Eagle: One Time 135 Joralemon Owner Dead

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that Alfred Palmer, long time owner of 135 Joralemon and the almost the subject of demolition by neglect accusations by the BHA died in “obscurity” last year. The home was purchased by developer Howard Haimes in 2006 for $2,400,000 and sold for $2,094,500 in December 2008.

Brooklyn Eagle: It was news to us. Alfred “Alfie” Palmer was something of an eccentric and a cantankerous sort, who refused for years to fix up 135 Joralemon Street. After it suffered damage from a New Year’s Eve fire, the Brooklyn Heights Association contemplated a demolition-though-neglect action against Palmer to force him either to restore the house or sell it. Palmer was known to say he would just as soon tear it down and build a six-story apartment house. Eventually he did sell it to a developer who, in 2007, restored it to mint condition.

Alfred Palmer’s was an interesting and curious presence in the Heights. We welcome information from anyone who knows more about his last days.

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  • Nancy

    who could forget the image of a large elderly gentleman on the roof on 135 Joralemon Street with a paper bag pulled over his head?
    Evidently he “kept” bees up there.
    The paper bag was his beepkeeper’s outfit.
    You can’t get more eccentric than that.
    The electricity in the house came from a streetlight across the street. During the New Year’s eve fire, the firemen did not see the cable stretching across the intersection and their ladder truck pulled out the streetlight.
    A true old-time Heights character. RIP.

  • http://deleted landmarker

    What is most surprising is that, after being offered for $5 million, the place which contractor put such loving care into sold for a paltry $2.1 million. But the Heights has lost its glamour. The Height Association’s refusal to join the 21 st century, their advocacy for housing inside Brooklyn Bridge Park, and their “superiority” over all other Brooklynites have made this neighborhood obsolete and the market has moved on. Long live Brooklyn!

  • Neighbor

    Whoa, landmarker! The BHA is a group of architects, planners, lawyers, and local residents who work many (unpaid) hours to protect and enhance our neighborhood — working with homeowners, speaking with city officials, planting trees, etc. Refusal to join the 21st century? Superiority over other Brooklynites? What are you talking about? Don’t blame all of life’s frustrations on the BHA — lol.

  • Joralemon St Resident

    Nice attempt to hijack this thread into another rant against the BHA.

    The house sold for almost $4.1 million. The $2.1 million number is a mistake on certain websites based on the transfer taxes paid, but you can go to the city’s website for property transactions and it clearly says “Full sale price: $4,189,000.” That the owner would have accepted a $2.1 number doesn’t make any sense given that he paid $2.4 million and then did a full renovation.

    Regardless of the price, I’m sure the BHA’s position on housing in BBP had absolutely nothing to do with this sale!!!

    Except for the vocal minority on this site who like to rail against the BHA, the worst you could say about how the rest of the world views them is “BHA who?”

  • Chester

    JSR, ACRIS backs the 2 million number do you have a link to back up with you’re talking about re the 4 mil?

  • Joralemon St Resident

    Chester, go to:


    This is the Finance Department’s rolling sales update for Brooklyn through January 2009. (Excel file.)
    You can search on the property address to see the full sales price reported.

    You can see the source document on acris here:
    (ACRIS says the images are unavailable for maintenance until sunday March 8, unfortunately)
    When the site is back up, you can look on page 7 of the image – Form RP-5217NYC shows the full sale price of $4,189,000.

    The buyer assumed the seller’s mortgage and in that way avoided paying mortgage tax on that amount. The $2,094,500 represents the additional amount of new financing that was obtained. This figure is reported on the acris cover page as the basis for mortgage recording tax. Sites like property shark and street easy download that coverpage figure to back into the sales price, but it’s just a proxy for the sale price and doesn’t always work (as in this case).