Wallabout

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Brownstoner takes on Brooklyn history in Nabe Names, a series of briefs on the origins and surprising stories of neighborhood nomenclature.

Wallabout Market in 1940. Photo via the Library of Congress

This little-known historic enclave dates back to the 17th century, evidenced by the area’s pre–Civil War wood-frame row houses and not one but two historic district designations. 

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Westbrook Partners and Invesco Real Estate are among the bidders for a 550,000-square-foot warehouse at 47 Hall Street in Wallabout, The Real Deal reported. Management could be planning an overhaul of the building, which is known for its artist studios and Open Studios events.

Currently housing mainly small, commercial tenants paying comparatively affordable rates of $6 to $8 per square foot, ownership is no longer renewing leases, according to The Real Deal. At the much larger but otherwise similar Industry City, investors have been bringing in larger tenants at higher rates.

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There will be a senior-friendly walking tour of the historic Wallabout neighborhood on Tuesday. The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership has been hosting free walking tours of the area North of Myrtle Avenue the last Saturday of every month this summer, but this will be the first specifically senior friendly one.

The 3/4 mile, 60-minute walk along Myrtle Avenue will delve into 400 years worth of architectural history in the area.

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Dar gitane  — “home” in Arabic plus “gypsy” in French — is both the name of Alina Preciado’s online home goods business and interior design practice, and also shorthand for her life story.

Born in California, Preciado took off for Europe at the earliest opportunity, studying architecture and design in Spain and woodworking in Denmark, where she learned “the culture of simplicity,” as she puts it. “There, even simple things are well thought-out, beautiful and functional.”

And she traveled the continents, collecting artisans’ contacts as she went. (She eventually got a Masters in Industrial Design from Brooklyn’s own Pratt Institute.)

About 15 years ago, Preciado rented a 2,000-square-foot loft near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on the seventh floor of a poured concrete building originally used as a textile mill and then by the military during WWII. She put considerable energy into making the raw space habitable.

“Whatever is here, I’ve put in over the years,” she says, including plumbing, wiring, a bathroom with a claw-foot tub, and the unfitted, farmhouse-style kitchen.