While the new design for 27 Cranberry Street by local starchitect Tom van den Bout has LPC approval, it still has some preservation minded Brooklynites wringing their hands. The new design substitutes brick for brownstone and zinc for bronze elements but some think the home is still too big for its humble block.
If both plans were equal in scale, how “authentic” is the new approved brick facade versus van den Bout’s original vison of real brownstone (from the original quarry) frontage? It’s equally plausible that “back in the day” a builder may have chosen to build a brownstone on that lot.
What do you think? If the argument is based on scale, is “historical” relevance no longer in play? Are we now in the business of arguing over which imaginary “past” we’d like to embrace in future construction?
Brooklyn Paper: “We wished he would build a small house instead of what he’s entitled to build — but it’s still impressive,” said Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, which unsurprisingly supported van den Bout’s original plans. He is a former president of the association, after all.
Simeon Bankoff of the Historic Districts Council, who opposed the townhouse from the start, said he’s resigned to the new plans.
“It’s too big,” Bankoff said. “Cranberry Street is specifically low scale so it’s a tough site. This might have worked if it was on another block in Brooklyn Heights.”