300-prospect-place-2-041515

We’re not always big fans of renovations that merge the old and the new, but here we think the architect hit one out of the ballpark. This Romanesque Revival brownstone at 300 Prospect Place retains quite a few original details, including elaborate wood mantels and moldings, among carefully inserted modern features.

The overall vibe is rustic industrial. Perhaps the most unusual feature is the staircase, which has moved to the rear and bypasses the garden-floor rental completely. (more…)

Ward Bakery, Wardbakingcompany.com 1

The Ward Bakery Company was founded in 1849, in a small bakery on Broome Street, in Manhattan. Eighty years later, the company was the largest commercial bakery in America, serving most of the Eastern Seaboard and the Midwest.

The company boasted in all of their advertising that no human hand ever touched their signature Tip Top bread as it made its way from bags of ingredients down to the finished wrapped and sealed product. It was all automated, even in 1911, when their Bronx and Brooklyn factories opened for business.

The details of the Ward family and their baking history can be found in Part One and Part Two. Robert and George Ward, the grandsons of the company founder had taken the company well beyond James Ward’s wildest dreams. (more…)

645 Carlton Ave, NS, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Flats building
Address: 645 Carlton Avenue
Cross Streets: Prospect and Park Places
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights
Year Built: 1894
Architectural Style: Romanesque Revival
Architect: Delany & Collins
Other Buildings by Architect: 245-249 Prospect Place, 255-265 Prospect Place, all Prospect Heights
Landmarked: Yes, part of Prospect Heights Historic District (2009)

The story: Prospect Heights as a neighborhood really developed twice. The Dutch and other settlers to the area found the land to be rocky and ill-suited for most farming, so there wasn’t much going on here until the mid-19th century.

In 1834, Brooklyn incorporated as a city, and divided itself into 9 wards. This was the 9th, and the least populated ward in the new city. At that time, the Old Flatbush toll road cut through the neighborhood, running a bit east of where modern Flatbush Avenue runs today.

The first houses in the neighborhood were small, wood-framed homes and businesses located close to Flatbush. A few of those buildings still stand, on Pacific and Carlton Streets.

But for most people, this neighborhood was like a fly-over state. Flatbush Avenue was well traveled and had good public transportation. People and goods were traveling to the harbor from agrarian Flatbush, but no one stopped to live here. (more…)

Ward Bakery, Ad for opening, BE, 1911. 2

Many fortunes have been made by providing the public with the basic products of life. One doesn’t always need to reinvent the wheel. Take bread, for instance. For centuries, people have made their own bread. But for almost as long, there have been bakers who would do it for them. No one ever turned away a good baker.

For the busy urban household, bread making was time consuming, even for servants. If you’ve ever made bread, you know you have to set the yeast, mix the ingredients, let the bread rise several times, beat it and knead it to create gluten, and then let it rise again before actually baking. Or you could go to the baker and buy it.

The baker would also be able to make different kinds of bread, perhaps rolls, too, and even pastries. A baker and his bakery was an important part of the community. Interestingly, for centuries in Europe and America, the baker has generally been a man.

In 1849, a baker named James Ward and his son Hugh opened a one-oven bakery on Broome Street in Manhattan. A few years later, in 1852, Hugh and his wife Eliza welcomed young Robert into the world. (more…)

660 dean street 1

This two-bedroom, two-bath condo for rent in Prospect Heights is modern, spacious and close to Barclays Center. There’s a wine cooler, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer and a balcony off one of the bedrooms.

The unit is pretty large at 1,081 square feet, according to the listing. Do you think the rent of $4,500 a month is reasonable for the location?

660 Dean Street, #4 [Elliman] GMAP

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london plane lisa mcnett brooklyn

The first day of spring is almost here, and next weekend, tree expert Lisa Nett will teach two classes at the Brooklyn Brainery on identifying London Planes and the science behind maple syrup. The London Plane class will explore why the trees shed their bark and include a brief outdoor walk through Prospect Heights at the end.

Anyone who attends the maple syrup class will get to taste some syrup and learn about the “science and seasonality” behind it. The tree class will happen Sunday, March 28 from 10:30 am to noon, and the syrup one will take place Sunday, March 29 from 10 to 11:30 am. Registration is $8 and $10 respectively, and you can sign up at Brooklyn Brainery.

Photo by Lisa Nett for Brooklyn Brainery

north flatbush avenue bid

Instead of helping the small businesses she was supposed to boost, a former director of the North Flatbush BID allegedly stole $85,000 from them. Sharon Davidson was charged Monday with making unauthorized withdrawals over a period of three years from funds reserved for promoting 150 businesses in Prospect Heights and Park Slope, The New York Daily News reported. She pled not guilty.

“North Flatbush” refers to the street, not the neighborhood, by the way. We wonder how the situation is affecting the business owners there.

Brooklyn BID Director Charged with Stealing $85K for Wild Shopping Spree [NYDN]
Photo by North Flatbush BID

b2-tower-1-031715

Major development: Forest City Ratner will restart work at the stalled B2 modular tower whose construction problems led to lawsuits between it and former partner Skanska.

It will start by “tightening up the tolerances” of the current top floor of modules, then it will realign some modules, and possibly lift and reset some modules with the crane, wrote the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report, based on a construction bulletin. That will set the stage for stacking the next bunch of modules, to build the 11th, 12th and 13th floors.

Mind you, this doesn’t mean Forest City is admitting there’s an issue with the design, just that they’ve solved whatever the problem was.

Work will resume at the site on the first of April, weather permitting, the bulletin said. Click through for more photos of the stalled tower. We took them in late January.

Modules in B2 Prefab Tower Must Be Realigned [AYR]

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making brooklyn bloom rebecca bullene

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hosting its 34th annual “Making Brooklyn Bloom” conference tomorrow, where urban farmers and gardeners can learn all about setting up and cultivating a successful community garden. Workshops and breakout sessions will cover topics like community composting, edible flowers, decontaminating soil for urban gardens, caring for street trees and city partnerships. There will also be exhibits from local gardening organizations, a guided walking tour of the gardens and a workshop on building indoor terrariums. Check-in begins at 10 am and the conference runs until 4 pm. Take a look at the full schedule over on BBG’s website.

Photo by Rebecca Bullene for Brooklyn Botanic Garden

125 prospect place prospect heights 32015

We’re not in love with some of the design choices, but this brownstone duplex at 125 Prospect Place offers a fair amount of space — almost 1,900 square feet — for the price of $1,350,000. The only catch is that much of it is on the cellar level and therefore windowless. No need for cabin fever though — the two-bedroom apartment comes with the garden. The garden floor has retained some of its original charm too. Waddya think?

125 Prospect Place, #1 [Corcoran] GMAP

281 sterling place prospect heights 32015

We dig all the 19th-century detail in this cozy Prospect Heights garden apartment. The one-bedroom pad has wood panelling, a decorative mirrored mantel and a hallway full of built-in wooden cabinets (the former butler’s pantry). The kitchen is simple, but there’s a dishwasher and all the essentials.

And it’s a great location, only a few blocks from Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza, and the 2/3 and B/Q trains. The only downside is there’s no access to the garden. Do you think $2,500 a month sounds about right?

281 Sterling Place [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

535 dean street crown heights 32015

This new listing at 535 Dean Street is worth a look even if you’re not in the market. The 2,017-square-foot loft got a serious makeover from the owner, and the result is pretty cool. Of particular note: The giant bookcase and suspended office pod. The high ceilings, huge windows and private balcony round out the offering. At $2,400,000, the ask is well north of $1,000 a foot. The common charges are just $1,365. What do you think of the design?

535 Dean Street, #304 [Halstead] GMAP