Name: Row houses Address: 87-93 Rutland Road Cross Streets: Flatbush and Bedford Avenues Neighborhood: Prospect Lefferts Gardens Year Built: 1925 Architectural Style: Neo-Georgian Architect: Slee & Bryson Other works by architect: Many other row and freestanding houses in PLG, as well as in Crown Heights North and South, Victorian Flatbush and Park Slope. Also Albemarle and Kensington Terraces in Flatbush Landmarked: Yes, part of Prospect Lefferts Gardens HD (1979)
The story: These are among the last houses designed by Slee & Bryson in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and some of the most interesting. The year was 1925, and the firm had been quite busy in PLG, designing all kinds of modern brick housing for the Norris Building Company, one of the major developers of Lefferts Manor, and the general Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood. Slee & Bryson’s forte was brick houses, and they designed them in all kinds of different variations, in many of Brooklyn’s growing early 20th century neighborhoods.
John Bay Slee and Robert Bryson had met in the offices of John J. Petit, the chief architect of Dean Alvord’s Prospect Park South development in Flatbush. Both were about 25 and worked for Petit for a couple of years before going out on their own as Slee & Bryson in 1905. They continued to work in PPS, designing Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival style houses there, and elsewhere in what we now call Victorian Flatbush.
The Colonial Revival style was the most popular architectural style in the United States for almost fifty years, from just before the turn of the 20th century, until World War II. It drew from the Georgian and Federal Styles of Colonial America, along with even earlier Dutch antecedents, and represented a comfortable and very “American” form of architecture that resonated with the public. In Slee & Bryson’s capable hands, that translated into several different forms of brick housing; urban row houses and free-standing suburban style homes. (more…)
The Prospect Park Alliance and residents of Prospect Lefferts Gardens are calling for a zoning change that would put a stop to high-rise developments on the edge of the park, NY1 reported. A group called Prospect Park East Network has formed to fight Hudson Companies’ planned 23-story high rise in the area, above, and is circulating a petition and a rendering to illustrate the impact on the park.
The area is the only one ringing the park that permits buildings of such height, according to Prospect Park East Network. The development at 626 Flatbush Avenue “will tower over Prospect Park, violating the unspoiled natural views which are a public amenity,” said their petition. The group also contends the development will increase rents in the area.
“We haven’t asked for any special variances, so what we’re doing is as-of-right zoning,” the story quoted Hudson Companies Vice President Alison Novak as saying. “And I think that when City Planning put together the zoning code, they were very careful about light and air and shadows. So I don’t think that that will be actually a major issue.”
Hudson is moving ahead with demolition on the site this year, and the city says it’s looking into the rezoning requests, said NY1.
The layout of this house is unusual and attractive, we think, for a row house. We’re guessing this was originally a three-family with three identical apartments. It’s quite spacious with four rooms deep on each floor, including an extension with a fireplace. The fireplace tile is pretty, and there are some interesting built-ins in the dining rooms. The bottom two floors make up an owner’s duplex, with lots of bedrooms and office space. We’re not quite so enamored of the top floor, which has been chopped into two units. Do you think it’s well priced at $1,395,000?
Photographer and Brownstoner regular Bob Marvin’s landscape photography is on exhibit at Tugboat Tea Company in Prospect Lefferts Gardens through December 5. A reception for “Landscapes From Top to Bottom” will take place this Thursday, November 14, from 6 to 9 pm. The show is part of the PLG Arts Tugboat Local Artists series, which Marvin curates.
All of the 16-by-20-inch prints show images taken in Brooklyn or southern Vermont. “They emphasize form and texture in details of the landscape that might otherwise be overlooked,” he said. He uses mechanical cameras, medium-format black and white film, and fiber-base silver gelatin photographic paper. He prints the photographs in his own darkroom.
Other current projects of PLG Arts include jazz concerts and a “weaving” of plants on the Lincoln road bridge fence over the Q train. Tugboat is located at 546 Flatbush Avenue, between Lincoln Road and Beekman Place.
Prospect Lefferts Gardens is the next frontier for Brooklyn developers, wrote Jonathan Berman, vice president of Ariel Property Advisors in the Brooklyn Eagle. The appeal includes proximity to the park, Botanic Garden, and rising property values. Developers are snapping up vacant lots, and stalled projects are back on track.
In the pipeline for this neighborhood known for its 19th century townhouses are 10 projects, eight of which feature a combined total of 616 units, both rentals and condos:
*626 Flatbush Avenue
Hudson Companies plans a 23-story, mixed-use building with 254 rental units and retail and community space (pictured above).
*510 Flatbush Avenue
Tom Anderson of 31 Lincoln Road Development intends to build a nine-story, 56-unit mixed-use building with retail and community space.
*33 Lincoln Road
Anderson is also building an eight-story apartment house with 87 units and retail and community space. (more…)
Brooklyn Ink has published a remarkable story, well worth reading, about 111 Clarkson, the famous berserk-eclectic Victorian in Prospect Lefferts Gardens that in September sold to a developer for $2,675,000. The author spoke to the seller, the buyer, our Montrose Morris columnist Suzanne Spellen, frequent Brownstoner commenter and long-time PLG resident Bob Marvin, and even an owner of the property from the 1970s.
The latter was once offered $50,000 for the windows, or half the price he paid for the house! He refused. Other revelations: The building’s third story is occupied entirely by pigeons. There is a smell of wet wood and water damage in the enclosed porch. And, incredibly, the house still has some furniture in it from the house’s original occupants. (It belongs to the seller and will not be staying with the house.)
Perhaps the biggest revelation is the identity of the buyer: (more…)
The listing for 17 Chester Court, which we wrote about earlier this month, went up over the weekend. As you will see, owners and interior designers Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke have changed things up a bit in the bedroom and other areas with new upholstery and such, but the painted floors and riot of prints on walls and ceilings are just as they were when the house was photographed for Apartment Therapy, New York Magazine and other media. The house also has a wood burning fireplace, central air, three outdoor spaces, an alarm system, and a basement that can be legally rented, according to the listing. As you may recall, neighbor 30 Chester Court zipped to contract with an ask of $829,000 and needing some work. Now 18 Chester Court is on the market as well, with a price of $865,000 and no photos. Do you think 17 Chester Court is well priced at $1,395,000?
The fantastical, deteriorating, one-of-a-kind Victorian whimsy at 111 Clarkson Avenue has sold to a developer for $2,675,000. It will be torn down to make way for luxury rentals. The off-market deal closed September 23, according to Adam Glassman, principal of Property Buyers Group and Glass Capital Ventures, which brokered the sale. “The house could be salvaged but [would need] at least $1,000,000 in rehab and financially it won’t make sense,” he said.
The extremely grand interiors with a newel post gas light, enormous fireplaces, painted ceilings and stained glass windows are unchanged, Glassman confirmed; interior photos taken by Dinanda Nooney in the 1970s can be seen here and here.
The buyer is a small developer in Brooklyn who did not want to be named. The buyer is reportedly planning a 50-unit new construction residential building, a “high-end green rental building with amazing amenities,” said Glassman.
The house is located on an extremely deep lot and is not landmarked. As of last month, preservationists in the area hoped a new development could be built without tearing down the house. The property was reportedly for sale for years. The listings that recently surfaced were never approved by the seller, said Glassman.
Property Buyers Group handles off market distressed properties, which they sell within their network or rehab themselves for sale to the end user. The group also buys and holds investment properties upstate.
Developer Hudson Companies shared with us two more renderings of the development they are planning for 626 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Click through to the jump to see the tower in more detail. What do you think of the design?
The teens neo-Tudor at 30 Chester Court is already in contract, after only 17 days on the market, according to Streeteasy. Thanks to a commenter for pointing it out. We reached out to the agent for more details but haven’t yet heard back. The property, an HOTD last week, has an unusual amount of original detail, though it needs some work. Perhaps this means the other two properties on the block reportedly going up for sale soon will have an easy time of it, despite the construction that will soon start on Hudson Companies’ nearby tower overlooking the park.
Marvel Architects just published a rendering for the big residential tower Hudson Companies is planning to build at 626 Flatbush near Prospect Park in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. It shows two towers set back more than 100 feet from the street, with a shorter building in front where there will be retail and rooftop greenspace. The 80/20 market/affordable building will have 254 rental units. They’re also seeking LEED Gold certification.
New building permits and a demo permit for the existing building on the site were approved a few days ago.
A neighbor said to us, “There’s a small but vocal contingent in the neighborhood that’s against it (mainly people in the historic district or in the houses on Ocean Avenue that will have this in their backyards), but most of the people I know in the neighborhood are for it. It’s not displacing anyone but the people who used to park their cars there, and I think it’s going to do a lot to improve the commercial offerings on this stretch of Flatbush.”
Marvel’s other projects include the Pierhouse and One Hotel at Brooklyn Bridge Park, St. Ann’s Warehouse Theater, the renovated McCarren Pool, and 9 Townhouses and 14 Townhouses on State Street in Boerum Hill.
Interior designers Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke plan to put their Prospect Lefferts Garden house up for sale this month, Nixon announced in a recent Facebook post. Prospect Lefferts Gardens hounds and longtime readers of this blog will remember unforgettable 17 Chester Court, where the Madcap Cottage (formerly John Loecke Inc.) duo took out the dining room paneling, painted the floors, and covered every surface of the English Tudor teens house with wallpaper and pattern. (Apartment Therapy has some great photos; New York Magazine covered it too.) Corcoran broker Joy Weiner gets the listing, which will go up sometime this month. As you may recall, 30 Chester Court, a HOTD last week, is also available, and a commenter tells us another house on the block is coming to market soon. Would you pay a premium for the already decorated space?