10/16/09 5:15pm

Please show your support for this student-run market at PS307 (The Dr. Daniel Hale Williams School in the Vinegar Hill). The farm stand which will be a source of fresh, local fruits and vegetables for the community. It is open two more Wednesdays (in October) from 3:30 – 7:30 pm. One of their goals is to increase access to healthy food for the residents of the Farragut houses and surrounding communities. They are hoping to keep this program going for a full growing season, but the market needs more shoppers in order to sustain it. Please pass on the word to your neighbors (pdf flyer)

This project is one piece of a larger program run by Myrtle Avenue Restoration Project (MARP) dedicated to food justice and food access for the communities in the Whitman, Ingersoll and Farragut Houses.

Also read the article NY Times ran on Oct 8.

Location: P.S. 307 playground at 209 York Street, Brooklyn
This initiative is a collaboration between Council on the Environment for New York City, the Myrtle Avenue Restoration Project (MARP) and PS 307.

09/23/09 4:26pm


Corner of York and Front St

 September, 2009

In this series of “Dumbo Streetscapes Then and Now”, a 1938 photograph by photographer P.L. Sperr is looking down Front Street from what used to be known as Garrison Street (renamed York Street since the addition of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway). The building on the right is 70 Washington Street, and the center/left building is 45 Main Street. The far building in the center is the existing 55 Washington Street.

The original caption in the back of the photo reads: “Front Street, east from Garrison Street. April 4, 1938”

Today’s view, 71 years later, is pretty similar to the 1938 photo at first glance. The building structures are pretty much in tact, and the lot in front of 70 Washington was used as parking, just as it is now. The parking lot is owned by the Jehovah’s Witness (aka The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society). Because the Landmarks Preservation Commission granted landmark status to these buildings in Dumbo, the building exterior won’t change much in the future as well. However, the parking lot sits outside of the LPC boundaries for the Dumbo Historic District, which means the land owners may be allowed to build something on that plot someday.

One observation is the advertising for lofts on top of the 45 Main Street building in 1938 is similar to what it is today. in 1938, the ad space states: “Realty Corp. Lofts to-let”. Today, the building owner, Two Trees Management, has a sign that states: “Live. Work. Play. DUMBO” (Flickr photo)

{New York Public Library photo of Front Street – Garrison Street (1938)}
{Dumbo Then and Now, series, DumboNYC}
{Google Street View, from York St}

07/21/09 4:10pm

 1928 [+ enlarge]

 July, 2009 [+ enlarge]

In this series of “Dumbo Streetscapes Then and Now”, a 1928 photograph from the Eugene L. Armbruster Collection is looking at 29-35 Front Street, (north side of Front St) between Dock Street and what used to be called Garrison Street (now York Street). The center of the photo is a frame structured 3 story house, once the mansion of Joshua Sands (1795-1883), who served as a U.S. Representative and an officer in the United States Navy. As Commander, he was at the New York Navy Yard from 1841 to 1843. The house is only half the original structure, according to the caption in the back of the photo. The caption also states “To the left of it is a brick building occupying the site of the demolished section of the Sands house. That building at present (1928) is occupied by the Italian Mission of Santo Spirito.”

The right side of the 1928 photo shows the Zerega building (aka Nova Clutch building), which was demolished in June 2007 to make way for the highly publicized and controversial Dock Street Dumbo development that passed the rezoning process almost two years later in June 2009.

The original caption in the back of the photo reads: “The same, another view, showing in the center of the view the Sands house (frame). This is only half of the original structure. To the left of it is a brick building occupying the site of the demolished section of the Sands house. That building at present is occupied by the Italian Mission of Santo Spirito. August, 1928. Eugene L. Armbruster Collection. (May be reproduced.)”

The far right side of the photo is the seven story building now known as 57 Front Street, which has retail on the ground floor and condos above. The building near the upper portion of the photo is the Sweeney Building (30 Main Street), with its arched windows towards the top of the building. Today’s view shows much of the Sweeney Building since there are no townhouses blocking the view from this angle.

The old photo shows a charming street mixed with townhouses and brick factory buildings. Today’s view of the lot and parking garage isn’t much to look at, but if the Dock Street Dumbo building is completed on or around 2012, this view will be drastically different.

{New York Public Library photo of Front Street – Dock Street, 1928}
{Dumbo Then and Now, series, DumboNYC}
{Google Street View, Front St}
{(Temporary) Parking Lot on the Nova Clutch Site, 08Aug2007}
{Goodbye Nova Clutch Building, 20Jun2007}
{Zerega Building, 28May2007}
{Nova Clutch building at 39 Front Street, 20Apr2007}
{Two Trees Seeking Approval for 15-20 Story Building Abutting Brooklyn Bridge, 18Apr2007}

02/16/09 12:08pm

181 York Street

It was 10 months ago that Brownstoner visited the site at 181 York Street in Vinegar Hill (between Gold and Bridge Streets). Since then, this 6 story, 10 unit building has completed its shell. Presumably, there will be 2 units per floor with a ground floor for retail or front desk. There’s still no word on whether or not this building (across the street from Farragut Houses) will be a rental or a condo.

181 York Street

The dust from the construction doesn’t stop a Lamborghini owner from parking in front of the construction site, where a few giggling girls were leaning on the hood, snapping photos.

181 York Street

{Brownstoner: 181 York, 23Apr2008}