Wednesday, September 04, 2013

A Year After Collapse, New Building To Replace Old Brownstone On Carroll Street

Ornate brownstone at Number 241 Carroll Street in Carroll Gardens in an old 1940 tax photo

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241 Carroll Street on July 2nd, 2012, the day a sidewall collapsed

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Demolition of the building during the summer of 2012

And the beginning of construction on a new building in September 2012
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Many in the neighborhood will remember the very sad collapse and subsequent demolition of a beautiful ornate 25-foot wide brownstone at 241 Carroll Street right here in Carroll Gardens.
At around 1:30 Am on July 2nd, 2012, the side wall pulled away from the building and collapsed into the driveway of Public School 58, right next door.
Luckily, no one was hurt, though there were occupants inside the residence at the time of the collapse.

Number 241 was once part of a row of brownstones between Smith and Court Streets, and was framed by two buildings. The houses closest to Smith Street were demolished a long time ago, when the subway was built and the rest was taken down to make room for PS 58 in the late 1950's (as you can see in the 1940s photograph above).  Obviously, the building's integrity had suffered and weakened the exposed side wall.

Demolition of the brownstone started almost immediately and continued for several weeks during the summer of 2012.  The empty lot served as a sad reminder of the collapse.

However, just in the last few days, there has been some activity on the site and it would appear that a brand new brick townhouse will replace the old home is about to start.
The N.Y.C. Department of Building has just approved permits for the "reconstruction of a four story building with cellar and penthouse." The permit and a rendering of the future building have been posted on the construction fence and yesterday, a crew began excavating the site.
Douglas Pulaski of Bricolage Architecture & Design is listed as the applicant of record, which would explain the rather generic design of the new building.  Bricolage Deign and Pulaski's partner Henry Radusky have a rather checkered past.
Of course, reconstructing the original building exactly the way it was would be prohibitively expensive, but it is a bit disappointing to see that the old majestic brownstone will be replaced by a rather plain building with a brick fa├žade and no stoop. At least there will be a cornice.

Since the paperwork lists an L.L.C. partnership, it has not yet been confirmed if the original owners are behind the project. But if they are, it will be great having them and their children back in the neighborhood.

***UPDATE***
I received an email from owners Howard and Sisi with the good news that the new building will be very much in keeping with the brownstone that stood at the site.
They write:
"The rebuilding will not be the same as the rendering on the permit sign. The rebuilt building will of course have a stoop, and brownstone facade as well. The sign is only for elevation information.

We are going to make the building as similar as possible to what we had before. Please reassure your readers that it will not be a Boro park special ;)"

Thanks for the clarification, Howard and Sisi. So glad you will be back on your block soon.




6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like it belongs in Boro Park. Which is not a complement.

Anonymous said...

hey anonymous - please learn at least how to spell - if the area was land marked - this could not happen - let this be a warning and reminder of more like this to come

Anonymous said...

"It will be nice having them and their children back in the neighborhood". Yes, welcome back and here's a public slamming of your design and architect. Welcome back indeed.

Anonymous said...

Well at least it will somewhat match its neighbor.
I fear they will destroy that building next door while digging away. Perhaps that brick facade is just in the rendering and it will be browned up like the others. lazy builder. A stoop would be so nice.
Also, Katia, you meant 1940 tax photo.

Katia said...

Thanks for the correction. Will change the date.

Anonymous said...

While I am happy they are rebuilding, I am super disappointed with the design and choice of architect. It could be worse but this property is both valuable and visible. It both justifies and deserves a high quality design and construction. Bricolage has a mixed record in Brooklyn and there is nothing in the drawings that suggests that the end result as currently presented will be any better than ordinary. Small windows, low ceilings token decorative details and no stoop. Personally I would be happy with anything that has integrity - either modern or reproduction.