The Wall Street Journal recently caught up with Love Lane Mews architect Stephen B. Jacobs. The takeaway — the new condos there will be “supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus” meets “greed is good”:
WSJ: But when it comes to preservation, the challenge is of a different sort: Architects must sublimate their egos to the demands of historicity.
Such a feat was accomplished spectacularly by architect Stephen B. Jacobs with the redevelopment of four old buildings, once a garage, on a hidden Brooklyn Heights dead-end street into one, cohesive 38-unit luxury condo called Love Lane Mews. With luxurious floor-to-ceiling windows and views of bluestone Hicks Street backyards and Brooklyn Heights chimneys, the feel is Gordon Gekko-meets-Mary Poppins.
“You learn to really be humble, because the important thing is not your ego, but to preserve the integrity of the building,” says Mr. Jacobs.
The development, just now being completed, wasn’t easy. Some of the buildings were fireproof. Others weren’t. The floors didn’t line up. The process was made even more daunting by the buildings’ historic district location, which meant that alterations of building facades had to be approved by the city’s stickler Landmarks Preservation Commission.
“It had all the challenges you expect to find in an adapted reuse, but you don’t expect to find them in one building,” Mr. Jacobs says.