Glass is everywhere in our lives — from eyeglasses to screens to windows — but we’re usually looking through it instead of at it. Not so at UrbanGlass, a glass-obsessed non-profit offering studio space in one of the country’s largest glass-making studios, located at 647 Fulton Street in the heart of Fort Greene’s emerging Cultural District.

Here, roughly 200 artists and makers regularly fire up the furnaces to make neon signs, sculpture, beads and blown-glass vessels — all with an eye to exploring glass as a medium for creativity. Brownstoner recently visited the 17,000-square-foot facility, which is closed to the public.

Read on for a look inside.


Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and other local pols held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday to kick off construction at 15 Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene. The long-in-the-works project is also known as BAM North Site II and the Brooklyn Cultural District Apartments (BCD:A).

The mixed-use, mixed-income building will include both residential units and cultural space. The 109 apartments, 40 percent affordable and 60 percent market rate, will sit atop 21,400 square feet of cultural space, which will house The Center for Fiction and Mark Morris Dance Group, among others.


Our house of the day is a four-story Fort Greene brownstone, but it’s more than that. It is, and we’re quoting the listing here, a transitional French Second Empire neo-Grec-style historic brownstone. Listed by Corcoran broker Rodolfo Lucchese, it’s located at 374 Vanderbilt Avenue.

It’s got much of what you’d want in such a brownstone — tall arched doorways, pocket doors, parquet floors with inlay borders, moldings, medallions and plaster details. It’s got bay windows and three wood-burning fireplaces with original marble mantels. And it’s a generous 21 feet wide.

A look at Brooklyn, then and now.

If you’ve ever restored an old house and come upon 19th- or early-20th-century wallpaper, it could have been made by the Robert Graves Company of Brooklyn.

Between 1843 and 1929, the Robert Graves Company produced some of the metropolitan area’s finest wall coverings. It did it all: one-of-a-kind commissions and limited editions for interior decorators, as well as more modest mass-produced papers for middle-class homes.

Robert Graves was born in Ireland. Unlike many of his fellow Irish immigrants, he did not arrive on our shores with nothing. His father, Sir William Graves, was a well known artist. Robert came to America as a successful wallpaper manufacturer.


The Afropunk Fest is always great for people watching, and this past weekend’s 10th annual extravaganza was no exception.

For the first time, the celebration of alternative black culture charged admission — $40 for a single day pass, $70 for the full weekend — but that didn’t stop festival goers from dressing their best and dancing the weekend away to a star studded lineup in Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park.

Below, a few inspiring tweets from the festival:


Reader Jeff Edwards wants you to take his bricks:

We are looking to donate about 1,800 antique red bricks that comprised the original rear wall of our 1853 Italianate townhouse on Cumberland Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. They would be ideal to resurface a garden wall or build a flower bed. Please reach out to me if you are interested. First come first served.

Update: Jeff just got in touch to say he got “tons of responses” and the bricks have found a new home. If you have a neighborhood or home-related announcement, send it to

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

This double-sized, semi-detached mansion is one of the few remaining in Fort Greene. For all its one-time splendor, it didn’t remain a single family home for long.

Name: Abram Quereau mansion
Address: 7-11 South Portland Avenue
Cross Streets: DeKalb and Lafayette avenues
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Year Built: 1876
Architectural Style: Transitional French Empire/Neo-Grec
Architect: Horace Moody (builder)
Other buildings by architect: Moody also built the mansion next door, at 1 South Portland Avenue
Landmarked:  Yes, part of Fort Greene Historic District (1978)

Neo-Grec Body With Grand French Flair
This large 30 foot wide brownstone mansion was built in the popular French Empire style, with a tall mansard roof. This was paired with a Neo-Grec body, very similar to the neighboring row houses. The entryway is also similar to neighboring houses, so much so that if one is not paying attention, it’s easy to miss how large and grand this house really is.

Considering the size of the house, the lot is actually not that big, with only a side lot, and no back yard, as a rear extension on the house widens the back, allowing for extra light and extra room. Large quoins decorate the open side, with the motif repeated in the full width extension.

The parlor floor features full length windows. All of the windows have pediments or hoods supported by paired brackets. The center entryway has a round arched entryway with a large hooded pediment supported by incised Neo-Grec brackets. The house also has its original railings and newel posts.


A Fort Greene warm-weather music staple, the Fort Greene Park Jazz Festival returns to Fort Greene Park Saturday, September 12.

The free event, now in its sixth year, features nonstop jazz by local musicians and singers from 3 pm. to 7 p.m. It happens twice a year, once in July and once in September.

The festival was started by Fort Greene resident and musician Eric Frazier. Raised in Brooklyn, Frazier — who studied Conga Drum and African Dance — performs jazz and world music throughout the New York area at venues including Madison Square Garden and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Every year he brings the music back to Fort Greene for Jazz Fest.


Today’s condo is at 1 Hanson Place, aka the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, aka the clock tower that looms over the Brooklyn skyline. The building is home to some seriously luxe, big-ticket units — this isn’t one of them, but it’s still quite a nice one-bedroom, on the 14th floor.

There’s a nice view from up there, to be spied through the two good-sized windows in the good-sized living room. The ceilings are high, the floors are a nice dark walnut. The kitchen is sleek and attractive, with Viking appliances, a Lavastone counter and lacquered cabinets.


“These clients were not afraid of color. They kept saying, ‘More!'” recalled Chelsie Lee, project manager for Jessica Helgerson Interior Design (JHID). The Portland, Oregon-based firm had been hired to furnish a young couple’s newly purchased 20’x45′ brick row house in Fort Greene.

The building had recently been gut-renovated by the Brooklyn Home Company, with a new two-story extension on the back and a new interior staircase.

“We did a little light remodeling, like adding doors to the built-in cabinetry in the dining room to make it symmetrical,” said Lee, but the designers’ mandate was to realize the vision of the new homeowners: décor that was bold and playful.