Forget the renderings. The condos at 4 Downing Street, in the building formerly known as the Broken Angel, are very beautiful in person.

The design and finishes are restrained, carefully considered, and meticulously constructed. We toured one finished model apartment as well as several others under construction Thursday.

A few artifacts from Arthur Wood’s Broken Angel remain.


Designer James Victore created this fascinating video tour of typography in Brooklyn and Queens, with a particular focus on signs in Williamsburg. He praises font choices at a few well-known ‘Burg restaurants, critiques the J.Crew mural painted by graffiti artist Greg LaMarche, and talks about why we use Helvetica. The video was made to promote three events for designers and font lovers at Makeshift Society in Brooklyn. The “Working Late” events will happen from 7 to 9 pm on October 2 and 14 and November 11 at 55 Hope Street.

Video: A Font Tour of Brooklyn and Queens [Gothamist]


The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of its 14th Building Brooklyn Awards, which evaluate new construction and renovation projects ranging from schools to historic restorations, at the Only Brooklyn Real Estate Summit on Tuesday. Fort Greene’s very modern Theater for a New Audience won in the Arts and Culture category, and the Weeksville Heritage Center (pictured) won for Civic/Institutional.

Other winners included the Coney Island YMCA, Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park, Pave Academy Charter School in Red Hook, the restoration of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility, Coney Island’s planned comfort stations, the Gowanus Whole Foods and Brookland Capital’s Bed Stuy offices.

Kickstarter’s fancy eco-friendly offices in the Eberhard Pencil Factory also made the cut, as did the design for CAMBA Gardens in Flatbush and Two Trees’ revamp of a brick factory at 25 Washington Street. Click over to this slideshow created by the Chamber to see photos and renderings of all the winning buildings.

What do you think of the selections?


Jon Sherman of Flavor Paper, Stephanie and Pamela Katch of Katch ID, Leyden Lewis of Leyden Lewis Design Studio, and Jean and Oliver Pelle of Pelle Studio will discuss interior design, renovation, and object design at a panel in honor of the book Design Brooklyn at Book Court tomorrow night.

Author Anne Hellman will moderate, and Hellman and photographer Michael Arnaud will sign copies of their book.

If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of the award-winning volume, FYI it features tons of interiors that have not appeared elsewhere or in their column here on Brownstoner or on their blog. The event takes place at 7 pm tomorrow at Book Court at 163 Court Street in Cobble Hill.


Queens isn’t often recognized for its architecture, but we do have plenty of fascinating buildings. Actually, it’s fitting that some of the most noteworthy architecture in the borough reflects our incredible cultural and religious diversity. Here’s a look at some of the churches, temples, and other houses of worship that punctuate our neighborhoods with beauty.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

In Whitestone, the futuristic St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (GMAP) is all curves: there’s a metallic barrel roof, oval windows and accents, and a bulbous, bright blue onion dome. The Russian Orthodox house of worship was designed by Sergey Padukow of New Jersey and built in 1968, and continues to catch our attention with its retro spaceship design.

WELCOME TO THE INSIDER, our weekly in-depth look at a recent interior design/renovation project, here every Thursday at 11:30AM. Like The Outsider, Brownstoner’s new garden series on Sundays at 8AM, The Insider is written and produced by Cara Greenberg.


IT TOOK TERI BRAJEWSKI of TWB Design a full year of apartment-hunting to settle on what she calls a “petite three-bedroom” in an eight-unit building from the 1890s. It wasn’t just the intact woodwork and other Victorian niceties, including a fretwork archway, bay window, and tiled mantelpiece, that sold her on the ground floor unit, or even the private backyard. “It was one of the few I looked at and didn’t think, ‘If only I could tear this wall out…'”recalls Brajewski, an interior designer and co-owner of Interior Provisions, an online and by-appointment home goods shop in Nolita.

In fact, the long, narrow, 1,100-square-foot floor plan functioned so well for her family — she’s a single mom of two — that all the walls stayed right where they were. Brajewski lost no time gutting and replacing a full and a half bath; that’s been the major work to date. Other sprucing up includes floor refinishing, new lighting throughout, new furniture, and a carefully considered paint job with Benjamin Moore’s Natura line of no-VOC paints.

Brajewski is a LEED AP (accredited professional). She incorporated some sustainability principles, a water-saving toilet and the use of locally-made and vintage furnishings among them. Contemporary and mid-20th century pieces look magically at home in their surroundings. “The gracious scale of mid-century furniture works very well against a Victorian backdrop,” she says.

For now, Brajewski is living with the existing kitchen, though she bought a new dishwasher and washer/dryer, and the garden remains a frontier yet to be conquered. Brajewski “called in a ton of favors and got a lot of trade discounts” but estimates the cost of her improvements, including new furnishings, at about $100,000 for a civilian. The contractor was Jim Savio.

Above: The apartment’s front room is divided by an archway into areas Brajewski uses as a living room and a home office. The made-in-USA sofas are contemporary, from Thayer Coggin, but with a ’50s/’60s look. The vintage coffee table is from a shop in Hudson, NY; the rug from a sample sale. Cafe curtains were made by Angel Threads of Brooklyn.

Photos: Ofer Wolberger

See more, including a complete list of paint colors, after the jump.