07/01/15 5:50pm

Concrete workers belonging to the New York City District Council of Carpenters went on strike today at roughly 30 sites around the city, including Brooklyn’s nearly complete Ava DoBro at 100 Willoughby Street and the future Pod Hotel at 626 Driggs Avenue.

The Council is protesting what they say is an unfair contract proposed by the Cement League, a group of contractors who hire Council workers to build the concrete skeletons of high-rise structures. These two Brooklyn buildings got caught in the middle.

Brownstoner reached Elizabeth McKenna, a spokesperson for the NYC District Council of Carpenters, by phone. McKenna said that the Cement League was not sensitive to the Council’s needs, even after being offered a 25 percent decrease in Council wages. (more…)

07/01/15 4:19pm

brooklyn bike park 2

A biker at the now-closed Havemeyer Park. Photo by Brooklyn Bike Park

A waterfront pop-up park with an urban farm and a mountain-biking “pump track” is currently being constructed in stealth mode, under wraps and behind a fence next door to the Domino Sugar Refinery on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, we saw when we stopped by yesterday afternoon. It will open this weekend — on Saturday, the 4th of July.

Developer Two Trees will eventually replace the pop-up with a permanent park, as part of its redevelopment of the Domino site.

This isn’t the first pop-up park for the project: Beginning in July 2013, the temporary Havemeyer Park operated across the street at 317 Kent Avenue, pictured above. The popular space shut down last September so work could begin on a 16-story building, the first step in the $1.5 billion redevelopment of the Domino property. (more…)

07/01/15 1:00pm

1173-1179 Bushwick Ave, CB, PS 2

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 1173-1179 Bushwick Avenue
Cross Streets: Cornelia Street and Jefferson Avenue
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Year Built: 1880
Architectural Style: Transitional Italianate/Neo-Grec
Architect: Thomas F. Houghton
Other works by architect: St. Agnes Catholic Church and school, Carroll Gardens; Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, Stuyvesant Heights; St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Park Slope. Also row houses and other buildings in Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North, and elsewhere
Landmarked: No

The story: At first glance, these transitional Italianate and Neo-Grec homes are just another group of four modest brownstones. But here, as in all of his work, architect Thomas Houghton created beauty in the details.

These four houses were designed by one of the East Coast’s premiere Catholic Church architects, best known for his churches here in Brooklyn, Manhattan and in Massachusetts.

Houghton learned from the best of the best, Patrick Keely, and became part of the family by marrying the boss’s daughter. (more…)

07/01/15 12:19pm


This listing for a Prospect Lefferts limestone leaves a lot to the imagination. But it’s got our attention.

Twenty feet wide and three stories high, the house — at 233 Lincoln Road, between Bedford and Rogers avenues — is obviously not in peak condition. But it’s loaded with original detail — check out the wainscoting, parquet flooring, decorative moldings, elaborate screen, mantel, and pier mirror. (more…)

07/01/15 11:31am


Sponsored By Navy Green.

Navy Green is a brand new development of 3-4 bedroom townhomes starting at $1.8 million, directly across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Created By BlankSlate

Navy Green is a new development in the historic neighborhood near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Taking up almost the entire block where the Navy Brig once stood — bounded by Park, Clermont, Flushing and Vanderbilt Avenues — Navy Green is a village of townhomes and condos surrounding a 30,000-square-foot common green. Residents of this development will be able to enjoy this quiet neighborhood’s many charms, including the restaurants, bars and shops of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, the nearby Brooklyn Greenway, Navy Yard attractions, and even a brand-new Wegmans supermarket.

The neighborhood adjacent to the Brooklyn Navy Yard — sometimes referred to as Wallabout, sometimes as extensions of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill — was once described by the founder of Columbia University’s Historic Preservation Program as an “outdoor architectural museum.” Belgians settled in the area as early as 1624, but Wallabout (from the Dutch Waal-bogt, meaning “a bend in the harbor”) remained largely rural until the opening of the Navy Yard in 1801. Many of the houses in the neighborhood were built for the people who worked at the yard, which was shut down in 1966 and gradually converted into the center for industry and the arts it is today.

Following are some of the best attractions in the neighborhood around Navy Green.



RAL Development’s Robert Levine, far left; ODA New York’s Eran Chen. Photos by RAL and ODA

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. has chosen developer-architect team RAL Development Services, Oliver’s Realty Group and architect firm ODA New York to design and build two controversial residential towers on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, park officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

The winning proposal was selected from 14 submissions, and the process was held up by a lawsuit. That lawsuit has concluded, but now the plan must go through a public review process.

The winning design is more restrained than is typical for ODA but still shows its signature theme of assemblages of boxes. It also matches the existing condos right next to the sites at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, aka 360 Furman Street, a former 1920s Jehovah’s Witnesses industrial building that winning developer RAL Development Services converted to residential use a few years ago.

Significant details of the development have changed, thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s call for affordable housing on the site, the lawsuit and controversy over the height of a development in another corner of the park, at the Pierhouse condos and 1Hotel. (more…)

07/01/15 10:09am


Standing on Barclays Center’s green roof. Photo by Chris Ryan for The Architect’s Newspaper

It must have been a disappointment to many architecture enthusiasts when they discovered that the plan to build a green roof for Barclays Center had been nixed for budgetary reasons. The roof had been part of the original Frank Gehry design — along with a running track around its perimeter — but those features were scrapped during the recession.

The resulting white top, with its big blue logo, gave the stadium a feeling of being somehow unfinished. Now, three years after the grand opening of Barclays Center, the green roof is back in play — and it looks as if all the greenery may be in place by the end of July. Fingers crossed.

The 135,000-square-foot area is in the process of being covered with a layer of sedum, a genus of flowering plants that store water in their leaves. The idea is to capture rainwater, reduce noise output, and provide a more pleasing view for both passers-by and future residents of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park highrises being built around it.

The Architect’s Newspaper recently got an exclusive tour of the roof in construction, and the photos give the otherworldly impression of a park floating above the streets of Brooklyn. (more…)

07/01/15 9:00am

Welcome to the first Brownstoner Controversy: a quick guide to the latest and greatest kerfuffle inside and outside of Brooklyn.


Uber’s having a rough week. Not only are their French execs facing charges, but a proposed City Council bill threatens to dramatically limit the number of new cars Uber can add to their NYC fleet.

The bill is co-sponsored by Steve Levin, Councilman of District 33 in northwest Brooklyn. Levin says that capping Uber’s growth is necessary to prevent congestion and pollution. Uber says that the proposed bill looks ahellava lot like one the taxi industry proposed in March.

Already taking sides? Just wait. (more…)

07/01/15 8:56am


The “Next Generation of Hotels” Is on Its Way to Brooklyn [NY Post]
Tourist Takes Selfie on Outer Beam of Brooklyn Bridge [NY Daily News]
Community Weighs in on Question of a New Middle School for Pacific Park B15 Building [AYR]
Revealed: 555 Waverly Avenue in Clinton Hill [NYY]
Flyers With Apparent Anti-Semitic Slur Is Actually Poster’s Name [DNA]
Long-Awaited Windsor Terrace Key Food to Open July 17 [DNA]
Bierkraft Is Closed for Good With No Explanation From Owners, Employees Say [DNA]

Dancers at Weeksville Heritage Center.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Cate Corcoran

06/30/15 4:49pm


Board Blocks Plan for Bike Lanes to Connect Bed Stuy to Crown Heights [DNA]
Conductor Apologizes for Taking F Train Hostages To Park Slope [Gothamist]
Hey Ridge Says: Bay Ridge Is Only out of the Way if You Don’t Live Here [BU]
Treyger And Savino Call for City Action In Response to Coney Island Shootings [Sheepshead Bites]
Activists Are Planning to Burn American Flags in Brooklyn on Wednesday [Vice]
The Street Art of Bushwick Collective Is Disappearing Under Billboards [Bushwick Daily]
You Can Be a Small Manufacturer in Brooklyn, and You Can Sell to the World [Forbes]
Patsy’s Is Now Open on Dean Street [Park Slope Stoop]
Dos Locos, a Mexican Bar and Grill, Opens on Church Avenue [KensingtonBK]

Photo by Juni Safont

06/30/15 3:00pm


When preservationist Joe Svehlak was growing up on 57th Street in the 1940s and ’50s, that neck of the woods was still called Bay Ridge. Much has changed since then, but his former block is still “a study in working class housing built over a century ago.”

Those homes include single-family frame houses, two-family brick houses with porches and garages, and small apartment buildings. On Sunday he’ll discuss his old block and more on a Municipal Art Society walking tour titled “I Remember New York: Sunset Park, Brooklyn, The Early Years.”

In addition to talking architecture and housing stock, Svehlak, a local preservationist and historian, will offer tales of growing up in the area. Hear about life on his old block, and the street games he and his buddies played back in the days when cars were few.  (more…)

06/30/15 2:41pm


Here we go again. The eternal debate. Time Warner Cable or Verizon FiOS?

Start your engines. Go!

In the Brownstoner Forum, rd684 writes, “Verizon is getting ready to install FIOS on our block in Greenwood Heights. They’re currently contacting homeowners about running cable hookups to every bldg. I’m wondering what people’s experiences of FIOS quality for internet and TV are, especially in comparison to TWC, my current provider. I’m not ready to cut the cord.”

Just for the record, the Brownstoner office recently switched to FiOS.

Photo: Verizon FiOS spaghetti 

Have answers? Need help with something? Visit the Brownstoner Forum.