Michelle Williams and her “Tara.” Photo at left by Gage Skidmore for Wikipedia Commons; photo at right by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark

Hollywood in the Hood?

Called “The Tara of Prospect Park South” (even the garage has columns!), this gigantic house will be home to movie star Michelle Williams. The eight fireplaces should keep her warm in winter and the 18 rooms will leave her less cramped than that old row house she’s been cooped up in. Montrose Morris wrote about this grand home’s history in 2011, and despite the asphalt shingles, she called it a “wonderful massive Victorian steamboat of a house.” We’re hoping Ms. Williams will restore the clapboard siding.

Spring cleaning for the Flatbush Trees, a 70s-era landmark, came just in time for summer, thanks to local installation artist Dave Eppley, blogger and activist Tim Thomas of the Q at Parkside, and 100 middle school kids.

If you miss Saturday’s walking tour of Sunset Park by preservationist Joe Svehlak — who grew up on 57th Street in the mid 20th century when the area was still called Bay Ridge — catch him on August 1 when he talks about the area’s community activism.


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.


The Architect’s Newspaper got up on top of Barclays Center to see its green roof under construction. Some facts revealed in the video it shot: Barclays had to add a new truss system under the roof to support the sod and vegetation.

The roof will feature four varieties of sedum, all of which is grown off site in Connecticut, shrink wrapped and trucked in. The sedum is loaded onto pallets and hoisted by crane onto the roof.

In fact, we caught some of this action below on the street this weekend, as you can see in the photos after the jump. Construction of the roof will wrap in the fall, Forest City’s deputy director of construction says in the video.

A Video Tour of Barclays Center’s Under-Construction Green Roof [AN]
Video by The Architect’s Newspaper; photos by Cate Corcoran


The Barclays Center is finally getting its 130,000-square-foot green roof. Blogger and Halstead broker Andrew Fine snapped these photos of the roof’s steel frame being installed yesterday. The sedum-covered structure will reportedly help deaden sound from particularly loud concerts, which have led to complaints from neighbors in Prospect Heights. The pricey roof was part of the initial plan for the building, but was scrapped years ago to save money. Click through to see more of the roof and all the cranes surrounding the stadium.

Barclays Center Green Roof Gets Framed, B2 Tower Still Largely Dormant [A Fine Blog]
Barclays Revives Green Roof Plan [Brownstoner]
Photos by Andrew Fine


Small businesses and community groups near the Barclays Center have banded together to bring their concerns about the impact of the Democratic National Convention to the city. The Barclays Center Impact Zone Alliance wants Mayor de Blasio to appoint someone to coordinate government agencies, Greenland Forest City, the local community boards and elected officials to minimize disruption.

Ongoing construction, film shoots, and events at Barclays Center have in the past limited access to local businesses and caused them to lose income, according to the group’s press release.

The alliance “asks for a plan to promote local businesses as well as a commitment to compensate for any lost income caused as a result of access limitations necessitated by such a high security event” as the convention.

Members include the North Flatbush BID, residents of Newswalk, Dean Street Block Association (6th Avenue to Vanderbilt), The Atlantic Terrace Outreach Committee, St. Marks Block Association, and various individuals and small businesses.


In the two years since Barclays Center opened its doors, 100 local businesses have closed, and chains like Shake Shack have arrived on Flatbush Avenue and nearby. (Opening soon: Doughnut Plant and Patsy’s Pizza). But some small businesses have survived and prospered by learning how to capitalize on game nights and concerts, according to a report in the Commercial Observer.

The owner of Cake Ambiance, the five-year-old dessert spot at 452 Dean Street, said the shop has gotten 20 to 40 percent more foot traffic since Barclays Center opened. He lures customers from the arena on game nights by offering free samples.

Two doors down, the little Italian cafe Broccolino has seen more business before and after events at the arena. Owner Giuseppe Piazzolla claims his local customers don’t mind the crowds from the stadium, because they come between 7 and 10 pm — when the game or the concert is happening. Business has been so good that he plans to open a pizzeria in the vacant storefront next door.

Two Years After the Barclays Center Opened, Which Local Businesses Have Won and Lost? [NYO]


Shake Shack opened its third Brooklyn outpost Sunday at 170 Flatbush Avenue, directly across the street from Barclays Center, according to a post on the company’s blog. The Park Slope location joins the franchise’s recently opened Dumbo storefront and its three-year-old Downtown Brooklyn one.

When we stopped by about 7 pm last night, it was pleasantly uncrowded. Brooklyn-specific concrete flavors include Fudge-eddabouitit, which has chocolate custard blended with fudge sauce, chocolate cookie and Mast Brothers dark chocolate chunks; Brooklyn Pie Oh My, which has vanilla custard and a seasonal slice of Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie; and a Barclays-specific Nothin’ But NETS, which features chocolate and vanilla custard blended with marshmallow sauce, crispy crunchies and chocolate sprinkles.

And one wall features a large piece by graffiti artist and typography master Greg Lamarche, who recently painted a mural on the construction wall for Williamsburg’s soon-to-open J.Crew. Click through to see the interior! GMAP