Steel Rises at Former BookCourt Home in Cobble Hill

Photo by Susan De Vries


Work has finally moved forward at the former BookCourt space and the new steel structure has topped out.

When the Cobble Hill bookstore closed in December 2016, the owners sold 161 and 163 Court Street to Eastern Capital for $13.6 million, and initial applications for building permits were filed that same month.

brooklyn development bookcourt cobble hill 163 court street

163 Court Street in 2017

Work next door at 161 Court Street was finished earlier this year, including the replacement of the wooden storefront with modern glass and stucco. Next door at No. 163 work has progressed a bit more slowly.

The scaffolding hiding the Greek Revival wood frame building from view was removed in the fall of 2018, revealing that little remained of the original top two floors of the building.

book court

The steel frame is now in place for the new mixed use building. It’s likely that the storefront will, like its neighbor, be replaced by a modern one.

The original three-story wooden home and store was probably built between 1842 and 1850, according to a report by Columbia University preservation graduate student Mayssa Jallad. One of the few remaining wood frames of its age in the area — and possibly the only one built as a store — it was in remarkably good condition and contained a wealth of historic detail inside and out.

[Photos by Susan De Vries]

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