Brooklyn Bridge Park Drama
On Wednesday, New York State Supreme Court Judge Knipel ruled that, while 1 Hotel and the Pierhouse condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park block views from Brooklyn Heights and break an agreement with the community, they don’t break any laws. Knipel further stated that rooftop structures, according to general architectural practice, are not considered as part of the building itself. This means that Toll Brothers is free to proceed with construction, to the chagrin of local activists.
“We are deeply disappointed in the outcome, and strongly disagree with the Judge’s findings, most notably that the agreements reached with the community in 2005/2006 are not legally enforceable,” said Steven Guterman of Save the View Now. “What is the purpose of negotiating and reaching agreements with the public if they are not meant to be binding?”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Cooperation will be holding a board meeting on Monday for public discussion about the plan to build 15– and 30-story residential buildings at Pier 6.
Buildings, Buildings, and More Buildings
Former governor Eliot Spitzer is bringing three residential towers to the former home of the Kedem winery in the heart of Hasidic Williamsburg. There will be a total of 856 apartments, 20 percent of them will be affordable. Hotels, too, are sprouting like mushrooms in Williamsburg—here’s a sneak peek at seven of them.
In the Heights, Brooklyn Heights Cinema is still looking for a home while their former digs are turned into homes for others. And over at the Atlantic Yards in Prospect Heights, Forest City has finally broken ground on its third affordable housing tower, as promised.
For dramatic conversions, it’s hard to beat the plan for this neo-classical Bushwick garage to become a glassy, contemporary building with 64 luxury apartments. Though the new renderings of Marvel Architects’ new 36-story building to be built on the site of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Cadman Plaza branch might be in the running.
If all this rampant development makes you uneasy, you may be glad to know that the Landmarks Preservation Commission seems to be speeding up the process of reviewing proposed sites. The new chair, architect Meenakshi Srinivasan, has been putting presentations, renderings, and photographs of the sites online for public review. Of course, even though this transparency is welcome, some worry that Srinivasan is not enough of a preservationist. Her first move as chair, an attempt to dump a backlog of about 100 sites without individual public hearings, caused a great outcry.
Brooklyn has a Dead Horse Bay? The area near Floyd Bennett field was named for its reputation as the “final destination of the city’s carriage horses,” and spent many years as a city dump.
Montrose Morris treated us to the history of 139 Bainbridge Street in Stuyvesant Heights. The Fish sisters—one was the first female attorney licensed to practice in Brooklyn, the other graduated from medical school in 1894—together started the Welcome Home for Girls, “a home where any young woman may find temporary shelter and real friends.”
We also presented the first in a series of posts about Catskills towns that started as art colonies. This week’s post was about Palenville, with Cragsmoor and Woodstock to come over the next couple of weeks.
What to Do in Brooklyn
Head to Grand Army Plaza on Sunday, June 28, to gorge on goodies at the Food Truck Rally. Some of the trucks participating include DUB Pies, Carpe Donut NYC, Toum, Kimchi Taco Truck, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Milk Truck, Phil’s Steaks and many more. The event, with a rotating cast of trucks, continues through the fall on July 12 and 19, August 2 and 16, September 20 and October 4 and 18.
Or maybe you’d rather schedule a viewing of Beastie Boy Mike D’s gorgeous house in Cobble Hill. It could be yours for $5,650,000!