511 Lafayette Avenue. Photos by Meredith Ries

When Meredith Ries began photographing the crumbling building across the street, she meant it be a “super-slow time lapse” documenting the passage of season and change. But once demolition permits were filed for 511 Lafayette Avenue in mid-November, the breakneck pace of Brooklyn construction caught up with the disintegrating century-old structure.

Brownstoner reached out to Ries to learn more about the building’s dramatic history and her photo project’s future.


Photo by Brownstoner reader Augustiner

The new owners of Bed Stuy’s iconic Slave Theater filed permits on Wednesday to demolish the once-vibrant hub of civil rights activism.

Spurred into action at the prospect of demolition, 81-year-old Clarence Hardy — a former caretaker of the space who claims to be its rightful owner — climbed atop the Slave’s marquee on Friday and threatened to jump if the theater wasn’t saved.


For more than a century, the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes stood as a beloved neighborhood landmark. Built into the corner of 2 Aberdeen Street at the intersection of Aberdeen and Broadway, the stone structure housed a statue of the Virgin Mary. Several generations of locals considered it to be a sacred space; a place where they could pause, reflect, ask for mercies, or meditate.

“The grotto was a special place in our lives,” says local Robert LaRosa. “Every time I’d pass by, I’d have my special silent prayer.”

But the grotto was torn down last week, much to the chagrin of hundreds of Bushwick residents, several of whom visited the scene to collect stones from the rubble and pay their respects.


The Flatbush development wave hits again. As reported last month by NY YIMBY, Boaz Gilad of Brookland Capital is building a seven-story, 66-unit apartment building at 88-92 Linden Boulevard.

No demolition permits or applications for new buildings have yet been filed for the site, though Gilad told NY YIMBY that he’d do it this month. Gilad paid $2,070,000 for No. 88, the turreted one on the right, in May. His purchase of No. 92, on the left, has yet to hit public records.

A tipster in the neighborhood sent Brownstoner pictures showing that a green construction fence recently went up around the two turn-of-the-last-century houses currently on the site, between Rogers and Bedford Avenue. The houses both feature some interesting architectural details that we’ll be sad to see go.

Interior shots of the homes and more information on Brookland Capital after the jump.


Brooklyn’s wave of development just made a big splash in Flatbush, where a no-name developer is demolishing three houses — including a unique faux French chateau — to make way for a 69-unit apartment building.

The new building, whose address will be 200 Linden Boulevard, will have 69 apartments and a day care facility. It will be eight stories tall and cover four wide lots. The architect is the emerging Charles Mallea — more about him in a moment.

A Brownstoner reader caught the biggest of the three houses in mid-demo Thursday and sent us these photos. He said of the faux French chateau, a Brownstoner Building of the Day in 2011:

Was going down Linden Boulevard today and noticed a standout building being torn down. 210-212 Linden Boulevard was a really magnificent mansion at some point. It has unfortunately gone under the knife many times since the early days, and was being used as a doctor’s offices most recently. Well, sadly, the building (along with the two next to it) is being wiped off the face of the earth.


After years of drama and controversy, the rent-regulated apartments at 406 Albee Square downtown stand empty, ready for the bulldozers. They were acquired by the city as part of a bigger package for $40,000,000 and will be turned into a park, as per the downtown rezoning plan established over a decade ago, in 2004.

The tenements, which have seen more than 100 years of humanity pass through its doors, occupy a clearing in the middle of high-rise development downtown. Directly across the street is the City Point mega-project, where towers as high as 60 stories will eventually be built. Behind it, on the next block over, the 35-story Ava DoBro is under construction at 100 Willoughby Street.


Earlier this month a demolition application was filed for this Italianate style wood frame house in Gowanus. The building, at 139 15th Street, is small, only 20 by 30 feet on a 22 by 95 foot lot.

However, the lot has a FAR of 2.93 according to building permits. A developer can build a 6,164 square foot building on this relatively small lot.

And it seems that is exactly what is going to happen. Way back in 2011 plans were filed for an eight-unit building with five stories, if you include the penthouse.


The building at right and an empty lot on the other side of it seem likely to become a bigger apartment building soon. A demolition permit was approved this month for the three-story building at 169 Graham Avenue in Williamsburg. The building, along with 150 Meserole Street, an adjoining vacant lot, were purchased by an LLC in February for $7.5 million.

Though no building permits have been filed yet, the two lots together have a combined 13,668 buildable square feet. That’s enough for a medium size apartment building with about four stories and 12 to 24 apartments.

The building and the lot together measure 75 by 75 feet, or 5,625 square feet. They were bought in August of 2014 by an LLC for $5,585,000. The owner sat on the property for six months and then sold it for nearly $2,000,000 more than he paid.

According to the demolition permits, the new owner of the property is Yoel Schwimmer of SYG Realty in South Williamsburg. Other Schwimmer properties include 270 Green Street in Greenpoint, where Charles Mallea is the architect, according to NY YIMBY. Charles Mallea designs mostly traditional brick buildings, although the firm is best known for its controversial jagged mirror design for 410 Tompkins Avenue.

In shape and size, this property could end up looking a lot like the new residential building pictured above at left. GMAP

Photos by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark


Brownstoner reader brooklynverni snapped these dramatic photos Thursday of an excavator demolishing one of Bed Stuy’s oldest buildings, the pre-Civil War Carpenter Gothic church at 809 Jefferson Avenue. Demo for the St. Stephen and St. Martin Episcopal Church started in January.

Features such as the building’s stained glass and pews were removed, the interior was stripped bare, and then nothing much seemed to be happening for a couple of months.