04/11/14 4:00pm

Council Member Stephen Levin has announced the five community improvement projects in District 33 that will receive $1,560,000 of city discretionary funds. Residents voted last week on how their tax dollars should be spent in the district through a process known as participatory budgeting. Here are the projects that received the most votes, in order:

  1. Repairs at four NYCHA playgrounds – Gowanus Houses, 572 Warren Street Houses, Wyckoff Gardens, and Jonathan Williams Plaza – will receive $400,000.
  2. The Gowanus Community Center, pictured, will get $325,000 for renovations.
  3. The McGolrick Park Playground will be completely reconstructed, to the tune of $450,000.
  4. BOOKlyn Shuttle: $198,000 will be set aside to buy and retrofit bus a bus designed by Pratt Institute to “inspire, stimulate and improve the literacy of North Brooklyn’s youth.”
  5. The bathrooms at P.S. 261 will be renovated and repaired with $175,000 in funds.

Image of Gowanus Community Center via Better Late Than Never


04/11/14 3:00pm

672-694 President Street, KL, PS 3

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 672-694 President Street
Cross Streets: 5th and 6th avenues
Neighborhood: Park Slope
Year Built: 1886-87
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: J.W. Bailey
Landmarked: No, but part of a proposed extended Park Slope HD

The story: Park Slope’s named blocks have wonderful homes on them, but most people seem to pay attention to those only between 7th Avenue and the park. To do that is to really miss out on some treasures on the blocks between 7th and 4th avenues. Virtually all of the houses on these blocks were built in the building boom years between 1875 and 1895, with only a few hiccups every once in a while for recessions and short financial crises. During that time, developers snapped up the land and hired architects and builders; some well-known, others long forgotten, to build speculative housing for the people eager to buy and move into this fashionable neighborhood.

Some developers were able to buy entire sides of blocks, while others could only get two or three plots. The result is a delightful mishmash of architectural styles and quality of design. While the better known and better paid architects certainly delivered great designs, sometimes a total unknown came up with a masterful group of houses, and then disappeared from view. This group is a fine example of that.

James C. Jewett was the developer of the row of twelve houses on north side of President Street, numbers 672-694, between 5th and 6th avenues. He hired J. W. Bailey to be the architect. I couldn’t find any other examples of Bailey’s work, or find out anything else about him. Mr. Bailey may not have been flashy, but he delivered a nice group of houses, which add tremendously to the Park Slope streetscape. (more…)

04/03/14 12:59pm

This pretty three-bedroom, three-bath duplex in Park Slope nicely combines new renovations with some older details. While the ornate woodwork in the dining room is lovely, the exposed brick throughout the condo might not suit everyone’s tastes. The 2,700-square-foot pad also comes with a private roof deck, private garden and laundry on the lower floor. Do you think it will go for ask at $2,100,000?

392 3rd Street, #2 [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

04/02/14 4:00pm

grand prospect hall south slope 32014

Park Slope’s annual Taste of Fifth festival will bring 40 of 5th Avenue’s bars and eateries to one place next week and raise money for local charities. Restaurants like Al Di La, Grand Central Oyster Bar, Bogata Latin Bistro and Luke’s Lobster will be serving up their cuisine at Grand Prospect Hall next Wednesday.

Attendees also get to enjoy live music and complimentary wine and beer at the festival. Tickets cost $45 online or $50 at the door, and $20 of each ticket goes towards one of 14 Park Slope charities of your choice. The 5th Avenue BID has a full list of charities and vendors that will be at the event, which will take place April 9 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Grand Prospect Hall at 263 Prospect Avenue.

04/02/14 3:00pm

461-467 15th St. CDB, LPC

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Two-family row houses
Address: 461-467 15th Street
Cross Streets: 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West
Neighborhood: Park Slope
Year Built: 1909
Architectural Style: French Renaissance Revival
Architect: Benjamin F. Hudson
Other work by architect: Two houses in Fiske Terrace
Landmarked: Yes, part of Park Slope HD Extension (2012)

The story: We didn’t have much when I was growing up, but I never knew that, and neither did too many other people. I grew up in an upstate small town with a New England-like frugality, where people just didn’t throw their money around in ostentatious shows of wealth. We mowed our lawn, tended the landscaping that had been in place for a century, and had a beautiful old house that looked quite nice from the road. No one could tell the place leaked like a sieve, and we didn’t have the money to do more than patch. Many years later, subsequent owners of the property cut the trees down, plowed up the peony bushes and stored junk cars on the property, making it look like something out of “Deliverance.” These people actually had money, so I heard. They replaced the roof, at least.

Point being, you can’t look at the outside of a building and know anything definite about what’s going on inside. Real estate developers and home owners alike took that to heart when brownstone Brooklyn began running out of room for single-family row houses at the end of the 19th century. Flats buildings and larger apartment buildings were starting to be quite popular, but they were still a hard sell to people who had qualms about living in multiple-unit dwellings, no matter how nice they were purported to be. (more…)

04/02/14 9:00am


Preservationist group Preserve Park Slope proposes to cut the height of Methodist Hospital’s expansion plans by shifting the bulk to a nearby parking garage, The New York Daily News reported. The new plan would bring the height of the complex more in line with its surroundings. However, as far as we know, it would do nothing to reduce increased traffic in the neighborhood.

Methodist has already said no to the idea because it would require closing the garage for about 17 months and prevent doctors from consulting with each other. The hospital has the right to build a taller, thinner addition than the one it is proposing without a variance from the city.

The Board of Standards and Appeals will be hold a public hearing on the expansion April 8.

What do you think of the alternate plan, above?

Methodist Opponents Unveil Alternate Expansion Plan [NY Daily News]
Rendering by Preserve Park Slope via Daily News

03/31/14 12:56pm

This newly listed one-bedroom at 359 16th Street in the South Slope made its debut at an open house Sunday. Other than the modest balcony, the condo has a very basic but sensible layout, though we suspect the artful photographs make it look bigger than it actually is.

The asking price is $545,000. Did anyone see it yesterday?

359 16th Street, #2B [Keller Williams] GMAP

03/27/14 4:00pm


Following the news that Park Slope assisted living facility Prospect Park Residence plans to close, local pol State Assemblywoman Joan Millman has introduced a bill that would effectively halt the shutdown for two years. The law would create a nine-person commission to study and report on the effects of long-term care facilities closing their doors.

For two years, all long-term care facilities throughout the state would be prevented from closing, converting to another use, or reducing their staffs. The Department of Health has already OK’d the closure.

In the meantime, community groups are planning more protests against the closure tomorrow and Saturday in front of the senior home at 1 Prospect Park West. Details can be found on Facebook. An online petition against the closure has garnered more than 3,000 signatures.

Conversion or Tear Down for Troubled Park Slope Senior Home? [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

03/26/14 12:15pm

This Park Slope parlor floor one-bedroom seems cozy without being too small. The decorative marble mantel in the living room is a nice feature, as well as the little private outdoor deck.

Heat and hot water are included, which is reassuring after a winter like this one. It’s located two blocks from the 2/3 at Bergen Street and about five blocks from all the trains at the Barclays Center. What do you think of it for $2,450 a month?

47 St. Marks Avenue, #2 [Corcoran] GMAP

03/25/14 1:30pm

This four-story limestone is impressive in many ways, from the Art Nouveau-style front metal windows to the panelling and coffered ceiling in the enormous dining room to the location on a landmarked park block.

The neo-Renaissance house was built in 1910 and designed by noted architect Axel Hedman. Features include a wood burning fireplace, inlaid and parquet floors, an unusual staircase, the original passthroughs with their handpainted porcelain sinks, an original bathroom with a claw foot tub and delicate relief border tile, and a stained glass skylight.

Another house in the row, No. 627, closed in February for $3,850,000, as we noted earlier today. This one is asking $4,100,000. What do you think of it?

619 3rd Street [Corcoran] GMAP

03/25/14 1:00pm

This third-floor condo at 104 Saint Marks Place in Park Slope just hit the market last week with an asking price of $899,000. We love the look of the building from the outside and the living room has three exposures and hence nice light and air; there’s a cool wall of windows in the strangely proportioned master bedroom too.

The apartment layout is suboptimal, though, with the single bathroom nowhere near either of the bedrooms. We can also spot some Home Depot doors on the closets, always a turn-off but easily remedied.

104 Saint Marks Place, #3W [Corcoran] GMAP

03/25/14 12:15pm

This pretty Park Slope townhouse has five bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and plenty of attractive details. The 4,000-square-foot house has a tastefully renovated “minimal eat-in country kitchen,” a backyard, and a library with a working gas fireplace.

We see some lovely arched windows, built-in shelving, window and door moldings, and some mirrored wooden mantels. The house also comes with central air and a security system. Do you think it’s fairly priced at $16,000 a month?

531 2nd Street [Corcoran] GMAP