Scaffolding and netting that shrouded the crumbling Brooklyn Lyceum for years have come down, revealing a beautifully restored facade as a 12-story luxury rental building goes up next door at 225 4th Avenue.
The superstructure appears to have reached the ninth floor. When complete, the tower will have 12 stories and 63 units with ground floor commercial.
The renderings were released back in 2015, showing a rust colored tower made possible by borrowing air rights from the landmarked Lyceum next door. The new building was designed by Daniel Goldner Architects.
The future of the site had been in limbo as the longtime owner struggled to hold onto the Brooklyn Lyceum at 227 4th Avenue — he claimed he was cheated — and finally lost the property to foreclosure in 2014.
The Lyceum, formerly NYC Public Bath #7, was built in 1906-1910 and designed by Brooklyn architect Raymond F. Almirall. An individual landmark, the building was the last of Brooklyn’s bath houses — meant to address public health concerns by providing access to hygienic facilities to largely immigrant neighborhoods.
Now that scaffolding is largely gone and the black netting which draped the facade for years has been removed, the gleaming white-glazed brick is visible and the the fanciful water-themed ornamentation can finally be admired. At the parapet, colorful terra-cotta urns pour forth water.
Underneath the cornice are blue, t-shaped ornaments featuring Poseidon’s trident and his son, Triton. The water and sea imagery continues if one looks closely — fish scale patterns and shells ornament window and door surrounds.
Originally plans called for turning the Lyceum into condos, and there were rumors of everything from a Trader Joe’s to an Apple store coming to the space.
It was eventually announced that a Blink Fitness would take up residence, a return to the original healthy living focus of the building.
Landmarks approved a certificate of appropriateness in 2015 — including changes such as installing signage, roof-top mechanicals and the creation of an accessible entrance.
No opening date has been announced, and the Blink website says the location is “coming soon.”
Developer Greystone owns both properties. Greystone’s many Brooklyn projects include 47 Bridge Street in Vinegar Hill, the Printhouse Lofts in Williamsburg, and the luxury apartments at 531 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.
Founded in 1980 and based in Manhattan, Daniel Goldner Architects specializes in designing commercial and industrial properties in New York City. Their project portfolio includes the 19-story rental building at 172 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights and Mark 324, a condo development in Prospect Heights.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
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