Thursday, April 19, 2018

Another Charming Old Brick Building On Smith Street To Get The Glass Treatment In Upcoming 'Remuddle'

If the new silver-toned building that replaced a sweet wooden clapboard building at 159 Smith Street isn't ugly enough in Boerum Hill, it may soon have an equally out of place neighbor.
Just recently, Rime, a sneaker store, moved out of 157 Smith Street and a construction fence was erected around its fa├žade. A NYC Buildings Department permit indicates that this nice original old three-story brick building with a lovely cornice will soon get a vertical and horizontal extension.  According to a posted drawing, it will be stripped of all its charm in the process.

According to Zillow, 157 Smith Street changed hands in 2016 for $3,750,000. That is a lot of money and one can hardly blame a new owner for wanting to maximize every inch of floor-area allowed by zoning.  However, one does have to scratch one's head as to why someone buys a beautiful old building in a charming old neighborhood just to turn it into a stark modern glass structure.

What do you think, dear Reader?

Below is a photo taken in November 2014 of the three original buildings at 157, 159 and 161 Smith Street. Soon, only 161 will remain unchanged.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you like the look of old, brick buildings. That's nice.

Newer buildings are not only safer and more energy efficient, but the light provided by the glass facades make the interior much nicer. There is a reason people pay more for those spaces.

John Longbow said...

So our neighborhood loses another beautiful old cornice. The replacement sure ain't pretty, but at least it's got a brick facade unlike the aluminum monstrosity next door. My nephew moved into one of these "modern construction" buildings in Williamsburg last year, and the metal siding is as cheap as it looks. The first time it rained he woke up to an inch-deep puddle where his living area used to be. Hard to get a good seal with those big gaps between the metal plates. And of course, the folks who put up these buildings are as careless about maintenance as they are about architecture! When my nephew reported the issue, it took days to get a response. Finally, the landlord called back — but instead of sending the super, he told my nephew to go down the street to get some of those sticky Shanghainese soup dumplings our neighborhood so desparately needs.

Maggie said...

newer buildings also tend to be made of cheaper materials that have shorter life expectancies than brick, stone and wood. construction itself is energy consuming and the energy efficiencies in old buildings are often misunderstood and the systems misused.

Anonymous said...

There is something to be said for history and charm of original brick buildings.

As a realtor I can assure you that not all "newer buildings" are safer or more energy efficient. There is a reason that some people prefer vintage / authentic architecture. Not to mention the "density" problem these new "ant farms" create.

Anonymous said...

Vapid, ordinary & boring - just like what is happening to many Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

It is a very boring architectural design and devoid of any personality. It looks like will be
a Holiday Inn by an airport.

Anonymous said...

The rendering has it sandwiched between 2 original buildings. I guess no one from the developer has walked by their property lately. It looks like offices? They pay big bucks only to rent out for the same. Smith street has lost its charm at that end. I wonder if they will change it now that the ugly neighbor is there. But I suppose they don’t care.

Anonymous said...

A lot of armchair architecture critics here, who seem to love to tell someone else how to spend their money.

JMB said...

The former buschenschank space at 320 Court St is under construction and the for-rent (or for sale) sign is gone. Katia, can you work your magic and tell us what's coming to this space? hope it's something awesome :)

Katia said...

320 Court Street sold a while ago. I did see that there is some work going on inside, Just looked at the DoB filing. It will be a restaurant, but the new owner is trying to legalize the basement to include it with the ground floor space.
The previous owner had used the basement as a separate private party establishment without proper filing and proper liquor license for this second bar.
Will keep my eye on this one.

Anonymous said...

Hahah. What? Having an opinion on how something looks is different than telling people how to spend their money. I personally have no love for vapid architecture. And if someone wants spend money building karate studios? Then so be it.