Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Street of Dreams?

The prices of historic homes in and around Crown Heights' landmark district are drawing snark-ridden commentary from incredulous bloggers across brownstone Brooklyn. As outlined on August 20 on brownstoner.com, 1087 Prospect Place(at bottom middle above), a double duplex on one of the district's most tranquil and secluded blocks, is now on the market at $849,000. Several brownstoner posters claim the home is radically overpriced, adding negative remarks about the neighborhood and the street's proximity to the Albany Houses. Residents, including at least two posters who live on this stretch of Prospect Place, have eloquently defended the home's value and the block, citing the outstanding architecture, the lush trees, and the harmonious vibe that runs through this peaceful street, populated by longtime African-American homeowners and an emerging mix of newly arrived, younger families. The house is one of four identical units built in 1912 on a street lined with ornate limestone and brick homes from the same era. Located between Kingston and Albany Avenues, this stretch of Prospect Place ends at Brower Park, site of the Brooklyn Children's Museum. The uninformed comments of some brownstoner posters should be tempered by one recent development: 39 Hampton Place (top, with white sign in front), located just a few blocks away and sharing the same configuration and general date of origin as the Prospect Place home, sold for $925,000.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Less Than Fantastic Fourth

At 803 Eastern Parkway, workers are putting the finishing touches on a fourth floor, making this building the only one of its height on a block lined by three-story, circa late 18th-century and early 19th-century brownstones. To call the extension misplaced and incongruous would be kind. We're still waiting anxiously (fearfully?) to see what will happen to the building's ornate and finely detailed (but badly weathered) front, considering the new floors cut across the existing door and window frames.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Neverending Story

Behind the decayed remains of a renovation halted mid-stream, scaffoling goes up, grows old and creaky, then comes down. Workers mill about, clearing months-old trash and debris, then retreat, allowing another generation of weed-choked garbage to accumulate. This tired process has continued for years at the unending project again underway at this apartment building on Kingston Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Lincoln Place. A shiny new web of scaffold is again rising at the site, this time accompanied by a green fabric shield that stretches across the entire front. Does the renewed activity mean something will finally be finished here? Will this renovation ever be completed? Are the developers competing for some sort of "longest continually standing scaffold" competition? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyone have a clue as to what's going on here?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Brower Park Party

Looking to check out Brower Park? Try Tuesday evening (August 7). At 11 a.m., the 77th Precinct Community Council hosts its 24th annual park party featuring steel bands, Haitian and African dancers, free barbecue, face painting, a jazz band, double-dutch exhibitions and step shows. Local police and elected officials will also attend, giving Crown Heightsers an opportunity to discuss local issues. No alcohol will be allowed at the event, which is planned as a "going away party for neighborhood crime and drugs." Brower Park is located in Crown Hieghts' landmark district, bordered by Brooklyn, Kingston and St. Marks Avenues and Park Place.