Open Thread Wednesday

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • AndyHeights

    As a long time resident of Henry Street between Joralemon and State Street I have question that I have always wondered about. Why has there always been an empty lot next door to the iconic Art Deco style building with the red door at 269 Henry Street? It would seem that property has to be ultra valuable, yet it has always just remained a fenced in lot with green grass. No special agenda on my part, but I thought that perhaps someone has an explanation. Thanks.

  • Arch Stanton

    I think the lot belongs to said Art Deco style building. They Probably don’t want a building blocking their view/sun…

  • Banet

    Correct. That building was for sale about a decade ago. The lit comes with it. Building there would ruin the layouts of the Art Deco building by blocking most windows.

    Not to mention Landmarks likely wouldn’t allow anything there.

  • Andrew Porter

    Down to just a few images courtesy the Municipal Archives (and saving the best for last!). Here’s Henry at Middagh in 1961, before the Ace Wire Brush/Bklyn Eagle building was built, and when the Peaks Mason Mints Building still had a fire escape:

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    Interesting tidbit. The residents of the newly built highrise or the flat iron of heights, erected on the old library site,certainly will not have any view blocked for them.

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    A condominium now with a nice courtyard. I am glad it is still there. There is something iconic about the building…perhaps the industrial design, brickwork and arched wide windows.

  • Andrew Porter

    San Blas, Latin Cuisine and Cocktails is a new restaurant at 140 Montague Street. Article in Bklyner here:

  • Andrew Porter

    Couldn’t be torn down because it’s higher than anything that would be permitted there under Landmarks.

    But it didn’t have an easy road. Everyone there was evicted by the current owners when the building was bought out of the Mitchell-Lama Program.

    Links to BHB articles about the evictions and conversion here:

  • KyleBrooklynNY

    I know this does not technically fall in line with BK Heights but has anyone been by 55 water street lately? The stench of garbage is horrendous! I was there one morning and a loud trash truck was removing all the trash from the building and the trash was literally leaking out of the bags like a waterfall It then ends up spilling out in the street and sits stagnant in a clogged drain. Disgusting!

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    Was it under the Mitchell-Lama rental program?

  • Arch Stanton

    Ah, the former Gallitos kitchen spot, I was surprised they lasted as long as they did. Next…

  • Claude Scales

    They were good for several years, until a change in management gave us soggy chips and smaller, less tasty entrees.

  • Andrew Porter

    Mitchell-Lama is not a rental program: they are middle income co-ops. 140 Cadman Plaza and 101 Clark Street are also part of the program. 75 Henry Street bought itself out of the program, and became a regular co-op.

  • Heightsman

    Interestingly I had my best meal at Galitos the week they closed.

  • Jorale-man

    Is that Empire Stores? I haven’t noticed but I would have thought the high-end owners there would keep things in better shape.

    Related, I’m continually amazed by how dirty Joralemon and Remsen Streets are between Clinton and Court Streets. It becomes the wild west once you start walking towards Court. Sad!

  • Robert Perris

    Okay, gotta jump in here. Yes, the Mason Peaks factory was a rental building in the Mitchell-Lama program–there were both co-ops and rental buildings as part of the state program. And although the building might in fact be taller than would be permitted under current zoning, the reason for not tearing the structure down is that it is denser than allowable under zoning.

  • CassieVonMontague

    1985 Burger King Commercial shot in the Heights. Promenade at 0:12, Hicks St carriage houses at 0:20, and High St at 0:23.

  • Claude Scales

    I guess you were lucky.

  • Arch Stanton

    Yes, but “good” isn’t enough if a restaurant is to survive an upstairs location on Montague, they gotta be excellent. Also, a business model that does a large amount takeout and delivery would greatly improve chances of success.

  • Jorale-man

    Ah, the unicycle and leg-warmer craze of the mid-80s.

  • MaryT

    Andrew – I believe the old Mason Mints was a Mitchell-Lama rental building, which is why it could be privatized and sold.
    M-L protections expired and its (mostly artists) tenants were evicted. I do miss them.

    And, yes, the building and courtyard are lovely.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Love it. Thanks! How’d you find it?

  • Arch Stanton

    That is correct, the lease was, I think, fo 30 years and it was known from the beginning it would expire and everyone would have to leave.

  • Andrew Porter

    It’s that time of the year again: Fascati’s Pizza is closed for vacation, reopening September 6th. Or so the sign says.

  • Jane Van Ingen

    Hello. Brooklyn Historical Society now has a channel on Lots of great videos:

  • CassieVonMontague

    Old library’s bas reliefs will be reinstalled in the new library’s meeting rooms and outside the Walt Whitman library in Ft. Greene

  • Bornhere

    Good. Odd, though, that the writer of the piece described the bas reliefs as “playfully” depicting art, science, knowledge, etc.

  • Andrew Porter

    However, I’ve noticed since the structure has gone up the block has become a wind tunnel, as the air is funneled through the street.