08/31/15 10:30am


The longer the city waits, the more future affordable units could cost at the Spring Creek development, the Daily News reported. The next phase of the “self-sustaining neighborhood” — 225 homes and 1,295 apartments in East New York — is being created through a partnership between the city and developers.

But de Blasio’s Department of Design and Construction — which agreed to build gas, sewer and utility lines for the next phase of development — is far behind schedule. Community-organizing group East New York Congregations has followed through on its half, already building 300 affordable units since 2006 with the help of the Nehemia housing nonprofit Metro Industrial Areas Foundation and contractor Monadnock Construction. (more…)

08/31/15 10:00am

Greenpoint walk

If your landlady dies without a clear heir to the building, don’t do what this couple did: just stop paying rent.

A Greenpoint resident we’ll call Jay (it’s not his real name) and his wife were paying $1,700 a month for the spacious top floor of a three-unit building on Leonard Street when their Polish landlady — who occupied the parlor-level unit — unexpectedly passed away. A man claiming to be the landlady’s cousin, perhaps a relative of her deceased husband, soon appeared asking for the rent.


08/31/15 9:30am


Brownstoner happened across this apparently finished installation by artist Tom Fruin on the top of the former Broken Angel building at 4-8 Downing Street in Clinton Hill. As readers may recall, developer and architect Alex Barrett of Barrett Design, who is converting the building to condos, told Brownstoner in April the piece was in the works.

The condos are still under construction, but sold out in less than a month when they went on the market in April. Longtime Brooklyn residents and Brownstoner readers will recall the sad story of this building, which could be read as a metaphor for the history of Brooklyn in recent years. It has gone from tenement to empty shell to art project to condos, as property values have fluctuated. (more…)

08/31/15 9:00am


Have an opinion on the controversial Pier 6 plan? Your voice could still make a difference in the debate, but you need to act fast. Whether you’re pro-towers or anti-development, the period for public comments on the proposal — to develop two ODA-designed towers at the park’s south entrance — ends this evening at 5p.m.

Haven’t yet made up your mind? Here’s what you need to know.


08/31/15 8:30am

Brooklyn Heights

Mayor de Blasio Authorizes Emergency Measure to Aid Homeless People [NY Times]
Builders and Brewers Look to Tap Into Brooklyn’s Beer Heritage [NY Times]
This Homeless Couple Is Cleaning Up a Bay Ridge Park [NY Post]
Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Academy Finds Space to Dance in Dumbo [WSJ]
Six-Story Mixed-Use Building With Bakery Coming to Williamsburg [CO]
Crown Heights Slowly Beginning to Draw Tourists [News 12]
Four-Story, 10-Unit Residential Building Planned at 568 Lafayette Avenue in Bed Stuy [NYY]
Ex-Net Darryl Dawkins Dies at 58; Pitched Atlantic Yards in China [AYR]
Crowdfunding Site Lets Rookie Real Estate Investors Get Piece of Bushwick [DNA]
Six-Story Residential Building Under Construction on Bushwick Avenue [DNA]

Brooklyn Heights.
Brownstoner on Instagram
Photo by Barbara Eldredge

08/30/15 9:45am


Brownstoner featured several view-worthy homes this week, including a nice flip in Bed Stuy and a “pre-construction” building with original details. Readers also flocked to our history-themed posts on Brooklyn’s “Great Mistake,” the saga of Empire Stores, and how Buttermilk Channel got its name.

We also visited the most dilapidated and depressing home in Brooklyn Heights, considered why Kingston and Brooklyn avenues still don’t have bike lanes, and asked “should NYCHA lease land on public sites to private developers?”


08/29/15 10:30am

This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.


Many know of Fort Hamilton as a neighborhood in South Brooklyn, but the actual fort is both a historic monument and an active military installation providing support for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. The site has been used for military purposes as far back as 1776 and today, it’s the last active military post in New York City.

Fort Hamilton Community Club photo by Wikipedia. (more…)

08/28/15 4:30pm

4th Avenue Brooklyn news

From Grand Parkway to Canyon of Mediocrity, the Story of Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue [Curbed]
This Haunting Vision Zero Mural Debuted in Park Slope Today [Gothamist]
Souvlaki House Has Peddled Pitas Downtown for 43 Years [BK Paper]
Gentleman Farmer Fort Greene is Open for Dinner and Temporarily BYOB [Fort Greene Focus]
Flashback: Brooklyn Dodgers Pitcher Preacher Roe Meets With Park Slope Fan [Park Slope Stoop]

Photo by Steven Pisano via Flickr

08/28/15 1:00pm


Brooklyn, one building at a time.

This is one of the oldest houses in Brooklyn Heights. Its place next door to the historic Plymouth Church also assured that a lot of history passed through these doors over the years.

Name: Wood-frame house
Address: 69 Orange Street
Cross Streets: Hicks and Henry streets
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1828
Architectural Style: Federal, with later Victorian add-ons and alterations
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Heights Historic District (1965)

Almost Two Centuries of Architectural Changes

This Federal-style clapboard house has seen a lot of physical changes in its 187-year history. Sometime in the post–Civil War years, someone added another story to the house using a mansard roof.

There were also changes to the windows — which were lengthened — as well as the door and the railings. According to Mrs. Iago Gladston, who lived in the house in 1961, there was also a porch she had removed 24 years before when she and her husband moved in.

That porch would also have been a Victorian-era addition, but Mrs. Gladston didn’t like the way it jutted over the front steps. She was interviewed for a Long Island Historical Society article in 1961.

There was also a house next door, to the left. It was a similar clapboard house that can be seen in old photographs of Plymouth Church. (more…)


Prospect Lefferts Gardens’ 60 Clarkson has ornate plaster moldings, a courtyard and appalling conditions for those who call it home. Though a private apartment building, 60 Clarkson Avenue is used as emergency housing for homeless families as part of the Giuliani-era cluster-site program. The New York Times reported that the building has racked up hundreds of housing violations — including for mold, cockroach infestations and rats.

Deplored by the de Blasio administration as well as the Department of Investigation, cluster-site housing pays private landlords — in the case of 60 Clarkson, Barry Hers — almost $2,500 a month per family for housing and services. If not used for cluster housing, many of the units in these buildings would be rent-controlled, meaning landlords would receive lower rents from permanent tenants than they currently do from the city for homeless residents.