27 Cranberry Street Construction Featured In NYT Piece About Issues Facing Neighbors During Construction

What happens when you own a wooden, historic home in a landmarked area and new construction is scheduled in the empty lot next door to you? The New York Times finds out from Brooklyn Heights resident Elisabeth Cunnick, owner of 25 Cranberry Street. As reported here, construction of a new “McBrownstone” is about to begin in the empty lot at 27 Cranberry Street.

NYT: To lessen the impact of watching a 9,000-square-foot building go up out the windows of her more modest home, Ms. Cunnick moved for a year to a studio in Manhattan. But the project was delayed and she has now moved back to Brooklyn just as construction is to begin.

Since her lot is wider than her house, she is having a new survey made of the boundaries and has hired Mr. Banner to help negotiate an agreement with her neighbor. She also removed a chandelier, packed away most of her books to protect them from dust, and took artwork off the walls to avoid damage from vibrations from pile-drilling next door.

Even more important than minimizing the stress of living side by side with construction, she said, is preserving her historic home.

“When you live in a house this old,” she explained, “it’s like living in a big piece of 19th-century furniture. I would like to do everything I can to protect it. I don’t know exactly what that is, but I’m trying to figure it out as I go.”

Developer Louis Greco owns the property and former BHA president Tom van den Bout is the architect on the project. The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the design after some modifications were made but some area preservationists still may feel that the plan is out of scale with the rest of the block.

While the proces to get the design approved may have been bumpy, the Times report suggests that the new neighbors and their builders are prepared to be gentle hippies:

NYT: The lot next door to Ms. Cunnick is owned by SDS 155 Lincoln L.L.C. Louis Greco, the company’s manager, said, “It’s always very difficult to build next to an existing residence, but the laws are specific, and just being a good neighbor is paramount.”

Clay Lancaster wrote in Old Brooklyn Heights that number 25 was first listed in the 1829 city directory and was the home of “Mrs. Bruce”. It was also home in the late 19th century to James Heckler who sold surgical instruments at 47 Henry Street according to the Brooklyn Eagle archives. Lancaster added, writing in the early 1960s, that the home had been renovated in 1955.

Share this Story:

, , ,

  • Heights Maven

    Maybe the new guy will invite her over to play in his basement squash court.

  • HenryLoL

    This woman needs to get a grip! Oh – her poor books! Construction has been going on forever – get used to it and move on.

  • David on Middagh

    This comment doesn’t even make sense.

  • MonroeOrange

    i agree David, once again Henrylol, is just sputtering nonsense. Construction right next to this woman’s house is going to be brutal, noise level and vibrations going to be unbearable Though i’ll let her live in my apt, and ill live in her townhouse if she wants to swap!

  • HenryLoL

    How does it not make any sense? Since I have lived alone I have been in 5 different co-ops in all different areas of the city and EVERY time an apartment next to me has been under construction and has made life miserable. It has been happening since the beginning of time. In 1850 as new Brownstones were going up left and right it must have been a miserable experience. People didnt hide their books and hire lawyers to protect their homes. The woman is an over the top loon. You have to deal with change.

  • Cranberry Beret

    They’re about to excavate 25+ feet down for multiple basements, a couple feet from the foundation of her house. And they probably need to come onto her property to do some of that. They’re going to need her legal permission for that. But you don’t recommend hiring a lawyer. Who’s the loon?

  • HenryLoL

    LOL. Whatever. There is no arguing with people on this blog. Think what you want — she is being absurd. Again, this happens everyday all over the country — completely normal. People do not pack up their belongings, move, and lawyer-up. It is absurd.

  • Cranberry Beret

    So if a developer knocked on your door, put a piece of paper in front of you and said, “Hi I’m about to dig a huge hole right next to your house, and oh by the way, need to use your yard to do it, will you pretty please sign on the dotted line?” You’d just sign without having an attorney look at it (you know, someone who might actually know something about construction law and real estate) just because you’re a big boy and only absurd people “lawyer up”?

  • Andrew Porter

    The NYTimes link goes to the second page of the article, not the first, which contains photos of both properties as well as Ms. Cunnick.

  • HenryLoL

    99% of the time there is no knock at your door… In any event, you obviously have a vested interest here and just dont want this to happen next to your house or are friends with this riduculious woman.

  • Hicks St Guy

    “an apartment next door” is certainly not equivalent to a building next door, get real.