Learn about gardening and food policy at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend during its 33rd annual Making Brooklyn Bloom conference. The event, which is free with admission to the garden, includes workshops, networking lunches for gardeners and urban famers, walking tours and gardening how-tos. Workshops will cover topics like composting, soil contamination, nature walks and kitchen botany.
Attendees can take a seasonal guided walking tour of the gardens, visit the Rotunda and learn how to build an indoor terrarium. The conference will take place from 10 am to 4 pm, with workshops starting at 11 am and 3 pm. You can register the day of, and BBG suggests you arrive early to reserve space in your preferred workshops. Check out the full schedule here on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website.
Signage has gone up in the windows of 602 Vanderbilt Avenue, where restaurant 606 R&D is preparing to expand with takeout and groceries. The spinoff, to be called R&D Foods, will have a counter with seating, according to the website. Offerings will include prepared foods, vegetables, sandwiches, deli items, breads, pastry, donuts, and coffee. There will also be catering.
“Opening Winter 2014″ says the site, and the hours will be 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week. The space was previously home to salon Wink Eco Beauty Bar. Thanks to Cara Greenberg for the tip and photo. GMAP
Here’s a cute prewar pad on a charming block of Prospect Heights. The floor-through apartment has some attractive prewar details and nice-sized living areas but the railroad-y configuration makes the two-bedroom set-up sub-optimal.
It could be a problem easily solved, though, by extending the hallway to the master bedroom, which would reduce the size of the smaller bedroom to about 9 feet by 9 feet. The maintenance is $720 a month and the asking price is $765,000.
A fire in an apartment in Turner Towers at 135 Eastern Parkway last night sent two residents and four firefighters to the hospital with minor injuries, DNAinfo reported. We heard from a reader last night, who said:
There is a major fire in Turner Towers right now. This is the big co-op on Eastern Pkwy facing the Brooklyn Museum. Tons of black smoke pouring out of an apartment on the north side about 2/3 up the building. Many fire trucks on EP battling the fire.
The fire started around 11:30 pm. Nearly 140 firefighters responded. The fire was under control by 1:50 am, said DNAinfo. The cause is under investigation. More photos after the jump.
Name: Tenement building Address: 577 Vanderbilt Avenue Cross Streets: Pacific and Dean streets Neighborhood: Prospect Heights
Year Built: 1877 Architectural Style: Neo-Grec Architect: Thomas F. Houghton Other work by architect: Our Lady of Victory RC Church in Stuyvesant Heights, St. Francis Xavier RC Church in Park Slope, and other churches in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey Landmarked: Yes, part of Prospect Heights HD (2009)
The story: By definition, a tenement is a multi-unit building with more than three families living independently of each other, with separate cooking facilities, among other things. There is no expectation of income level in the definition, so technically speaking, a building like the famous Dakota Apartments is a tenement, and was actually defined as one in early documentation. But, of course, we, as well as the people of the day, associate the word to mean crowded and substandard housing for the poor. But it wasn’t always substandard. Here’s an example.
Vanderbilt Avenue was an important road that led from the Wallabout piers to Prospect Park, and beyond, to Flatbush. It was established in 1850, and was a bustling thoroughfare, with produce and goods traveling from agrarian Flatbush down to the markets of Wallabout, and on to Manhattan. The upper end of the road would have intersected with the Mount Prospect Reservoir, built in the late 1850s. The area near Atlantic Avenue was also home to industries that were springing up near the rail yards and other parts of Atlantic Avenue.
In 1877, most of the fine speculative row houses that make up the bulk of the housing stock in the neighborhood were still ten to fifteen years away. But Vanderbilt Avenue was already lined with buildings, most of them storefront tenement buildings. This building is one of the few that did not have business space on the ground floor. It was built for M. Fitzgerald, a local developer, and was an early work by architect Thomas F. Houghton, designed in the Neo-Grec style, the most popular architectural style of the day. (more…)
It looks like construction is under way at a formerly stalled site on Dean Street between Vanderbilt and Underhill Avenues in Prospect Heights. We spotted some new building permits and a schematic on the fence at 751 Dean Street, where permits from last year tell the story of a four-story apartment building planned for the former vacant lot.
The building going up right now will house four apartments, one per floor, totaling 3,960 square feet. The schematic (pictured after the jump) shows two connected buildings with fiberglass and stucco facades, but no permits have been filed for the second building. DOB slapped the project with five violations in December and January, as well as a stop-work order, which explains the construction slow-down. GMAP
Next time you’re stuck at the main Brooklyn Public library with nothing to eat, you can indulge in some pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds, which opened a cafe inside the library on Tuesday. The three-year-old pie shop run by two sisters in Gowanus has gained quite a following among Brooklyn foodies and recently published a cookbook. For now, the cafe in the library at Grand Army Plaza is still under construction and serving a small menu of Stumptown coffee, banana bread and fruit, Grub Street reported earlier this week.
And pie-baking sisters Melissa and Emily Elsen have teamed up with another pair of chef siblings, John and Mike Poiarkoff of The Pines and Vinegar Hill House, to serve sandwiches and seasonal dishes. On March 14, they’ll begin serving a full menu that will include a roast beef sandwich with homemade kimchee and horseradish mayo and a sandwich featuring hummus made with seasonal veggies. When the team is finished renovating the space, it will have white tiles, marble-topped counters and 18 tables, plus outdoor seating during warmer weather.
This 1,100-square-foot loft at the Newswalk building in Prospect Heights just hit the market with an asking price of $799,000. It’s a nice open rectangle of a space with a wall of windows and high ceilings. It’s not exactly made for family living but would be a great pad for a single or a childless couple!
Name: Row house with storefront Address: 861 Pacific Street Cross Streets: Vanderbilt and Underhill avenues Neighborhood: Prospect Heights Year Built: Late 1850s, early 1860s Architectural Style: Italianate Architect: Unknown Landmarked: No
The story: Most of Prospect Heights was farmland until after the Civil War, owned by the Bergen and other Dutch families who settled here, beginning in the mid-17th century. The establishment of the Flatbush toll road opened up the area to settlement, but by the 1840s, the two wards that made up the Prospect Heights area were the least populated wards in the new city of Brooklyn. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that building here began to begin in earnest.
Atlantic Avenue has always been a busy thoroughfare too, and the Long Island Railroad has been running along its length since 1836. Because of that proximity, development along Pacific Street would be amongst the earliest in the area. This part of town also got a boost from St. Joseph’s Church, the first version of which was constructed on the site of the present day church complex in 1851. It stands to reason that the buildings across the street would have soon followed; giving this stretch of Pacific a small town feel. (more…)
Few scenes in Brooklyn look more different than the past and present scenes of Eastern Parkway in 1900 and now. Today, the area is a vastly built up collection of streets and buildings, with large apartment buildings lining the north side of Eastern Parkway. But 114 years ago, it was a large open field with a couple of dirt roads running through it. There certainly are few clues that twenty-five years after this photo was taken, most, if not all of this space would be built on.
The photograph was taken from the tower of the Mount Prospect Reservoir, which once stood on a rise, about where the Children’s Entrance at the rear of the Central Branch of the Library is now. Unfortunately, I can’t replicate the height and the great angle that long ago photographer had in taking his photograph facing north towards Manhattan. What an amazing amount of Brooklyn he captured in this photo, which shows Brooklyn spreading north. The photograph captures parts of Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, and in the misty horizon, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo and Williamsburg.
One of the great things about many old black and white photos, the resolution is superb, and the details one can pick out are just amazing. I’m looking at the photo from a relatively small laptop screen. I would imagine that someone with a much larger screen may be able to pick out landmarks that are too small on my screen, but even so, I see quite a lot. Let’s see what we’ve got here: (more…)
A three-bedroom unit has just come up for sale at One Prospect Park, the glassy Richard Meier behemoth at Grand Army Plaza. This one has park views from the living room, the terrace and all three bedrooms. The 2,100-square-foot pad also has a home office and a walk-in storage area. Asking price: $2,599,000.
Learn about the polluted waterway that helped form the backbone of Brooklyn’s industrial economy next month at Brooklyn Brainery with a photographic journey and lecture on Newtown Creek. Brownstoner Queens blogger and Newtown Creek Alliance historian Mitch Waxman will present his slideshow and lecture on the history of the creek, which was named a federal Superfund site in 2010. Just after the feds declared it a Superfund site, Exxon Mobil agreed to a $25,000,000 settlement to clean up decades of oil spills, most of which went into a community fund to benefit Greenpoint and its surrounding environment.
“The presentation will photographically carry viewers from the Newtown Creek’s junction with the East River all the way back to the heart of darkness found at its end in East Williamsburg,” says the description on the Brainery website. The lecture will take place on Thursday, February 27 from 8 to 10 pm at Brooklyn Brainery’s Prospect Heights storefront, which is 190 Underhill Avenue. Tickets cost $12, and the sign-up page is here.