Brownstoner happened across this apparently finished installation by artist Tom Fruin on the top of the former Broken Angel building at 4-8 Downing Street in Clinton Hill. As readers may recall, developer and architect Alex Barrett of Barrett Design, who is converting the building to condos, told Brownstoner in April the piece was in the works.

The condos are still under construction, but sold out in less than a month when they went on the market in April. Longtime Brooklyn residents and Brownstoner readers will recall the sad story of this building, which could be read as a metaphor for the history of Brooklyn in recent years. It has gone from tenement to empty shell to art project to condos, as property values have fluctuated.


The Broken Angel condo development now has a teaser site and is prepping to launch sales next month, because the state’s attorney general recently approved its offering plan, according to developer and architect Alex Barrett. The former tenement at 4-8 Downing Street in Clinton Hill, once one of Brooklyn’s most unusual landmarks, now bears little trace of former owner and artist Arthur Wood’s fantastical creation — other than a drawing of an angel, a reference to the building’s past, in a new mural on the construction fence.

At 4 Downing, partitions are framed, and workers are installing windows, basic plumbing, electrical and sprinklers. Eventually, the four-story building will house eight condos, according to alteration permits. Next door at 8 Downing, they’re about to start pouring the concrete foundation for a four-story, two-unit building.

Barrett bought the property for $4,100,000 in January. Click through to see photos of the construction progress so far.

Broken Angel Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photos by Travis Mark Dubreuil for Barrett Design and Development


We may be nearing the end of the long, sad history of the Broken Angel building in Clinton Hill. Today The Local reports that building lender Madison Realty Capital now owns Broken Angel, once envisioned as an artist community, and the vacant side lot. Owner Arthur Wood first filed a lawsuit against Madison Realty in 2009 after Wood and his development partner defaulted on a $4 million mortgage and Madison Realty initiated foreclosure proceedings. There were no other bidders at the auction, which was briefly delayed after efforts by Wood. The bank has not yet moved to evict Wood but he believes it’s imminent. He’s also tried to appeal to the US Supreme Court and his case was denied. Wood owned the building since the early 70s, but his wife’s death, a fire, the subsequent costly building repairs, and a failed development plan led to this endpoint.
Arthur Wood Awaits Sheriff to Evict Him from Broken Angel [The Local]
Broken Angel Foreclosure Case Delayed [Brownstoner]
Broken Angel is Officially Broke [Brownstoner]


Last week Broken Angel creator Arthur Wood had his latest day in court over his Clinton Hill building, which has faced foreclosure pressure for the past few years. The Local reports that on Friday a judge “agreed to consider a related fraud case brought by Mr. Wood against his lender” in the next 30 to 60 days, which means that the foreclosure sale has also been delayed. A lawyer for Wood’s lender, Madison Realty Capital, said he thinks the firm will win the case. According to the story, Wood’s lawsuit against Madison Realty dates back to 2009, after Wood and his development partner Shahn Anderson defaulted on a $4 million mortgage and Madison Realty initiated foreclosure proceedings.
Arthur Wood Beats Foreclosure — For Now! [The Local]
Broken Angel is Officially Broke [Brownstoner]
Photo by Hobo Matt