Here’s a striking yet challenging two-bedroom, two-bath condo in Park Slope.

Designed by renowned architect Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos in 2009, the 17-unit 580 Carroll Street is, like Richard Meier’s On Prospect Park, a rare signature building in a neighborhood known for brownstones. But unlike that building, this one is low-key and unobtrusive, with a height that matches surrounding buildings and a deep setback behind a shared garden.

The advances of contemporary architecture are clearly expressed in its setback courtyard — articulated with syncopated wood planks — pivoted floor-to-ceiling window bays, and an angled facade that peels balconies away from a standard block and plank structure (though this unit doesn’t have a balcony).

Across the street, rotate the Google map to observe how sharply it contrasts with the more bland infill of the previous era.

We like Norten, whose buildings are all different but share “a sense of dynamism and movement” as well as “engage the neighborhood around them,” as the New York Times put it in 2005. Last year we gave him a Brownstoner RADD Award for his unique design for Fort Greene’s 300 Ashland.


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Inside, the unit is austere yet playful, thanks to the interesting angled windows (not unlike the sawtooth bays of a Neo-Grec brownstone), colorful blinds, artfully composed kitchen and bathrooms, and wood floors throughout. On the other hand, although Property Shark gives it more than 900 square feet, according to the floor plan it can’t have much more than 700 square feet of living space.

The sense of reduced living area may be due to the double hallways. There’s a walk-in closet identified in the second bedroom, but it’s unclear if there’s a closet at all in the master bedroom. The kitchen, while lovely to behold, is a strip on one wall of the great room.

Perhaps offsetting that, there is a private storage unit in the basement and a building bike room. The listing, from Wassim Fakhereddine and Flora Wu of Corcoran, promises quiet thanks to the setback from the street.

There is an in-unit washer/dryer, zoned heating and cooling, and parking available at an additional cost. With a 421-a tax abatement in place until 2027, the monthlies are low: $92 tax and $521 common charges.

The condo is asking $1.195 million. Would you take it over a similarly priced two-bedroom, one-bath co-op in a 19th century walkup?

[Listing: 580 Carroll Street, APT 3A | Broker: Corcoran] GMAP

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

580 carroll street

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It was 50 years ago that a clash between the Ocean Hill-Brownsville community and the United Federation of Teachers brought to head the educational imbalance in New York City.

The fight over community control of schools centered around JHS 271, now IS 271 at 1137 Herkimer Street, but would ultimately grow into a citywide strike. To understand the events of the 1968-1969 school year, the Brooklyn Historical Society is gathering front-line participants and an education scholar for a timely conversation.

brooklyn education

Brooklyn students at P.S. 8 in Brooklyn Heights in the 1960s. Photo by Marion S. Trikosko via Library of Congress

Charles Isaacs, a former teacher and author of “Inside Ocean Hill–Brownsville A Teacher’s Education, 1968-1969,” and Monifa Edwards, a student at JHS 271 at the time, will be sharing memories of the tumultuous time. Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director of Brooklyn Movement Center, will be moderating the discussion, which will also include Heather Lewis, author of “New York City Public Schools from Brownsville to Bloomberg: The Community Control Movement and its Legacy.”

The talk will take place on Monday, January 14 at BHS at 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for general admission and free for BHS Members. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

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With the L train shutdown looming, renters in Williamsburg and Bushwick seeking relief from the inconvenience have options on the other side of the Hudson River, in Jersey City.

Here are 7 reasons why Jersey City is a wise choice:

jersey-city-apartments-for-rent

1. Convenience: Practically speaking, Jersey City is an extension of Manhattan. The PATH is a 30 minute commute to midtown, but the new Harborside ferry is even faster: a 15 minute NY Waterway to midtown, and eight minutes to downtown Brookfield Place — comparable to or quicker than trips from many Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Jersey city apartments for rent

2. Views: It also features views of the Hudson side of the Manhattan skyline — especially awe-inspiring while walking, running or biking on the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, a well-lit space along the river.

jersey city apartments for rent

3. Top-rated chow and spirits: There’s Piggyback Bar, owned by famed Chef Leah Cohen and husband/partner Ben Byruch; award-winning Razza, known for its pizza; the Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory, known for its all-day breakfast in a retro setting; Lutze beer garden; new American comfort food at Amelia’s Bistro; designer cocktails and refuge at Archer Bar, and plenty of fun tasting festivals.

jersey city apartments for rent

4. Shopping: There is a terrific mix of specialty boutiques all over the city, particularly along Grove Street and Newark Avenue, featuring Tia’s, Kanibal & Co., and Mint Market — and multiple farmer’s markets throughout the city. There’s also the Newport Centre Mall nearby — a 1.2-million-square-foot mall with 130 stores, including Macy’s, H&M, Sephora and an 11-screen AMC movie theater.

jersey city apartments for rent

5. IRS-friendly: Since New York City residents pay a New York City tax, which can range from 2.9 to 3.9 percent of your income, renting in New Jersey can save you about 3 percent of your income — even if you continue to work in the city. New Jersey’s income tax rate is also significantly lower than New York’s 4 percent — as low as 1.4 percent.

jersey city apartments for rent

6. Art and music: There’s the Jersey City Ballet and Jersey City Theater Center; the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District’s Groove on Grove, which features musicians and performers every Wednesday night in the summer at the PATH plaza; the All About Downtown Street Fair, which draws more than 30,000 people in September, and the Novado Art Gallery.

jersey city apartments for rent

7. Incentives to move: The best incentive is price. Currently available from Roseland Residential Trust are rentals in high-rise luxury apartment buildings located near the Jersey City waterfront: Monaco, Marbella and M2. One-bedrooms start at $2,750, hundreds of dollars cheaper than similar homes in Williamsburg, for example.

jersey city apartments for rent

And renters who prove current Brooklyn residency and sign a lease before February 20 will get a free NY Waterway Ferry pass — free commuting for a year. For more information, visit the Roseland website.

The humble wood frame house doesn’t always get as much love as the iconic brownstone in Brooklyn, but that’s starting to change as preservation-minded owners restore them across the borough. Examples can be found all over and include 1820s clapboard homes in Brooklyn Heights, mid-19th century Italianate wood frames from Wallabout to Greenwood Heights, 1890s painted ladies in Bushwick and Edwardians in Flatbush.

brooklyn design wood frame

Many are covered in vinyl siding and have lost their original gingerbread details. Here are some restoration tips:

1. If you’re in a historic district, you will need approval from Landmarks. If you’re not, you have the option to use fiber cement siding (Hardie is a well-known brand name) and, for the trim, a mix of PVC and cement fiber board.

2. Surprisingly, cedar and fiber cement cost about the same for materials and installation. The difference is the maintenance: Prepainted Hardie siding will likely not ever need to be painted again, whereas wood must be painted often.

brooklyn design wood frame

3. To re-create missing gingerbread trim, a canopy or even a cornice, you can have the pieces custom made, use off-the-shelf parts from specialty Victorian reproduction shops, or a mix of both.

4. Trim is usually painted and caulked on site.

5. While a very simple siding project could be done with only a contractor, you will need drawings for anything more complex, and hiring an architect will improve the quality of the project.

brooklyn design wood frame

6. A permit from the New York Department of Buildings may not be required if you remove only the siding from a house with no more than three stories.

7. If you work with an architect, search out ones with Landmarks and wood-frame restoration experience. They should know how to render authentic looking historic details and be familiar with relevant off-the-shelf parts. Ask to see previous drawings they’ve done for wood frame restorations even if they’re not the same architectural style as your project.

8. You’ll probably want to start with your property’s 1940 tax photo and examine any extant historic details of neighboring houses if the property is in a row. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to take lots of photographs of similar trim and houses you like for your architect to copy — especially if tax photo details are blurry.

brooklyn design wood frame

9. If your windows are in good condition and close in size to the original openings, likely there is little advantage to gain from installing new ones. If you are thinking of replacing windows, it’s a good idea to do it at the same time you change the siding.

10. Repair masonry, such as a brick ground floor, before replacing siding. Stone veneer such as PermaStone can be removed to expose the original brick, which can be cleaned, repointed and sealed. Odds are the brick is still good, especially if the veneer was applied directly to it rather than over a metal mesh. If the brick is too deteriorated, it can be covered in stucco or brick veneer.

[Photos by Susan De Vries]

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in the Fall/Holiday 2018/19 issue of Brownstoner magazine.

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The 23-story skyscraper behind the historic neo-Classical Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh is now quickly rising.

The wider four-floor base of the building is already constructed, and the tower that will sprout out of the middle has reached 10 stories. It stretches almost the entire block, from behind the bank to Marcy Avenue, where the bulk of the development will be located and the majority of the current construction can be viewed.

Designed by Fogarty Finger Architects, the mixed-use building at 277 South 5th Street will sit behind and shadow the longstanding bank. Plans for the tower were first announced in 2016 and the first renderings appeared in May of that year.

An application for a new building permit was filed in July 2016, and a permit was issued in early 2018.

The building will eventually have 177 residential units, according to city records. There will be 301 total parking spaces underground, three retail spaces on the ground floor and an area for an ambulatory diagnostic or treatment health care facility.

Offices will take up the second, third, fourth and fifth floors. Recreation space for the residential tenants will be on the second floor, along with exercise rooms, a reading room and library on the fifth floor and a lounge on the 22nd floor, according to DOB filings.

209 havemeyer

This appears to be Fogarty Finger Architects’ first project in Brooklyn. Developers Tavros Capital, Charney Construction & Development and 1 Oak Development bought the site in March 2016 for $80 million.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously in April of this year to designate the bank. The owner, along with two others, spoke in favor of the designation at an earlier public hearing. Curiously, at both the designation and the public hearing, little was mentioned of the development now dominating the rest of the block.

Rendering via Fogarty Finger Architecture and Interiors

The project joins a burst of construction and a rapidly changing skyline in south Williamsburg. Nearby is the Morris Adjmi-designed The Williams at 282 South 5th Street, and the 16-story residential building on the site of Domino Sugar Factory at 325 Kent Avenue. And the tops of the towers of Eliot Spitzer’s massive rental complex, located at 420 Kent Avenue, can easily be viewed from here.

[Photos by Craig Hubert unless noted otherwise]

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A landlord is looking for tips on how to rid a tub and a countertop of scratches left behind by a tenant. The tub is acrylic and the countertop stainless steel and both would look better if the surfaces could be buffed or polished to make the annoying marks less visible. What DIY solutions might work?

Please chime in with your advice.


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This renovated Bay Ridge barrel-fronted limestone row house built around 1900 has details to spare — maybe too many. The dining room has a dizzying array of bracketed wainscoting, coffered ceiling and built-in shelves.

Elsewhere the combination of stark white walls with refinished stained baseboards, window trim, crown molding, inlaid floors, and staircase with round curtail steps and carved bannisters is obsessively consistent. A little color or wallpaper — particularly in the verticals in the dining room wainscot — might tame the stripes.

423 Bay Ridge Parkway (aka 75th Street) is part of a row in Bay Ridge known as Doctors’ Row built between 1899 and 1910 by the Bay Ridge Development Company. The neo-Renaissance row houses originally sold for $6,500 each, according to a 1907 ad in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

They aren’t landmarked, but locals have been pushing to designate the row a historic district. Get into the weeds of the discussion in the comments on page four of the Brooklyn Community Board 10 meeting last June.


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The home is configured with kitchen, living room and dining room on the first floor, with four bedrooms above. A couple of quirks: The kitchen is open to the foyer, and the bedrooms share one relatively small bathroom (not shown in pictures). Nice features include a good number of closets, a rear as well as a front entry foyer, and a decent-size yard.

It’s worth noting that the house is a mixed-use property containing one residential unit and one commercial unit (a doctor’s office in the English basement), which means mortgage terms and taxes are likely to be less favorable than for a strictly residential building. The half-bathroom in the basement is for the commercial rental, which has its own separate entrances.

Speaking of taxes, they are $665, according to the listing, from Dawn Silverstein of Brennan Realty Services. The property is asking $1.499. What do you think of it?

[Listing: 423 Bay Ridge Parkway | Broker: Brennan Realty Services] GMAP

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge parkway

423 bay ridge

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In the work of Robert Latchman, the Brooklyn Bridge takes on many different forms: It twists, turns, bends and distorts; it becomes many different colors, from stark and dreary gray hues to eye-popping Technicolor. The Trinidadian-born artist, who lives in Brooklyn, has taken the famous bridge as the inspiration for much of his new work, included in “The Bridge! The Bridge!” a recent solo exhibition at the LAND Gallery, a studio and gallery for 16 adult artists with developmental disabilities, which is located in Dumbo.

robert latchman

‘The Boats With People Canoeing’

While the bridge is Latchman’s current inspiration, you can see, in the drawings and paintings that follow, how extensive his vision actually can be: Both self-portraits and depictions of others, along with abstractions that play with color and shape, are included. He is paying tribute to the monumental structure not through reverence but using it as raw material, reshaping it as his own.

robert latchman

‘Brooklyn Bridge Black and White Version’

robert latchman

‘The Bridge With Triple Colors’

robert latchman

‘Self Portrait With the Book’

robert latchman

‘The Bridge, the Ocean and the Black Night’

robert latchman

‘Abe Lincoln Rules the Bridge’

robert latchman

‘The Different Bridges Right Across’

[Art by Robert Latchman]

Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared in the Fall/Holiday 2018 issue of Brownstoner magazine.

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