After the Park Slope Historic District expanded last spring, neighborhood preservationists got back to work on Phase Two. For the past two years, they have focused on landmarking the northern area of Park Slope, specifically north of Union Street and above 5th Avenue. Very soon, March 6 to be exact, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold an invitation-only meeting for homeowners within the LPC’s proposed expansion area. The LPC will provide the proposed landmark boundaries map and answer any questions. The Park Slope Civic Council, which has spearheaded the expansion of landmarking in the Slope, expects the LPC will follow with a public hearing later this year. And if all goes well, the LPC should release a designation report and hold a vote in 2014. The Phase Two area will be about half the size of the most recent South Slope expansion, and include somewhere between 250 to 300 buildings. The blue outline, above, shows the council’s proposed Phase Two expansion. The area inside the red outline is the existing district.
Photo via the Park Slope Civic Council
The Landmarks Preservation Commission posted a slideshow with 25 New York City landmark sites directly tied to African-American culture and history, in honor of Black History Month. In Brooklyn, they include the Weeksville Heritage Center, the First Free Congregational Church at 311 Bridge Street, the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District and the Crown Heights North Historic District. The Bridge Street church, pictured above, was purchased by Brooklyn’s oldest African American congregation in 1854. Its basement served as a safe haven for many escaped slaves. The congregation stayed until 1948, when it moved to Bed Stuy. The slideshow also provides an informative bit of history on both the Crown Heights and Bed Stuy historic districts, both African American neighborhoods that have recieved landmark designation (and are due to receive more) in recent years.
LPC Recognizes Black History Month 2013 [LPC.gov]
Photo by the Museum of the City of New York
Renderings of these new buildings proposed for 269 Washington Avenue and 242 Hall Street surfaced after a Community Board Two meeting notice led us to the website of S3 Architecture. The top rendering is 269 Washington Avenue; below is 242 Hall Street. Each building, at four stories, will go in on a through-lot between Willoughby and Dekalb avenues. The buildings will be connected by a courtyard. Way back in spring the owners filed a building application for ten units, and we heard that it would be a luxury rental primarily made up of large, four-bedroom apartments. The website states there will be ten apartments in each building. Here are more details from the website:
The buildings were fashioned after traditional townhouses in scale and material, with modern interpretations of entry doors, windows with hoods and sills, and a mansard roof carving out rooftop terraces. The ground floor and 4th floors are duplex apartments with lower level recreation spaces or penthouse levels. On other levels are floor-through apartments, fostering communal living with numerous bedrooms per apartment, suited for off-campus co-ed living. Currently filed for approval at the NYC Department of Buildings and Landmarks Preservation Commission. Under construction in 2013.
Looks like they’re really trying to market to the Pratt community. Before any construction takes place, the architects need to get through the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Their date with the CB2 Land Use Committee is Wednesday, February 20th at 5 Metrotech Center, Room LC400.
New 10-Unit Building For Washington Ave. in Clinton Hill [Brownstoner] GMAP
Today the Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on two historic Brooklyn firehouses: Engine Company 28 (pictured left) at 436 39th Street and Engine Company 40 (pictured right) at 1307-1309 Prospect Avenue. Engine Company 28 is a Romanesque Revival-style firehouse built in Sunset Park in 1890; Engine Company 40 was constructed in 1895 during a campaign by the Brooklyn Fire Commissioner to replace the old firehouses with more modern buildings. You can read the full LPC writeup in this earlier post. The Daily News also wrote up a story today on all five NYC firehouses up for designation. The LPC held a public hearing on both buildings this December. Stay tuned for the result of today’s vote! Update: The LPC approved all five firehouses for designation. The designations bring the total number of FDNY landmarked firehouses to 37.
Looking to Landmark Two Brooklyn Firehouses [Brownstoner]
The landmarked, rundown Coignet Stone Company Building on the corner of 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue (and, more importantly, adjacent to the Whole Foods site) is for sale. Pardon Me for Asking spotted a Massey Knakal listing that says, “Great retail opportunity adjacent to the new Whole Foods Market. Landmarked building in prime Gowanus location. The exterior of the building is to be completely restored by Whole Foods (interior requires gut renovation).” As noted by the blog, Whole Foods agreed to restore the corner house in 2005 when it purchased the site. Given that, it might make sense for Whole Foods to buy the building for itself. So far it has put only minimal work into the building’s upkeep. There is no price listed.
Gowanus Landmarked Coignet Building for Sale [PMFA] GMAP
Photo via PMFA
Developers rarely seek out landmark status — often they run the other way. But according to a story in The New York Times, the developer of 910 Union Street in Park Slope is hoping to get the building landmarked (though the commission has not received an application yet). American Development Group added five floors to the original two-story Elks Club building. The developer did make an effort to maintain portions of the original structure, including a limestone entryway and cornice. It also used brick color-matched to the original for the five-story addition. Says Perry Finkelman, a partner with the firm, “what I wanted was for the average person to look at it and think it was created during that historic time period.”
Commenters were lukewarm on the building when we wrote about its reveal in October: “from the sidewalk in front that leaves me saying ‘what could they have been thinking?’ Still, it could have been much worse, if the original renderings from 18 months ago were anything to go by. With this reveal, my final verdict would be ‘meh!’” What do you think? Is this building worthy of being landmarked? Should buildings that have been so drastically altered be considered for landmark status?
910 Union Tops Off, but Not Much Else [Brownstoner]
910 Union Starting to Rise [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: 910 Union Street [Brownstoner]
Condo Coming to Union Street in the Slope [Brownstoner] GMAP DOB
Here are a few more details about the new build proposed for 55-57 Pearl Street, where the new owners plan to demolish the garage currently there and head to landmarks with a fresh design. According to a notice by Community Board Two, the proposal is for, “a new four-story structure containing four townhouses with individual door openings on Water Street, one townhouse with a door opening on Pearl Street, and two garage door openings on Pearl Street.” Perhaps it will look something like the Kirkman Lofts townhouses? The CB2 executive committee will vote tonight and the plan is up for landmarks review on Tuesday, February 5th.
New Building Proposed for Dumbo Graffiti Garage [Brownstoner]
Dumbo Lot Sells for $4.25 Million [Brownstoner] GMAP
Yesterday the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to deny the application to legalize the changes that have been made to the interior of the former Gage and Tollner Restaurant on Fulton Street. The landmarked interior once housed an Arby’s (pictured left) and is now home to a discount jewelry store (pictured right). Only one month after the jewelry store opened the biz faced fines for covering up the interior without landmark’s permission. As Curbed reported yesterday, at the hearing the applicant explained that the jewelry store installed a display and lighting system that doesn’t penetrate any of the walls, but covers up just about all the landmarked historic detail. A few fixtures, like the gas lamps, remain and an arch has been removed and placed in storage. According to the LPC spokesman, the building owner’s architect described these changes as “interior desecration” and apologized on behalf of the tenants.
As you can guess, the LPC was concerned about the cover-up. Commission Vice Chair Pablo E. Vengoechea said, “hiding something behind something is not a preservation strategy. We designated this [space] in order to be able to see it … You need to expose what’s there.” Commissioner Michael Goldblum added, “There is no excuse at all for this being the way this is, period.” Commission Chair Robert B. Tierney said there is no way to legalize such dramatic changes, “but maybe we can come up with a way to do it.” The tenant now has to submit a new plan and file a permit application for the interior.
Landmarks Denies Changes at Gage & Tollner Space [Curbed]
Bad news for the fans of the impressive graffiti artwork on the one-story warehouse at 55-57 Pearl Street. The owners of the building will head to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday, February 5th with an application to demolish the former garage and construct a new building. This building sold in October for $4,250,000. The lot allows for 24,823 buildable square feet as well as an additional 3,500 buildable square feet from the adjacent property at 177 Water Street. The rendering will be on display at LPC on Friday, February 1st.
Dumbo Lot Sells for $4.25 Million [Brownstoner] GMAP
A preacher whose church is located in the part of Bed Stuy next up for landmarking is speaking out against the plan, The New York Daily News reported — he even compared it to a hurricane. “It feels like Sandy — it’s just gonna hit us and there’s no way to prepare against it,” said the Reverend Johnny Ray Youngblood of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church. His argument: Homeowners on tight budgets — especially seniors and the unemployed — can’t afford higher exterior repair costs that landmarking brings. “When you’ve worked all your life to own a home, landmarking becomes an undeserved burden, especially in a bad economic climate like this,” he continued. “No matter how you look at it, it spells dollars and cents.” However, there is strong support in the neighborhood among homeowners for the landmarking, who have showed up in droves at past meetings. “We’ve gone door-to-door — and hundreds of homeowners have told us they support landmarking,” the New York Daily News quoted Claudette Brady of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Society for Historic Preservation as saying. (more…)
The Bedford Historic District is so close to getting landmarked we can almost taste it! On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed district. Here’s the LPC agenda for that date. The LPC voted to calendar the district over the summer after years of community outreach and support. Once landmarked, more than 600 Renaissance, Greek Revival and Queen Anne townhouses will be protected in the neighborhood. Update: we previously reported this would be a second public hearing, this is actually the first hearing the LPC is holding for this particular district.
Public Hearing for Bedford Historic District Scheduled [Brownstoner]
Tomorrow: Calendaring the Bedford Historic District [Brownstoner]
LPC Looks to Landmark Bed Stuy Bedford District [Brownstoner]
Some news popped up on the upcoming Landmarks Preservation Commission agenda about the Carlton Mews Church located at 232 Adelphi Street. The owners are going to the LPC with this proposal: ” construct additions, alter the facades, roofs, and yards, replace windows, and install a ramp.” The Gothic Revival church sat deteriorating for years before its new owners took care of structural repairs last year. After repairs started up in November of 2011, no news came up about the future use of the church. The owners have not applied for any permits to convert the church to residential use. The connected development site, the Carlton Mews Townhouse Project, has continued with construction after an accident last fall. Construction workers were conducting interior work at the church when we stopped by this morning. The townhouse project and the church each have different owners.
Roof Support for Carlton Mews Church [Brownstoner]
Carlton Mews Church to be Saved From Danger of Collapse [Brownstoner] GMAP
The fate of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema and the 1895 building it inhabits at 70 Henry Street is still up in the air following a Nov. 27 meeting of the Landmarks Commission. The subject was discussed but not enough commissioners were present to vote, said DNAinfo. The owner of the building has proposed adding five stories with 17 rental apartments, designed by Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel. Landmarks is debating whether the building ought to be left alone or whether the original design has already been too compromised to matter. The owner of the cinema has said he will reopen elsewhere in the area if necessary.
Landmarks Commission Debates Brooklyn Cinema Demolition [DNAinfo]
New Building, and Cinema, for 70 Henry Street [Brownstoner]
Photo by bartek/yetseen
Yesterday the Landmarks Preservation Commission held two public hearings on Brooklyn firehouses proposed for landmark designation. No vote was held. The buildings in question are Engine Company 28 (pictured left) at 436 39th Street and Engine Company 40 (pictured right) at 1307-1309 Prospect Avenue. Engine Company 28 is a Romanesque Revival style firehouse built in Sunset Park in 1890. As the LPC says, the “stone and brick facade, large, round-arched openings and decorative moldings provide a distinctive presence on the busy streets of Sunset Park that began to be developed with commercial and residential buildings in the 1890s.” Engine Company 40 was built in 1895 during a campaign by the Brooklyn Fire Commissioner to replace the old firehouses with modern, up-to-date buildings. The Romanesque Revival building has a limestone and brick facade featuring an asymmetrical design. Check out the full LPC writeup for both firehouses after the jump. (more…)
Looks like the double-wide carriage house at 410-412 Waverly Avenue in Clinton Hill is up for a renovation — and an extra story — soon. The home, a HOTD last year, was up for sale at $2,995,000. According to public records, it sold for even more this May — $3 million, to be exact. Now the new owner is getting ready to present the Landmarks Preservation Commssion with big reno plans. The Community Board Two Land Use Committee heard an application this month to “construct a third floor addition and restore the rear and front façades, including installation of new windows on the front façade, repoint the brick and repair the cornice.” A very interesting project indeed. Think a third floor addition would ruin the charm of the two-story carriage house?
House of the Day: 410-412 Waverly Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP
Last week the Landmarks Preservation Commission calendared the M.H. Renken Dairy Building at 584 Myrtle Avenue, at Classon. The LPC has not yet set a date for the public hearing. Here is their statement of significance on the building, which was built in the 1930s for milk supply and processing:
The Renken Dairy Company building is an unusual example of the Moderne style of architecture applied to a small commercial structure in Brooklyn. It was constructed as an office in 1932 for the Renken Dairy, established in Brooklyn in the early 20th century. One of several such businesses in the borough, the Renken Dairy’s location in Clinton Hill created a local source for the processing and supply of milk from farms outside the city for distribution to the local population. The Renken Dairy, like others from this period, originally consisted of a group of buildings where the milk was delivered, cleaned and pasteurized, and bottled, all while being kept cool by its own ice plants. This office structure and a nearby utilitarian garage are the only surviving sections of what was once a bustling complex. (more…)
A tipster sent in this photo with the note, “The famous pink house of Park Slope, recently sold, is about to be no longer pink.” The home did indeed sell last month for $2,075,000. There were previous reports that the new owners would paint over the pink with a brown paint, but from the looks of this photograph they are instead stripping the paint back to the original brownstone.
The Price for Pink in Park Slope? $2,075,000 [Brownstoner]
International Passive House Days is coming up the second weekend in November, and four Brooklyn properties will be participating. Open for tours will be two landmarked houses as well as new construction. See the full list of properties and where to sign up here. Right, an interior shot of stained glass windows in a landmarked house retrofitted to Passive House standards by Prospect Architecture and Development. For more information about Passive House design in general and around the world, check out the International Passive House Association.
Photo by Prospect Architecture and Development
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will check out the design for the new build at 70 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. Pretty exciting considering that the only rendering out at this point is this super-blurry one. The architects planned for a five-story, 17-unit building with a movie theater on the first floor and in a section of the basement. The NY Times recently profiled this development, along with other new condo projects in Brooklyn Heights, and said construction will begin this spring.
New Building, and Cinema, for 70 Henry Street [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by spikesgurl7
The long-awaited Whole Foods at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street in Gowanus will open one year from now, in the fall of 2013, according to a memo sent by Whole Foods to Community Board Six. Construction on the foundation is slated to begin any day, now that the environmental cleanup is done and certified and the site is being prepared. The steel frame will start going up early next year. Meanwhile, as part of the development agreement, Whole Foods will repair the adjacent and landmarked Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building (pictured above). The grocer’s architects are working on drawings for the renovation of the facade, which will need to be approved by Landmarks. (The building is not owned by Whole Foods and will not be used by the market.) The grocery plans to include lots of Brooklyn foods from purveyors such as Brooklyn Brine, Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn Salsa, Acme Smoked Fish and People’s Pops. Hiring will start in the summer.
Whole Foods Working to Restore Landmarks Gowanus Building [DNAinfo]
Brooklyn Whole Foods on Track for 2013 Grand Opening [NY Post]
After 8 Years, Brooklyn Whole Foods Finally a Go! [Brownstoner]