Open Thread Wednesday 11/26/08

Flickr photo by mikebny

Flickr photo by mikebny

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • Bart

    Does anyone know the history of the three tall towers north of Clark Street and East of Henry? They look like they were built in the 60’s. Were they intended as lower middle-class housing?

    The reason I ask is twofold. Certainly these buildings replaced some historic buildings. And second it seems like most of the residents are retired. So that they’ve been there the buildings were first built.


  • AEB

    Anyone notice, as I did, that one of the “mirrored” windows in the Brooklyn Eagle building has been replaced by clear glass–but a partition behind it makes seeing into (or out from) the building still impossible?

    What’s the point?

    Also, there seems to a be a here-today-gone-tomorrow-here-again-gone-again American flag in place in front of the building; ambivalent patriotism?

  • Alex

    “Store available to rent” signs with a phone number have been taped up at the empty storefronts on Columbia Place. Please, someone, rent these now! I’d love to have a deli or a restaurant! I wouldn’t even complain about another pet store. =) Anything!

  • AEB

    The long-in-renovation wood-frame house on the SW corner of Cranberry and Hicks is reportedly nearly “done.” Word has it that the ground-floor store spaces, with their large glass windows, will become residential.

    If I’m not mistaken, a laundromat once occupied one of these spaces–if only such would return, this N. Heights, Hicks St. resident would be happy indeed.

    Any word on this?

  • Homer Fink
  • AEB

    Thanks, Homer.

  • No One Of Consequence

    Columbia Place and what cross street?

  • since47

    I hang out at the theater on Willow Place and haven’t been around the corner in a while, so I don’t know what’s currently there. But there used to be a very basic deli on the corner of Columbia Place and Joralemon, with a flower shop, restaurant and Laundromat further down the block. The street only runs for two blocks (between Joralemon and State) and then continues on the other side of Atlantic Avenue as Columbia Street.

  • Alex

    Columbia Place runs between State and Joralemon. The empty stores are closer to Joralemon. Right now there’s only a Laundromat. Everything else has been empty since I moved to the block over the summer.

  • my2cents

    yes I spoke to the architects at the house on hicks/cranberry and they said that the entire thing was to be residential. I have no idea why they put those storefront windows back in instead of putting a more residential facade on there. I rather doubt that the shop windows were originally there at all when the building was built, so why did they put them back after this extensive renovation? I feel like this is probably the LPC mucking about as usual. But I haven’t done the research so I couldn’t say…House is looking very nice and seems bigger now that it is plumb again!

  • AEB

    Thanks for the info, my2. I will have to put away my fantasy of a laundromat that isn’t a major hike from my apartment.


    PS, some “storefront tenants” who live near me have done some rather nice things with the window spaces involved. One, quite close to me, has arranged an assortment of bogus yet tasteful potted plants….

  • Andrew Porter

    Bart, those bildings were built in the early 1960s as Mitchell-Lama middle class co-ops, and all except 75 Henry remain so today. 75 Henry opted out of the NYS program and is private, hence the real estate ads you see for the apts nowadays. They did indeed replace more of the buildings you associate with the Heights, much to our loss; indeed, 101 Clark Street, aka Whitman Towers, replaced a building in which Walt Whitman’s “Leavs of Grass” was printed. There was also a very nice deco apt building on the corner of Clark and Henry, which was also torn down. You can find lots of the area’s history on the NY Public Library’s Digital Library, or just Google the various sites and see what comes up.

    The former laundromat and office in the three story building at the corner of Hicks and Cranberry keeps advancing, and I am positive when all finished will be an award-winning edifice. The newly added dormers are gorgeous. The adjacent brick facade on Cranberry with its arched brick entryway is wonderful work.

    The storefront with the tasteful plants used to be a children’s clothing store presided over by Fern, a Holocaust survivor and her cat. Alas, Fern died a couple of years ago now.

    I see dead people…but only on TCM…

  • Andrew Porter

    Meant to add that I have a nice postcard of the building at the corner of Henry and Pierrepont, back when it was the Palm Hotel. And if I mention Polly Adler, would anyone here know who I was talking about?

  • Brooklyn Backstretch

    Thanks for the info on Fern, Andrew. When I first moved to the neighborhood, I shopped at the store regularly for my nephews, and enjoyed the conversations with both Fran and the cat. I’m sorry to hear of her passing.

  • AEB

    Polly Adler, indeed, Andrew! Was she mistress of ceremonies at the Palm?

    I must say, I, a BH neonate, positively go a-tingle when I learn of BH’s raffish past. Ou sont les etc?

    A bit of sin would be a welcome addition to the nabe, in my opinion. Surely Man (and Woman) doesn’t live by Gristedes alone….

  • Chris

    Has anyone been to the new Morton’s at 339 Adams (next to the Marriot) yet? I walk by there every day for work, and am curious if it lives up to its bretheren. Any thoughts/feelings on its addition to the ‘nabe (I know it’s closer to downtown, just sayin’).

  • Jeremy

    A grocery operated out of 68 Hicks Street starting in 1819-20 if not earlier, so the storefront windows almost certainly were present since its very early days.

  • Andrew Porter

    Well, AEB, the “mistress” part of your comment is closer to the mark than you might intend. Look at this link, which doesn’t mention Brooklyn Heights, but…

  • Just a Neighbor

    Anyone know what was going on over at Clark/Henry yesterday? About 10:30 a.m. there were 4 or 5 fire trucks and what looked like a busload of people streaming down the sidewalk with suitcases. Then in the evening, it seemed there was a car accident – glass everywhere and a cop taking a report. Bad intersection to be near yesterday!

  • DW

    Can anyone tell me what happened t0 all the food businesses on Henry- the OVEN pizza place, the great “food-to-go” spot on the corner and then the Blue Pig- they all seemed to go at the same time- I live on Montague and don’t go to the North part of the Heights that often. I was coming home in a cab one night and saw all the shops with wood on their fronts. I was so sad- it is such a hard thing to have a successful small business at all- never mind one that caters to a relatively small neighborhood. It doesn’t bode well for anyone.

  • jazz

    I didn’t know they offered coops under rocks over on Montague. But those restaurants are part of the Busy Chef scandal:

  • T.K. Small

    I think the trees are already for sale at the corner of Atlantic & Clinton. Although that is a bit of a schlep to bring the tree home. But what the heck, put Homer to work!

  • bklyn20

    Re: Early Christmas Trees — call Cathy FitzSimons of Willowtown Gardens at (718) 243-1257. She can get/ order tees for you including gorgeous blue spruces, wreaths, etc. I think she gets them from north of NYC.