level would have 3,903 square feet, according to the developer’s online brochure.

Renderings for the altered structure, which we published last year, show an attractive loft-style cast iron and brick building with ground floor retail space and apartments and penthouses with big windows and balconies above. Click through to see more drawings of the proposed alteration.

The developer filed plans to convert the parking garage to a mixed-use building in October 2013 but the city disapproved the plans the following month. In July of this year, the developer filed to alter the front and back facades, but the job was “administratively closed due to inactivity” in September, according to the DOB file.

Our only question is: Where would people park?

800 Union Street Listing [Midwood Investment and Development Corp.] GMAP
Marketing, But No Work, for Slope Conversion 800 Union [Brownstoner]


560 carroll street park slope 112014

What to make of this duplex in the sky at 560 Carroll Street? While we give it only a C for design, it gets a solid B for location (on the corner of 4th Avenue, despite what Google Maps says) and an A for views. It also benefits from a private rooftop cabana. The first open house is this weekend. Asking price for the 1,335-square-foot pad is $1,499,000.

560 Carroll Street, #11A [Halstead] GMAP

269 fourth avenue park slope 112014

U.S. Developments Group has just filed a new-building application for a 12-story mixed-use building at 269 4th Avenue, on the site of a former auto repair shop. NY YIMBY first spotted the paperwork, which calls for 26 units and 42,100 square feet of space.

The ground floor will have a 2,600-square-foot day care center and a 760-square-foot eating and drinking establishment, according to the Schedule A. There will also be 12 accessory parking spaces, 16 bike storage spots and a roof deck.

The applicant of record is an engineering firm. Next door at 275 4th Avenue developer Adam America is building an 11-story project on the site of a former McDonald’s.

Permits Filed: 269 4th Avenue in Park Slope [NYY] GMAP
Photo by Google Maps

festive fifth

Park Slope’s 5th Avenue is hosting a holiday festival this Saturday, complete with a tree lighting, Santa Claus and carolers. The fun begins with a tree lighting at 6:30 pm at the corner of 5th Avenue and 3rd Street (in front of S’Nice). There will be free hot chocolate, marshmallows, cookies, brownies and popcorn during the outdoor festivities, which will last until 9 pm. Puppetry Arts and NY Kids Club will present puppet performances and games, and singer-songwriter Amy Miles and carolers from Opera on Tap will perform. And there will be specials and sales at shops and restaurants all along 5th Avenue in honor of Small Business Saturday.


Manhattan investment firm Sugar Hill Capital agreed to buy 1 Prospect Park West, the assisted living facility in Park Slope, for $76,000,000 in January and is now suing the owner for not forcing out elderly tenants fast enough, according to The Brooklyn Paper.

The senior home is embroiled in lawsuits related to the closure and prior lawsuits alleging poor treatment and operating without a license. The owner bought the property, which sits in a prime spot in Park Slope overlooking Prospect Park, for $40,000,000 in 2006.

An attorney for the wrongful death suit concerning Slave Theater owner Judge John Phillips accused the owner of trying to keep Sugar Hill’s $7,000,000 deposit and sell to someone else. Most recently the assisted living facility has been accused of violating a court order to provide services to remaining residents.

Prospect Park Residence Selling for $76 Million [BK Paper]
1 Prospect Park West Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

altamira workshop

Home goods and crafts store Altamira Workshop opened last weekend at 217 6th Avenue in Park Slope. Owners Philip Sachs and Amy Fierro sell handmade items, many of them produced locally, such as ceramics, jewelry, stationery, art and home goods.

The owners have “created an in-house brand of goods that emphasize a combination of affordability and high design,” according to the shop’s press release. They’ve been teaching printmaking classes and selling their prints for years at outdoor markets like the Flea, and now they’ll offer consultations on printmaking and an onsite print shop at Altamira.

The shop’s name refers to the Cave of Altamira in Spain, which contains some of the earliest known Paleolithic cave paintings. GMAP

Photo via Altamira Workshop

917 president street park slope 112014

This parlor-level floor-through apartment at 917 President Street in Park Slope just hit the market with a price tag of $1,495,000. That’s a princely sum for a single floor but the apartment is in a primo location and benefits greatly from a generous rear addition that accommodates a kitchen, a bathroom and an extra bedroom. The place is in beautiful shape and comes with lots of architectural detail.

917 President Street, #1 [Corcoran] GMAP

769 carroll street park slope 112014

This 1.5-bedroom in a North Slope brownstone is pretty big and loaded with attractive original details. We see original moldings around the doors and windows as well as mirrored wooden mantels. The bedroom pictured looks reasonably sized, but the kitchen seems pretty small. Do you think $3,250 a month sounds reasonable?

769 Carroll Street, #3 [Corcoran] GMAP


Nunu Chocolates Cafe & Tap Room opened last week at 179 5th Avenue in Park Slope. The menu includes house made baked goods such as brioche and cookies, small plates such as cheese and charcuterie, the full line of chocolates, Blue Bottle Coffee, 10 craft beers on tap, wine, shandies, frozen hot chocolates, egg creams and frozen lemonade.

There will also be chocolate pairings with beer and wine flights, and customers can observe as chocolates are hand dipped. There is a backyard and free wi-fi.

A former Brooklyn Flea vendor, Nunu Chocolates started in 2007 and has a store in Boerum Hill. The cafe has extensive hours: from 7 am to midnight on weekdays, opening at 9 am on weekends, and closing at 10 pm on Sunday nights. Anyone checked it out yet? GMAP

Photo by Nunu Chocolates

542 9th street park slope 112014

This lower duplex at 542 9th Street in Park Slope just hit the market with an asking price of $1,950,000. There is some nice historic detail and the unit comes with a private garden. On top of that, both floors have an extension, which means a more generous layout than your standard brownstone. The place feels a little shabby to us, but nothing that a new owner couldn’t spiff up without much trouble. And, don’t forget, it’s less than a block from Prospect Park.

542 9th Street, #1 [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP