The Landmarks Preservation Commission is moving quickly through its Brooklyn backlog. In a highly anticipated vote yesterday, the LPC approved a design for a long-in-the-works proposal to convert the Brooklyn Heights Cinema building at 70 Henry Street into condos. It also designated the M.H. Renken Dairy building on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill, also in the works for years, and the Henry and Susan McDonald House in Wallabout.
The plan to add a three-story condo building on top of the existing building at 70 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights comes after similar plans for the building were rejected twice before by the commission. This design by Morris Adjmi Architects (designer of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg) creates a 50 foot tall building — the maximum allowed on that site.
The proposed design includes five total apartments and a roof deck. (Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Heights Cinema has closed and, last we heard, was still looking for a new home. See all our coverage of 70 Henry Street over the years here.)
The Henry and Susan McDonald House at 128 Clinton Avenue in Wallabout was built between 1853 and 1854. Henry Wallabout was a wealthy banker and the couple occupied the home until the mid-1870s. In a statement, Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said, “This very rare and well-preserved frame house is an important reminder of a time when the Wallabout area of Brooklyn was undergoing rapid development. Today’s vote underscores the Commission’s commitment to ensuring that it remains a part of the City’s historic fabric for generations to come.”
The M.H. Renken Dairy Company building at 582-584 Myrtle Avenue and the engine room at 580 Myrtle Avenue are two structures unified by a single Art Moderne facade. The dairy was the third largest in the city and at its peak produced more than seven million quarts of fresh milk a year.
The main building at 582-584 Myrtle Avenue was designed by Koch and Wagner, a prolific Brooklyn-based architecture firm and built in 1932. Four years later the engine room was renovated and given a matching facade.
Photo of 128 Clinton Avenue in Wallabout, above, by LPC.
The Brooklyn Heights Cinema at 70 Henry Street in 2013, above.