06/26/15 11:22am

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Stone Church, Cragsmoor. Photo used with permission from Friends of the Stone Church

As we continue our three-part series on art colonies in the Catskills, we turn our attention to the mountain hamlet of Cragsmoor in Ulster County. Never heard of it? Not surprising.

Other places with walkable Main Streets and charming locavore eateries get most of the attention, while Cragsmoor remains a hidden gem, tucked away in a remote spot near the top of the Shawangunk Ridge. (more…)

06/26/15 9:55am

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21 Commercial Street

After years of debate and a lengthy approval process, Greenpoint Landing is starting to take shape on the Brooklyn waterfront. Developer Greenpoint Landing Associates has tapped Handel Architects with the master plan and the design of the buildings in the first phase of the project. L + M Development is a development partner on the first three affordable buildings under construction.

The first site, 21 Commercial Street, has topped out. More on that below. Immediately to the south, construction appears to be imminent on the third affordable building, at 5 Blue Slip.

The green construction fence is up, and a previously unpublished rendering has been posted. Read and see more below.

Greenpoint Landing Coverage [Brownstoner] (more…)

06/26/15 8:30am

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Court Street Turns Into Brooklyn’s Madison Avenue With French Baby Boutique [NY Daily News]
As 421-a Tax Break Sunsets, Developers Rush to File Permits in Brooklyn and Beyond [WSJ]
Developer Plans Two-Story Addition to Mall in Midwood [CO]
$450-a-Month Parking Spaces Arrive in Dumbo [DNA]
Artist Uses Shipping Containers to Build Studio in Red Hook [DNA]
Nearly 250 Apartments Vacant in Ingersoll and Whitman Houses, Audit Finds [DNA]

Hanging on the corner in Red Hook.
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Photo by Cate Corcoran

06/25/15 4:30pm

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PLG Activists Meet With NYPD, Discuss Tearing “Whole Racist System Down” [Gothamist]
Empire State Development Meeting About Pier 6 Tomorrow, RSVP NOW!! [BHB]
Renovation Diary: Bringing a Brownstone Back From the Brink [Curbed]
Kristina Kozak’s Work Is All Over Brooklyn. Just Don’t Call Her a Blacksmith [Voice]
Map: The Best Places to Drink Outdoors in Bed Stuy [DNA]
A Fiske Terrace Couple Talk About Their Neighborhood [DPC]

Photo by Joel Zimmer

06/25/15 3:00pm

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The first Manhattan-to-Coney Island subway ride took place 100 years ago this week, as a train left Chambers Street, crossed the East River on the Manhattan Bridge, and headed south along 4th Avenue, to the cheers of 10,000 school children and other onlookers.

It was the inauguration of the 4th Avenue Subway line, opened by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, which a few years later would become the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation — the BMT. (The photo above shows the tunnel being built between 9th and Union streets, circa 1912.)

This weekend you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the subway’s arrival in Brooklyn with rides on a quartet of vintage trains, which will run continuously from the Brighton Beach Station from noon to 4 pm, both Saturday and Sunday.  There will be a handful of different car models to ride on, the oldest being the BMT Standard cars, put into use in 1917. (more…)

06/25/15 1:01pm

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This two-bedroom is one of seven apartments up for rent in the Kestrel, the high-end, eight-story rental building at 33 Caton Place in Windsor Terrace.

Readers will recall that the Kestrel, which opened for business a year ago, drew some attention for bringing “luxury” style appointments and amenities – and matching prices – to the outer edge of low-key Windsor Terrace.

This one’s got two bathrooms, a large living room, a decent-sized master bedroom with a walk-in closet, a lot of nice floor-to-ceiling windows, a washer and dryer, and a kitchen swanked out with stainless steel, Caesarstone and dark-wood cabinets. (more…)

06/25/15 1:00pm

C.R. Van Buskirk, Ebbetts Field composite

Some of Brooklyn’s greatest architectural treasures were designed by people whose names we either never knew or can’t remember. Most people don’t really care about architecture anyway, but in spite of that, a few names become part of the cultural conversation.

Some of them we manage to remember: the Brooklyn Bridge – that Roebling guy. He died.

The Brooklyn Museum – um, oh yeah, McKim, Mead & White. White was the guy who had the mistress on the red swing in his private playroom and her husband shot him. That’s easy to remember. Unfortunately it’s less easy to remember that White didn’t actually design the museum, McKim did. But still, not bad.

So what about one of Brooklyn’s most famous icons? What about the ballpark with the name that can cause a native Brooklynite of a certain age to get teary and wax nostalgic? We know the name of the team and the exploits of the players in that temple of baseball. Their names are whispered the way one speaks of a saint in church.

But who was the architect of this sacred space? Who designed Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers?

Clarence R. Van Buskirk, that’s who. Well, maybe. More on that later. But first, who?  (more…)

06/25/15 12:39pm

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The Lefferts Place Mews, a collection of old-school-looking townhomes that are actually condominium apartments, is coming along nicely at 76-88 Lefferts Place in Clinton Hill, we saw when we stopped by recently to snap some photos.

The brownstone and red brick façade has gone up, the windows are in, and workers were just starting on the cornice. The collection of four buildings with a total of 31 units launched sales in October, starting at $625,000, as we reported at the time. (more…)

06/25/15 11:32am

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Time Inc. is moving to Brooklyn! Well, some of them are. And their dogs.

According to an internal memo that Keith Kelly of The New York Post got his hands on, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp plans to send the company’s technology, production and engineering (TP&E) department to spacious new offices in Industry City, the so-called “SoHo of Sunset Park.”  Also heading there will be a new “editorial innovation” team under former Entertainment Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Bean. (more…)

06/25/15 11:00am

WELCOME TO THE INSIDER, Brownstoner’s weekly in-depth look at a notable interior design/renovation project. Produced and written by design journalist Cara Greenberg, you can find it here every Thursday at 11.

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The young British couple who bought a loft-like apartment in Jersey City’s Van Vorst Historic District called for decorating help on a relatively new resource: The New Design Project, a Williamsburg-based collaboration between Fanny Abbes, a designer, and James Davison, who handles the business end of things. Both are recent refugees from the world of finance.

The 1,600-square-foot unit, in a building that began life as a stable and was later used by the Metropolitan Opera for storing props and costumes, came pre-loaded with character, including exposed brick walls and heavily beamed ceilings.

But it has only one main exposure and was very dark, said Abbes, a Parsons grad who grew up in France and Africa and has spent her adult life in London, Paris and New York. “The big challenge was to increase light, drastically,” she said. (more…)

06/25/15 9:21am

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Brooklyn Startups Pitch Spacesuits, Bitcoin Apps [WSJ]
The Center for Fiction Is Moving to the Brooklyn Cultural District [Eagle]
Al Sharpton to Protest Brooklyn Street Named for Confederate Army Leader [Biz Insider]
Live on Top of a Downtown Brooklyn Hotel From $2,400 [Curbed]
Sugar Hill Buys Vacant Williamsburg Rental Building for $37 Million [TRD]
New Myrtle Avenue Building May Rise Two Stories Higher Than Expected [DNA]

King Street in Red Hook.
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Photo by Cate Corcoran