Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • LDS

    Nice picture, Claude. Was that building originally built as “luxury” apartments? It always makes me think of a Renaissance fortress. And is it currently a JW residence?

  • W. Gilbert

    About the new building approved by the LPC where the Cinema was, if you look at the elevation plans submitted to the LPC (as shown on ny.curbed) there is a discrepancy. The building next door on Orange Street, shown in the Orange Street Elevation has only four floors, not five as depicted in the plans above. It seems that a floor was added to it and one wonders why?

  • ClaudeScales

    It was originally a hotel, the Leverich Towers. For a time it also housed a Yiddish language radio station’s studios. It’s now a Jehovah’s Witness residence, but will likely be sold to a developer for conversion to luxury apartments when the Witnesses move upstate.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Some snaps from last night’s sunset.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Hmm not sure why the one photo is sideways.

  • Willow Street Watch

    I remember being invited to small gatherings on the upper floors of the Towers in the late sixties. The view was great at night. How many long time residents remember the painting promising the opening of a branch on the moon in the early 2000’s?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Without irony, I can’t help but wonder whether the construction of said building caused a stir with others who felt their westward view was being violated…

  • Rick

    That may well be, but of course it was built in 1928, before many urban protections were put in place.

  • CHatter

    fascinating. Are they different elevations maybe? The trees out front are also different

  • StudioBrooklyn

    For whatever it’s worth, without protections in place I’m sure many BH residents would still be annoyed about Pierhouse…

  • ShinyNewHandle

    It looks like the architects just grabbed a mangled shot from some online mapping service’s “street view”, doesn’t it? That Orange St. building is shown as both 4 and 5 stories high here, depending on the illustration:

    The Orange St. wall of the Cinema Building is not aligned to its Orange St. neighbor (I was just on that corner), but protrudes farther onto the sidewalk, which protrusion the developers plan to extend upwards, increasing the bulkiness of the building. It’s hard to tell from the compressed pics at the link, but I think the Hicks St. side *might* extend farther onto the sidewalk than it already does, judging by the placement of the new pillar at the corner.

    I have low hopes that this will end up otherwise than the latest uglosity.

  • stuart

    good catch there! the existing building is four stories and is shown as five. Wow. But the bottom line is that the overall height is fifty feet because the old building has high ceilings and the new building does not.

  • ws gilbert

    But why deceive? They really worked hard to add the floor, even to the point of making all windows the look different. Although they can legally build to 50 feet, the LPC can nix that if the proposed building LOOKS like it will overwhelm the street and clearly it does. This deceit would make the LPC think it “fits” in on Orange Street. This was calculated to deceive! And it is wrong, but is it illegal?

  • Reggie

    The proposed building has five stories so perhaps the “Orange St. neighbor” was drawn with the same number of floors, as an honest accident or to make the new building seem more in context.

  • Roberto Gautier

    Today I read that the Queen of England just bought a condo in Manhattan for a few million and change. All around downtown Brooklyn, big bucks housing quarters represent the surging power of real estate investment and the consequent destruction of chances to succeed on the part of those with fewer bucks. As the millionaires and billionaires plow through neighborhoods in NYC, increasing poverty and community displacement and transforming lives. This condo economy is a critical structural component of Michael Bloomberg’s plan to pump rich people into NYC. Towers of the wealthy block more and more light, attract helicopters, allow luxury housing to multiply in Brooklyn Bridge Park (marketed as a front yard for high-end development), sell off local libraries, strip away neighborhood hospitals and remove affordable alternatives and promote developments along corridors that include the Superfundy Gowanus and Newtown Creek. What does all this mean to people who are scheduled for removal? Sound familiar?

  • ws gilbert

    What is “honest” about adding a floor that isn’t there. And how is that an “accident?” The only reason seems to be an attempt to deceive! Yes, that makes it seem more in context, but when it is built will it look like the Pierhouse Building?

  • stuart

    I think that it calls into question the validity of the Commission’s determination if it was based on a grossly distorted rendering. It is at the very least extremely unprofessional of the Adjme firm and casts them in a very unflattering light.

  • Localguy

    But this is a photo of the neighboring building, not a drawing. How do you accidentally add a floor to a photo of a building? Seems to me that something is rotten here.

  • ws gilbert

    I don’t think the current Mayor is blameless here. He has been feted by the billionaire Real estate barons and needs then to build his “poor door” houses so he will give much in tax abatements away. I have not forgotten his betrayal of LICH and we now are awaiting 20, 30 and 40 story towers there. Thanks to Mayor Bill and others!

  • Willow Street Watch

    As serious political and policy observers have long known the present mayor is simply a thinly disguised extension of Bloomberg.

    He is a total major banks/top NGO’s creation. He operates under the radical left “cover” but in the ways that really mean something to the
    Major financial/real estate sectors he’s their guy. Period.

    Look at who financed his rise! Look at his financial sources/ties now….

  • Eddyde

    Only the passive photos show the Orange st building with the correct number of floors, All the side by side comparison shots feature the “doctored” photo. I don’t buy the “Street View” hypothesis, as the architects clearly took many of their own pictures of the site…. A bit Photoshop chicanery, indeed.
    Also, I noticed all the pictures showing elevation dimensions are just low enough resolution so that one cannot read the numbers when zoomed in… I’ll bet that’s no accident either.

  • Willow Street Watch

    No, it casts everyone involved in exactlly the right light…

    All this is classic (and odious) Henry Kissinger’s policy of secret policy making and diplomacy, transferred to urban planning/land use policy and the real estate business….

  • Willow Street Watch

    The new building makes the immediate area far more claustrophobic.
    The color makes it worse. It has all the design quality of..well,….

  • Willow Street Watch

    Well, this is the NYC equivilent of economic ethnic cleansing. It the conver-
    sing of this city {and entire nation) from a producing society with a strong, stable middle class, to a nation in the money changers set all the refererence points.

    This is also the classic tulip craze. Question is how far up the upward spike are we?

  • lauren

    Beautiful shots!

  • ShinyNewHandle

    Too much pinot noir?

  • ShinyNewHandle

    If I were feeling more ambitious, I’d track down a non-compressed copy of the presentation (I think the YIMBY site may just be saving bandwidth) with legible elevation numbers.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I poured half a bottle into my phone’s audio jack but I guess it didn’t work. I’ll try a whole bottle next time, then shake.

  • hossaingoni

    Really that is very nice picture. That is very gorgeous. Anybody can tell me where is place of that building???

  • RJG

    Just want to once again post a reminder that NYC has proposed changes to the Zoning Resolution. The “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” effort is now undergoing public review.

    The area along the northeast side of Brooklyn Heights will be affected if the changes are implemented; see, for example, the R8 zoning district shaded pink on the map.

    Complete details for CB2 are at: