We made it over to Doris, Bed Stuy’s new bar at 1108 Fulton Street. The spot opened a few weeks ago but the owners will be celebrating the grand opening this Wednesday, June 19, with a DJ and a special light show. The interior, designed by the husband and wife team (who are also Bed Stuy locals) is full of finds from the Internet, as well as keepsakes of the owners themselves. They also built out the backyard space, which was full of weeds when they found it, and constructed the stairway leading from the backyard to the basement. The interior and exterior renovations were supported by a crowdfunding campaign held earlier this year. The bar, which serves a selection of beers and cocktails, is open everyday at 5 pm and stays open until 2 am from Sunday to Thursday, and til 4 am on Friday and Saturday. Check out more photos after the jump…
Doris Is Open in Bed Stuy [Brownstoner]
Future Bed Stuy Bar Is Looking for Funding [Brownstoner] (more…)
When we passed by recently, the house at 104 St. James Place was having its brownstone facade redone. Click through to the jump for a closeup. (more…)
Things are not looking good for the two dilapidated homes at 578 and 580 Carlton Avenue, in Prospect Heights, where it appears that a developer hoping to flip 580 Carlton for big bucks instead bungled the renovation and imperiled the house next door at 578 Carlton. The house at 580 Carlton, which sold for $480,000 in 2011, was reduced to a mere facade during renovations — a state in which it remains today. Then the neighboring building, No. 578, partially collapsed during those renovations last summer. Now, it looks like the owners of No. 578 have finally decided to take action: According to the Landmarks Preservation agenda for June 18, a hearing is scheduled for “578 Carlton Avenue… An altered Italianate style row house built c. prior to 1855. Application is to deconstruct portions of the building to address hazardous emergency conditions.” Right now there’s a tarp over the rear, as well a wooden frame jutting out from the back into the backyard. So it seems like No. 578 is in a pretty bad state, especially if measures aren’t taken soon. What a nightmare.
Oldest House in Prospect Heights Now Just a Front [Brownstoner]
House of the Day: 580 Carlton Avenue [Brownstoner]
Renovations Planned for 580 Carlton Avenue [Brownstoner]
Customize 580 Carlton Avenue for $2 Million [Brownstoner]
Work Begins on Prospect Heights’ Hard-Knock 580 Carlton [Brownstoner]
Brooklyn Daily has all the dirt on the major renovation planned for Child’s Restaurant, the landmarked but empty building slated to become a theater. The building, along with the vacant lot next door, will feature an amphitheater, a public park, a high-end eatery and a rooftop cafe. The City plans to restore the terra-cotta exterior detailing and renovate the interior for a high-end restaurant operator. There will also be seating on the roof, and a semi-circular seating bowl outside underneath a tent for performances. There will be 40 concerts held here from May to October; 15 free and 25 paid. And finally, the empty lots on both sides of West 22nd Street will be converted into public park space with playgrounds, concessions and seating. The city plans to pay the current land owners $50 million; then the design must go through Landmarks as well as a land use review hearing. The project, a longtime dream of Borough President Marty Markowitz, is expected to open in 2015.
Plans to Convert Coney Landmark Into Music Venue Revealed [Brooklyn Daily]
Marty Getting a Theater in Coney Island [Brownstoner]
Rendering via Brooklyn Daily
A Boerum Hill house notorious for its extreme state of decay and notable architectural features is now on the market for $7,900,000 while it undergoes an extensive renovation, as Curbed was the first to note. The brownstone is 26 feet wide with Gothic Revival details and an unusual dormer window. It dates from about 1850, according to the AIA Guide. The building, which had deteriorated to the point where it was not even a full shell, sold at a foreclosure auction to a developer in 2010 for $1,335,000. The listing shows only floor plans, which call for an owner’s quadraplex over a garden rental. We’re seeing a lot of houses being offered mid-renovation. Do readers feel comfortable getting into contract for an unfinished property? High or low, does it make a difference?
Boerum Hill House Redone After Years of Neglect Seeks $7.9M [Curbed]
374 Pacific Sells at Auction [Brownstoner]
374 Pacific Street Listing [Douglas Elliman]
Photo by Douglas Elliman
As longtime readers may recall, when Brownstoner launched back in late 2004 it was in part to document the renovation of the single room occupancy house we had recently purchased. For much of 2005, we logged two or three entries a week about the ups and downs of the process as we converted the five-story brownstone into a two-family house on a fairly slim budget of about $70 a foot.
Fast forward to 2013 and we’ve begun a second–and hopefully final–renovation…
What we are reading this week about decorating and renovating old houses:
Our favorite interiors blogger Cara Greenberg details her “budget” Hamptons renovation that is turning out to be not quite-so-budget after all. (Oh, how we can relate!) She’s painted the plywood floor in the living room, restored all the original windows, cobbled together a functioning kitchen, and is thinking about adding clerestory windows above the French doors in said living room — maybe in “Phase 4,” as she put it. We are starting to see how this could shape up to be a really cute 1940s modernist-rustic vacation cottage. (more…)
A private house in Park Slope that has been under construction for a decade will wrap this year, according to The New York Post. Amenities will include heated concrete floors, a geothermal system, a five-car elevator garage, an indoor Olympic-size lap pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym, a “regular elevator” and “three kitchens, including one on the roof,” and an outdoor climbing wall. There will be floor-to-ceiling windows and “about $1 million worth of glass for the all-glass front entrance,” according to the Post. Owners Ivona and Joseph Hertz are in the biz; they own Ocean Empire Management and Anovi Builders. “We wanted this house done when our kids were small,” said Ivona. Now that their children are in college, “it’s too big for us now,” the Post reported. The paper also said the “mansion” is worth $25,000,000, but didn’t clarify if that’s how much the project has cost so far, or if the owners intend to put it on the market for $25,000,000 later this year. (Probably the latter.) This may be the worst case of the shoemaker’s children we have ever seen. Gothamist says the building, located at 277 1st Street, looks like “a treehouse that Howard Hughes built over fifteen sleepless nights.” What’s your opinion?
Gimme Shelter: Murray Street [NY Post]
A Ridiculous Park Slope Mansion Awaits Behind This Scaffolding [Gothamist]
Epic Brooklyn Mansion Build Nears Completion After 10 Years [Curbed]
Photo by Sang Nguyen for Gothamist
The folks behind Transition Acquisitions took us behind their gut renovation project at 23 St. Felix Street in Fort Greene. They bought the building about a year ago in a short sale. It was previously used as an SRO but had been abandoned for years. The only thing left from the old interior is the staircase, which may end up being replaced after all is said and done. The home’s new configuration is an owner’s triplex with a ground-floor rental. On the fourth floor, the developers are carving out a master bedroom, bathroom and closets. The third floor will have two bedrooms, a laundry room and a bathroom. The parlor floor will house the kitchen and living room, as well as an outdoor deck. The garden-floor apartment will have one bedroom. This will be an overall modern renovation, although the developers plan to bring in historic mantels to outfit the space. The project is expected to wrap this June or July, and the house will be put on the market. Corcoran is handling the listing and already has a list of around 25 people interested in the home, although it’s still mid-construction. Click through to see lots of construction photos, as well as more details about this project… GMAP (more…)
Last week scaffolding came down at 434 Vanderbilt Avenue, the formerly rundown Fort Greene townhouse that’s been under construction for almost a year. Sean Beckerman of Complimentary Colors Construction Corp, which is owned by Michael Sheehan, got in touch about their work on the project; they took over about six months ago after two other contractors fell through and the renovation was put on hold. The building, unsurprisingly, needed to be gutted, but a previous contractor set up the interior steel structure incorrectly. Complimentary Colors reworked it and corrected a 4-inch lean to the building. And while the LPC asked that they reuse at least 60 percent of the original brick, there wasn’t enough to salvage. They started the facade renovation by removing all the old bricks and mortar, then tied the new cinder blocks to the new interior steel structure. They corrected the 4-inch lean by stepping the bricks in from left to right. They rebricked the entire front of the house with a new brick approved by the LPC. They also rebuilt the front and rear pitched roofs. The reason the reno is missing a full cornice is because the homeowner can’t fund it at this point. The interior setup consists of an owners duplex with two upper floor rental units. And keep an eye out for more: The firm was asked to look at a house across the street, where the owner is considering a four-story addition. What a nice job they did saving this French Second Empire-style home, built back in 1866.
Transformation for 434 Vanderbilt Avenue [Brownstoner]
Salvation for Decrepit Fort Greene Townhouse [Brownstoner] GMAP (more…)
We ventured inside 71 Irving Place, the formerly rundown Clinton Hill multi-family which suffered from a facade collapse before a renovation started. The buyers, the Big Brooklyn Rehab Company, are in the midst of a total gut — the building was in a sorry state when they picked it up for $750,000 last year. There is an owner’s duplex as well as three three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments. Each apartment has its own washer/dryer and there will also be a roof deck. The renovation will wrap up in about two months and then they plan to put the entire building on the market for about $2.5 million.
Work Happening at 71 Irving After Building Collapse [Brownstoner]
A Building Collapse on Irving and Putnam [Brownstoner] GMAP
Wowza, what an improvement! The scaffolding is down at 434 Vanderbilt Avenue, the formerly decrepit Fort Greene townhouse just off Fulton Street. Last summer the architects received the blessing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and Community Board Two to replace the existing brick, install new windows, and reconstruct the flat-top dormers. Last year this French Second Empire-style home, built in 1866, wasn’t even able to stand on its own. Click through to see what this townhouse looked like before the restoration and in 2007, before the scaffolding was up. Like the result?
Salvation for Decrepit Fort Greene Townhouse [Brownstoner] GMAP (more…)
The Wooden House Project spotted a very interesting proposal to restore the facade of 122 Pacific Street, in Cobble Hill. Next Tuesday the owners and architects will submit plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to reclad the front facade in clapboard. Amazingly, the architects uncovered old clapboard underneath what appears to be a brownstone facade, which the blog id’s as stucco, during a recent probe. The Wooden House Project was able to check out the presentation slated for Landmarks, and notes that “the proposal contains a nice board that explains the history of alterations. If I’m interpreting it correctly, the house dates from ca. 1831 and received its mansard roof in 1860. The stucco was added in 1922.” To the left is how the home looks now, and to the right is the proposal with clapboard, which will be a grey-blue color. Clapboard restorations in historic districts are somewhat rare — especially of houses that have been redone to look like brownstone — but we are hoping more of them catch on. Have any readers undertaken a similar type of facade project?
Cobble Hill Gets a New Wooden House [Wooden House Project]
A reader snapped the above photograph of 797 Bushwick Avenue, the Bushwick Leaders High School building, which is currently undergoing serious exterior renovations. We featured this building, built in 1872 and formerly an old folk’s home, as a Building of the Day. Our tipster tells us, “I was told [by construction workers] they were cleaning the brick. I found out today they are covering the brick with cement to conserve heat… a whole wall has been covered with cement.” It’s up in the air if the facade will be preserved, because this building is not landmarked. The DOB application calls for a ton of work: facade brick replacement, repointing, parapet replacement, roofing, replacing windows, and repairing damaged plaster walls and ceilings. The architect for the job is Nelligan White Architects, who works on a lot of educational spaces. Both the architect and the School Construction Authority did not comment on the scope of the work.
Building of the Day: 797 Bushwick Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP
There’s a wonderful row of a dozen or so wood frame houses on Hall Street between Myrtle and Willoughby Avenues that feels largely untouched by time — or by the money that’s flowed into the neighborhood over the past decade. One of these houses, No. 162, is in the process of being gut renovated. In recent weeks, it’s gotten an entirely new exterior, wood cladding that will presumably be painted. Given that the house was boarded up before the renovation began, we’re assuming everything’s being redone from scratch on the inside. Even if it was a complete wreck, though, the price this place changed hands for last year seems suspiciously low: $250,000. The house had been in foreclosure so maybe someone just got lucky. GMAP
So, the listing is up for the Prospect Lefferts Gardens two-family we told you about last week. That was really fast. But our flipper did not just turn around and put the property back on the market without doing some work first. He cleaned it out, exposed the floors, did some plaster work, painted, sandblasted the limestone stairs, cleaned out the back yard, inspected the mechanicals and brought them to working order — including the gas lamp outside — and put on a new roof. Here is what he had to say about his first project:
The thinking is that the property will speak for itself and a buyer would want to apply their taste to the kitchens and bathrooms (although I personally would do simple subway tile, etc.). A prospective buyer I spoke to said that they would want to avoid paying for a second place while they renovate so I’m making the garden floor immediately livable.
The first open house is this Sunday, April 28. How do you like the new look? And do you think they will get their price of $995,000?
What we are reading this week about decorating and renovating old houses:
This bathroom transformation started out with the kind of very small, mid-20th century, really ugly old bathroom that is so common in Victorian row houses in Brooklyn (although this one is located in Canada). House and Home editor Mandy Milks ripped everything out and changed the window and the floor plan. She used Hexagonal Bluestone marble tiles on the floor and honed Statuario Perla marble subway tile on the wall. The tub is new, with an outside painted matte black and feet plated in patinated brass. The shower and fixtures are brass, and the shower curtain is linen. Click through to the story to read about every detail in the captions. (more…)
Just an hour ago the Parks Commissioner Veronica White, Council Member Sara Gonzalez and others gathered at Sunset Park to cut the ribbon to the new field, a former asphalt play area that was transformed into a synthetic turf field. (Here’s a Twitter picture of the new space… more coming soon!) Work began on this $4 million renovation project in 2011. The project includes new lighting, dugouts, fencing, benches, a walking track, drinking fountains and landscaping. The path and plaza around the field were repaved and landscaped. The Parks Department also refurbished the existing comfort station. The Sunset Park Playground is also due for a renovation; Parks plans to restore the spray shower play area adjacent to the pool in the spring of 2014. Council Member Sara Gonzalez already secured funding for the first phase of that redesign.
Major Overhaul of Sunset Park Under Way [Brownstoner]
Schematic via the Sunset Park Revitalization and Improvement Group
A Brownstoner reader wrote in to tell us about her and her husband’s renovation project, the makeover of a standalone Bay Ridge home that department of building records say was built in 1899. We had thought it might be older, based on the shape of the house and other clues, but some digging around by our own Montrose Morris revealed that the first map to show a building there is dated 1924. This house also happened to be the boyhood home of our correspondent’s husband. As she said, “This project was a great challenge to all involved as we kept the entire footprint the same while adding large windows to create the illusion of grandeur.” The house’s footprint was “untouched” from the original home that sat on this “little hill in Bay Ridge for 114 years.” The house was purchased by her husband’s parents in the 1960s and had deteriorated over the years. The clean-out took around six months, and the couple found old World War II memorabilia, an 1854 Ansonia Clock, old museum prints, and old watercolor paintings. Over the past eight months, the couple took on a major re-do. They put in a new foundation, new sub-floors, all new mechanicals, and reinforced the steel throughout. Closets were added throughout the home. For the facade, they used limestone stucco and energy-efficient, impact-resistant hurricane windows and doors. The staircase was moved, but they reproduced the pattern of the old balusters in the new one. They restored all the light fixtures in the house and incorporated them into the interior design; the original mantel was refinished as well. The front mahogany doors were built by a team of craftsman in Dunkirk, N.Y., and all other products in the home were made in the United States. The contractors used were Cavalier Construction Services, based in Red Hook, and the architect was Pasquale Castellano. Click through to see lots of pictures and read more details!
Streeteasy released the third episode of its new video series, Demo to Decor. In the last episode, Brooklyn architect Brendan Coburn, of CWB Architects, tackled a facade restoration. In this episode he moves to the rear facade and the redesign of the back wall. The construction includes a glass extension into the brownstone’s garden, which will bring light into the parlor floor and the cellar below. The owners are designing a “doggy gym” room in the cellar.
The Renovation of a New York City Brownstone [Streeteasy]