Friday, January 08, 2010

Carroll Gardens' "Flashiest" Brownstone Addition


Now, this is an over-the-top addition, don't you think?

A while back, a two-story addition was built on top of this row house on Sackett Street, between Hoyt and Bond Streets. The slanted glass fa├žade of the 'mansard greenhouse" addition looms over the neighboring houses and seems rather inappropriate for a historical neighborhood.
To add injury, the sides have been brightly painted with murals. One of the motives is a cherub with blue and white stripes radiating outward.
The unusual paint job can be seen from far down the block. And it is a startling sight.
I am all for expressing one's individuality, but this is a wee bit extreme.

This kind of bastardization certainly illustrates why Carroll Gardens needs to be landmarked.

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Batman said...

Ehh, the construction isn't that bad, but the flamboyant painting makes me wonder about the intentions and mentality of the owner.

Once again, it's not the size or the shape, but the style, which is why the downzoning accomplished NOTHING, and landmarking is needed.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the historical nature of the neighborhood is one of CG's greatest charms, I think this was done in a way that augments the existing building and adds a lot of character and interest.

Patrick said...

I'm a big fan of your blog and agree with you about 90 percent of the time, but I have to take issue with you here.

While I agree the top of this building is out of context and perhaps not in sync with its neighbors, I fail to see how adding colorful murals to the sides of the addition is really an "insult."

I run up Bond Street all the time, and it's so uplifting to, as I approach the corner of Union Street glance over to the left, where I can see the cherub poking up over the gritty yard on the corner. I also wonder if it's not an accident that its located so close to a church steeple, you know?

Should the top of that building been built in the first place? Probably not. But I think the murals, which are obviously professionally done, alleviate, rather than exacerbate, the structures' impact on the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I live on this block and said "nice work" to the owners of this building when the mural was first painted. It's a great addition. This block is not pristine CG. A little color and variety is welcome.

Kelly said...

Hey Everybody,
I guess this is a matter of taste more than anything. However, I don't think that imposing one's taste on an entire block of row houses endears one with the neighbors.

I, for one, would be aghast if someone did that on my block.

Mary said...

I see it from my back windows. For my taste the art is ugly and garish and really disrupts the organic feel and aesthetic of the rectangle of yards formed by the 4 streets. It also disrupts the really nice line and scale of 19th C brick buildings along the back of Sackett St.. If ever a building were out of context and scale in Carroll Gardens, this is it.


Sylvie Morgan Brown said...

Katia - I'm with you. I see the mural as a real disruption and distraction to the peacefulness of the block.

Lisanne said...

I don't doesn't really bother me either. I have seen it from the other side of the canal and it reminds me of Amsterdamn.

I know your block Katia and I agree it wouldn't fit in there..but between Hoyt and Bond is somehow does.

Plow to Plate said...

That is the ugliest painting It has ruined my neighborhood view. Ugly Ugly Ugly. In every way. The insult is not that it is a mural, Patrick. The insult is in the ugliness. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder. I am very tolerant of many visual expressions - but this is neither colorful (drab is more like it) nor interesting (trite!). I wish to God that the brownstone people would just cover this crap over, with almost anything. If you want to see some colorful murals, go to the parking lot between Union and President - by 4th Avenue.

Anonymous said...

The fact that it elicits such like/hate feelings highlights the issue: something so dramatic and attention-getting will inevitably polarize people, but it affects everyone uniformly.

So, one homeowner's action aggravates a significant number of neighbors and influences the overall character of the block (virtually all 2-story rowhouses).

That seems like the height of insensitivity and selfishness.

Anonymous said...

If the area was landmarked, would the homeowner be forced to take it down or modify it?

Raised in Carroll Gardens said...

The addition that was built atop the roof really wasn't all that bad. But that paint job...


If you're going to spend that much money to have it painted (or on the paint if you did it yourself) then why not paint it so it would blend?

What if the side of the "build-up" had been painted a faux Brownstone? From the sides it could have looked like it was there all along. It could have been designed to look as if it were the only house on the block that was built that way in the 1890's.