It’s no secret that the Brooklyn-side pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge is terrible. Tourists from around the globe set foot in our borough for the first time beneath a dank and dreary overpass with little to no idea where to go from there.

The Brooklyn Strand project, conceptualized by WXY Architecture + Urban Design hopes to change all that by knitting together downtown Brooklyn’s green spaces and bringing some of Brooklyn’s vibrancy to the area. WXY’s Claire Weisz presented the first phase of the Brooklyn Strand proposal in March, and Borough President Eric Adams recently allocated $1,500,000 for two of the proposal’s recommendations: reopening the Brooklyn War Memorial as an education and Veterans center, and redoing Borough Hall Plaza.

But Phase II of the design — concerning the area under the BQE from the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges to Commodore Barry Park — is still in flux. Community Board 2 is soliciting ideas tonight at a public workshop.


Trader Joe’s has signed a lease for a 13,800-square-foot store at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, City Point developers Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners announced today. The popular discount grocery will open in 2016.

It will be located on the concourse level in the cellar next to the DeKalb Market Hall food court, which will have some two dozen or more food sellers. Previously announced tenants in the massive mixed-use development at 1 Dekalb Avenue include CityTarget, Century21 and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

A search through the photo archives of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Collection can often turn up mysteries. Take today’s period photograph, dated 1937. It shows the side elevation of a large brick building in the Queen Anne style, located on a crowded street.

The caption notes that this is the Adams Street Courthouse and Police Station, near Myrtle Avenue in downtown Brooklyn. The wooden tracks of the El train that snaked up from the Brooklyn Bridge to swing around Borough Hall and on to Fulton Street can be seen in the foreground.

We know that this building is long gone, but exactly where was it? A look at the maps reveals the answer.

This was 318-322 Adams Street, just down and across the street from the post office, between Myrtle Avenue and Johnson Street. Today, this address is part of the block-long Supreme Court Building site at Cadman Plaza.


The whimsical Tudor building at 93 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn is getting some work done, Brownstoner noticed on a recent visit. When Montrose Morris wrote about the building in 2012, commenters wished someone would return the one-time architect’s office to its former glory.

The permits don’t indicate whether the building’s facade will eventually be restored. Rather, they list structural repairs, including removing second-floor joists and interior stairs, repairing the roof, and installing structural steel lintels on the first and second floors. Records state that the renovation will cost $370,000.

Editor’s note: An updated version of this post can be viewed here.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Downtown Brooklyn is full of wonderful old 19th century buildings of all kinds. It also has a small collection of more modern bank buildings, most of them built in the 1960s and ’70s. Here’s one of them.

Name: Former Equitable Federal Savings and Loan, now Capital One Bank
Address: 356 Fulton Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Red Hook Lane
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: 1967-1968
Architectural Style: Neo-Formalism (perhaps stretching it a bit)
Architect: Goldberg-Epstein Associates
Other works by architect: Lincoln Savings Bank in Gravesend, public housing
Landmarked: No

Downtown Brooklyn is layered with architectural history, making it one of Brooklyn’s more interesting neighborhoods. A single block can span the distance between the years before the Civil War up until the present.

This bank building is a bit of mid-20th century suburbia right in the heart of the city.

Mid-20th Century Neo-Formalism

Adolf Goldberg and his firm, Goldberg-Epstein Associates, built suburban banks like this, as well as more anonymous-looking housing developments and other buildings. Goldberg retired in 1967, so this is one of his last buildings.


There has been steady progress at The Hub, aka 333 Schermerhorn Street, the 53-story rental tower from developer Douglas Steiner of Steiner Studios. One of the current crop of tall towers going up in downtown Brooklyn, the 581-unit building has reached the half way mark of its 577-foot final height.

Along with the progress in height, installation of the red brick cladding and windows for the tower has begun as well. When we last checked in, the tower portion of the development has risen to about the fifth floor.

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

Downtown Brooklyn will soon get a thoroughly modern Macy’s. The department store and commercial real estate firm Tishman Speyer announced a $270,000,000 deal Wednesday that will let Macy’s downsize, remodel and take cash out of its antiquated real estate holdings downtown.

Thankfully, the historic building at 422 Fulton Street will not be sporting a giant condo tower on its roof anytime soon. And Macy’s will continue to own and operate the first four floors and the lower level as a store.

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

New York City changes so rapidly. Buildings can literally be here today and gone tomorrow. We pass sites that are either big holes in the ground or construction sites, and think “What was here before?”

I was downtown only a few weeks ago, and was shocked to see the corner of Red Hook Lane and Livingston Street had lost its buildings. I especially remember the corner building, festooned for the past number of years with the map-like artwork of artist Steve Powers.

Red Hook Lane is the last remnant of one of Brooklyn’s oldest roads. Like many of Brooklyn’s original streets, it was a trail used by the Canarsee people who lived here centuries before the Dutch and English showed up.

In Colonial times, Red Hook Lane connected the town of Brooklyn to the shores of Red Hook. It was a major transportation road, one used by both the Continental Army and the British during the American Revolution.

By the end of the 19th century, there wasn’t much left of the Lane, only a one block oddity allowing people to take a shortcut to Fulton Street.

People lived here, especially in the days when Livingston was still a quasi-residential street.


As of Monday, applications are now being taken for 200 affordable units in the first City Point tower, now under construction in Downtown Brooklyn. Brick Underground was the first to notice that the lottery had opened through NYC Housing Connect.

The least expensive units are studios for $500 a month for those earning between $18,515 and $24,200 a year. One-bedroom units range from $538 a month to $2,038 a month depending on income levels.

The most expensive units are two-bedroom units for $2,455 a month for those earning between $85,612 a year and, at the top end, $142,395 a year. City Point’s website has full list of income requirements or it can be viewed as a PDF here.

Half of the units will go to those already residing within Brooklyn’s Community Board 2, and 5 percent will be set aside for municipal employees. Another 5 percent will be set aside for mobility impaired applicants and 2 percent will be set aside for those with visual or hearing impairments.