Open Thread Wednesday

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  • Remsen Street Dweller Went to Chsse on Montague St. yesterday (Tuesday, 5/10) and it was closed with a note on the door saying it was closed temporarily. Anyone have any further information?

  • Andrew Porter

    I posted this on last week’s Open Thread, but likely missed in all the other posts there:

    I noticed not just a sidewalk shed, but scaffolding up on 194 Columbia Heights, the empty and decades-long deteriorating house that’s even worse from the Promenade side. Wonder if something is actually going to happen here—other than it’s in danger of falling down, that is.

    Here it is in a 1940 tax photo:

  • TMH Brooklyn

    Hi everyone. The Music House in Brooklyn Heights will be presenting the 13th annual 4th Window Concert on Sunday, May 22nd at 4 PM at the corner of State Street and Henry Street, Original piano arrangements of classic rock songs and more will be performed by some of the neighborhood kids. Seating and beverages are provided and its free! It’s always a fun time and this years show will be bigger and better than ever so come on over and join us. We look forward to seeing everyone there. TMH.

  • karen

    The scaffolding has been up for a while. Absolutely no activity whatsoever for ages. We knew when the sidewalk shed went up years ago it was not coming down anytime soon. At least no one will get injured when walking past there..

  • Mike Suko

    I did a medium deep dive on the web, and there are articles going back 5-10 years on both Brownstoner & Brooklyn Eagle’s websites that leave one recognizing that “property rights” trump everything else…. But that got me thinking. Sidewalk sheds prove that “It’s my property, I’ll do what I want” DOES have some limits. Surely, a rat-infested property has (or should have) public health aspects. But this from one of those old articles shows that if only Landmarks (the LPC) gave a darn…. –

    “If the decay continues, the Landmarks Preservation Commission could rule that Moore [the owner] is committing ‘demolition by neglect,’ which would invite additional punishment because the house is in a landmark district.”

    Here’s a photo from 7+ years ago. Note the moss growing. If that isn’t “neglect” …

  • Mike Suko

    Proposed – A Montague St. RAMP to Brooklyn Bridge Park….

    ACTUALLY – one WAS proposed in 2018 and was discussed at a CB2 meeting where all seemed to agree that it sounded like a good idea. Even the DOT promised to look into it. Then Boro Pres. Eric Adams is on record as favoring it.

    Most interesting is this quote from the Eagle article around the proposal and hearing: “‘Original park planners studied installing an elevator from the promenade, but residents were concerned it would obstruct the famous Manhattan view and would be difficult to maintain,’ said architect Marc Wouters, who favors a gradual ramp.’It’s such a shallow slope you don’t even need to call it a ramp,’

    There was no schematic, so I’m not sure what Mr. Wouters had in mind. Presumably, it would have to run BELOW the BQE.

    It was a good idea then. Sounds to me like an even better one now. And “folding it in” to BQE work looks logical – vis a vis postponing consideration of this project for 10-20 years.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    I went to this wonderful show on May, 2014 and I still have fond memories. In fact, if I recall, our old buddy, Andrew Porter was there also.

    Highly recommend.

  • A neighbor

    Who needs it? Walk two blocks to Joralemon or to the ramp at Columbia Heights. There are way better things to spend our tax dollars on.

  • TMH Brooklyn

    We hope that you will join us again on the 22nd of May.

  • Jorale-man

    This house represents the absolute height of selfishness on the part of the owner. Letting a 150-year-old brownstone on a landmarked block fall apart and potentially collapse one day shows not only a disregard for your neighbors but also for a piece of New York history.

    In many suburban neighborhoods, if you don’t mow your lawn or trim your trees, the city fines you. There ought to be some stricter regulations involving the LPC here about this kind of willful neglect.

  • CassieVonMontague

    There’s an open Class 1 violation on the building from 2018, which is the most severe violation which requires an immediate correction. The violation notes several cracks in the cornice and the facade. That’s why the sidewalk shed had to be installed.

  • Mike Suko

    Love your certainty, but aren’t you just guessing? Using female intuition, perhaps.

    4 years go by after a “severe violation” is tagged… and then scaffolding goes up –

    I find it hard to believe that this is just slow-motion cause-and-effect.

  • MaggieO

    the only current permit on the site is a 1-2 story sidewalk shed. anything beyond that is potentially un-permitted. DOB was supposedly there in March to check on the building and found no violation-worth conditions, but if you’re seeing a notable change it doesn’t make me wonder whether Mr. Moore himself may no longer be in charge here.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Ignoring your casual sexism, I was referring to the sidewalk shed, not the scaffolding. A woman would know the difference.

  • Mike Suko

    Really not clear from the comments what’s new and what’s not. “First time I noticed that” (not your words) is not the same as “put up in the last month or so.”

    I’ve seen reports (nothing definitive … but plausible) that the owner was involved in a messy divorce. He – at last report – continues to live in BHts but at a different address. I agree with others that “it’s a shame” (or worse), but while he’s forgone quite a bit of rental income over the years, it’s hard to quarrel with his (however cynical) “I don’t put any money into it that I don’t have to … and it keeps going up in value.”

    At 91 or so, it’s probably not his highest priority.

  • Mike Suko

    Ours is a rapidly graying community. They used to say that justice delayed is justice denied. Here, obstacles to easy access increasingly become immovable obstacles to using the Park.

    Your “I’m alright, Jack” attitude may work OK for you professionally, but fortunately, many others feel & act differently. Plus, Joralemon is a lovely street but would get a D on accessibility.

    There’s a photo that packs an ironic punch that accompanied the original article. A grandfather (identified as such) was pushing a stroller on the promenade. His charge had climbed on the fence we all know very well & was looking toward the East River through the bars. The GF was asked what he thought, and he replied, “Why spend the money? I could get there if I really wanted to.”

  • A neighbor

    Not very persuasive. I would much rather give the money to, for example, feed poor children, improve schools, or help Ukraine.

  • marcbolansghost

    Revel Scooters parked on Joralemon – there are six of the mopeds parked on Joralemon at the Garden Place intersection. Hope this isn’t a permanent situation. They look awful there.

  • marcbolansghost

    Why on earth would you want more pedestrian traffic on the Promenade? Anyone who lives on Joralemon and remembers the sudden increase in foot traffic, day and night, when the park was first built knows what a bad idea a ramp would be. (And good lord, the idea of an elevator sends shivers up my spine – think of those nasty subway elevators)

  • Andrew Porter

    Bungee cord or zipline! Much cheaper, quicker to install, and lots more fun!

  • Cranberry Beret

    LOL. The cars parked on every street look better? Get a grip.

  • Mike Suko

    If anything, there’d be *fewer* people on the Promenade.

    More people traffic would come down almost exclusively down Montague, which IS a better street for the purpose than Joralemon, which – all residential – would benefit.

    It really does boil down to a variant of “Grammercy Park.” We’re lucky to be so close to BBP. The rest of the City?? Some of them pay taxes, too, and … how’d you feel if they put the only entrance to Central Park on the northern edge at Lenox Ave., say?

    Last, the ramp IS a low-tech alternative to an elevator, the problems with which all recognize.

  • Mike Suko

    Here’s the photo. Can we agree that having a choice between the view from above or the view from sea level is VERY SWEET?!

  • Mike Suko
  • BH Resident

    Was there on Friday right before they closed. Rain was pouring into the building along the Clinton St side. They’re going to be closed awhile for repairs.

  • MaggieO

    Yeah, not really sure what the issue is here… are they parked legally?

  • KDHicks

    FYI – exciting news! Brooklyn Poets are opening a physical space at 144 Montague St on July 10. They will have in-person workshops, readings and sounds like maybe books for sale. I keep trying to post the link, but getting blocked for it. Check out BrooklynPoets[dot]org for more info on the classes they will be offering!

  • Arch Stanton

    Cassie is correct:
    Looks like she’s just better a getting information than you are…

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Thank you!

  • Jorale-man

    Your handy reminder that we are still deep in a pandemic: Current positivity rate in 11201: 11.26%

    Also worth noting: Positivity rates in NYC were significantly higher this Mother’s Day than either of the past two.