Red Hook Brooklyn Townhouse Renovation by Rafe Churchill

Four brick walls with some remnants of floor joists and staircases — that’s all that was left of a 25-by-50-foot three-story building on Coffey Street, erected in the 1860s by the Atlantic Dock Company as workers’ housing.

“You couldn’t even walk around in most of it,” recalled architect Rafe Churchill, who was hired to help the building’s new owners convert the two upper floors into a home for their family of four, with a rental unit beneath. “We had to use a ladder to get up to the second floor.” (more…)

Brooklyn Streetcar

Rendering and map of proposed streetcar system from Friends of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector via Daily News

Talk of a streetcar system connecting Brooklyn and Queens has been in the air for years — the subway is Manhattan-centric, and Citi Bike isn’t optimal when you’re trying to get from Red Hook to Long Island City.

To reignite interest in the plan for a streetcar running along the waterfront from Sunset Park to Astoria, a booster group called Friends of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector have released glossy new renderings of our possible streetcar-filled future.

Would you ride? (more…)

Ample Hills

The path to success isn’t always obvious. When Brian Smith reached 40 years of age, he quit his job writing low-budget monster movies, took a weeklong ice cream chemistry course at Penn State, and co-founded — with his wife, Jackie Cuscuna — what has grown into the Ample Hills Creamery empire.

It was, to say the least, a very profitable midlife crisis. (more…)

Brooklyn Urban Farm Program NYCHA Farm at Red Hook Houses

NYCHA Farm at Red Hook Houses. Photo via Added Value

Crown Heights resident Sade Bennett is just one of many Brooklynites benefiting from a growing initiative to create gardens in Brooklyn’s food deserts. Through her work on a single-acre farm, the 25-year-old has learned how to grow and cook produce, bringing her closer to goals of bettering her health and community.

Red Hook Brooklyn -- Row House Gut Renovation

This month marks Brownstoner’s Steel Anniversary. We’re taking some time to look back at our past, even as we design a new future.

A sunken living room with a fireplace. A bathtub with a view. A secret garden. Balconies and roof decks. Even a 40-foot-tall fluorescent light installation running from basement to roof.

In designing his home in Red Hook, a circa-1900 brick row house on a cobbled street one block from the water, and carrying out a near-total renovation of what was little more than a shell, Thomas Warnke put in pretty much everything he ever wanted. (more…)

Red Hook Brooklyn -- 764 Court St Electric Welding Co

This month marks Brownstoner’s Steel Anniversary. We’re taking some time to look back at our past, even as we design a new future.

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

Modern steel-frame construction dates back to the 1880s. The idea of using iron or steel to support a building had been around for a while, but prior to 1885 it was only used for small elements, such as in the framework of an oriel or bay, and only used in structures of only a few stories. (more…)

Est4te Four's Red Hook Development Renderings by Raft

Feast your eyes on new renderings of the future Red Hook Innovation Studios. The dreamy designs were released this week by Raft Architects, showing off the greenery-hemmed plazas and bike-friendly spaces planned for the $100,000,000 office complex. YIMBY was the first to report on the renderings.

Developer Est4te Four began buying up parcels of Red Hook waterfront in 2012, acquiring a total of six sites for $61,000,000. Their plan is to turn the area into a mecca for creative business. The current design entails rehabbing an existing shipping terminal and building several new office buildings, in addition to a parking garage hidden beneath a diamond-patterned lawn.


IKEA Red Hook Controversy

If you ever visit the IKEA in Red Hook, you might think it a buzzing furniture-shopper’s paradise. Admiring the store’s striking views of the Statue of Liberty, your shopping bags filled with particle board and your stomach filled with lingonberry, you might assume that the IKEA couldn’t have inspired an ounce of controversy. But oh how wrong you’d be.

In the great tradition of Brooklyn mega-developments, the construction of the Red Hook IKEA was passionately opposed on multiple fronts. Here’s a brief look back at the dramatic saga of the Red Hook IKEA.



Pioneer Works is Red Hook’s answer to the Dia Art Foundation, a place where anyone can wander in off the street, take off their shoes, and perhaps even lie down on the cool concrete floors to contemplate the art and the soaring ceiling and exposed beams of the former industrial space.

If you’ve never visited the Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation before, you’re in for a treat and a surprise. Located in a former industrial space with an open garage door on a side street in Red Hook, inside you’ll find a sprawling complex with resident artists and scientists at work, galleries with art work on display, an extensive library of arts-related publications, and a well-maintained flower garden with sculpture outside.

There are even drinks and food for sale, if you time your visit right. All in all, it’s a pleasant place to chill on a hot afternoon. (more…)


The riches of Red Hook will be on display Saturday at Celebrating Red Hook, an all-day festival showcasing the neighborhood’s merchants, manufacturers, artists, craftspeople and food and drink purveyors.

Over 80 local vendors will fill Erie Basin Park, behind Ikea, and a center stage will feature live bands from noon to dusk, ranging from Cajun to jazz fusion. Expect demonstrations, product sampling, interactive activities, face painting and activities for kids, and food and drink from Six Point Brewery, Fort Defiance, Hometown BBQ, Lobster Pound, Red Hook Winery and other neighborhood favorites. (more…)


Two renderings are posted on the fence at 265 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, where a 19-unit rental building is planned. The design has a promising industrial look, with red brick and corrugated metal.

Although the buildings lining Van Brunt are typically small mid-19th-century row houses, the broader area is industrial. The three-story building is raised off the ground to comply with new requirements and protect against flooding. (more…)