11/07/15 2:00pm

Note: We’ve been looking back thru the DumboNYC archive and unearthing some gems. We’ll republish from time to time. Enjoy!

This post was originally published July 23, 2007.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted “Dumbo Streetscapes Then and Now” photos. Here, we are looking north down Jay Street (towards Manhattan) from Front Street. Step outside to the right out of the York Street Station on the F train and this is the view you see. In the first photo, the 68 Jay Street building is front and center with a sliver of 20 Jay Street behind it and a faint view of the Empire State Building across the river. This 70 year photo (1937), by photographer, Percy Loomis Sperr, show the water towers on the 68 Jay Street building (currently removed, except for the base). On the right side of the photo, there are buildings which no longer exist. The Jehovah’s Witness lot (85 Jay Street) currently occupies a parking lot there. On the back of the photo:

Jay Street, west side, north from a point south of Front Street, to the East River. In order, are the buildings occupied by the Grant Union Tea Co.; the John Maury Paint Co.; and the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Co. In the background towering over Manhattan, is the Empire State Building. (March 9, 1937)


July 21, 2007


01/09/15 4:32pm

Front of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

Front of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

Rear of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

Rear of the building (courtesy 185york.com)

A buyer of a condo unit at 185 York Street reports that the owners have been waiting since mid-2012 to move into the building. The building is being marketed as “City View Condominiums.” The Certificate of Occupancy has not been issued yet, according to the NYC Department of Buildings, which prohibits anyone from occupying the building.

A Brownstoner post from February 2013, almost two years ago, says that at that time, “a broker here tells us that they are going through the last of the inspections and anticipate closings to begin in February or March”. Obviously there are still delays. The buyer suggests to us that the “building sponsor seems to be deliberately holding up the closing of the building. Our only conclusion is that the sponsor under-priced the units, hopes that we will all lose patience and cancel our contracts.” When the 16 unit building went on the market in April 2012, the units ranged from $375,000 for a 631-square-foot one-bedroom to $845,000 for a 1,193-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath duplex.

According to StreetEasy, 15 of the units were listed for sale until December 29, 2014. Does anyone have updated status for the buyers of this building?

Here’s the note we received from a prospective buyer:

Just wanted to let you and your newspaper know that I am one of the prospective purchasers of a unit at 185 York Street in Vinegar Hill.

Along with all the other eager prospective purchasers, we signed a contract for our unit in the building, which was essentially completed, in mid-2012. Since then, in the intervening 2 1/2 years, we have been starved of information about what is going on and what information we have been given has been incorrect or misleading. The contract holders have nee renting temporary accommodation in various parts of the city to ‘bridge’ the time awaiting the issue of a Certificate of Occupancy.

The building sponsor seems to be deliberately holding up the closing of the building and we are unsure why this would be but it is causing distress to the prospective occupants. Our only conclusion is that the sponsor under-priced the units, hopes that we will all lose patience and cancel our contracts, so the units can be re-listed. This is of course only a supposition and we have no evidence that this is the case but we can come to no better conclusion at this point.

We have contacted the Attorney General’s Office, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, the Local NYC Councilor, The DoB Brooklyn Borough Commissioner.

We are looking for any means to get our plight out into the public domain to try to speed up the long-delayed closing.

I think this puts a slightly different light on the ‘rosy’ picture of Vinegar Hill painted in the NY Times article.

{185 York Street Buyers Still Waiting to Move In, 13Feb2013}
{StreetEasy listing}

08/08/13 5:44pm


Shepard Fairey’s latest work on Dumbo Walls right outside of the York Street F station is done.

Gothamist spoke to Shepard Fairey, and wrote a detailed description of the new mural:

Since he has been coming here in 1990, DUMBO has obviously changed. “I used to come over here and bomb in the late ’90s and it was tumbleweeds. There was nothing going on over here. But everyone always goes ‘I loved SoHo in the ’90s. I loved Bowery when CBGB’s was there.’ There’s always that moment where a place goes from being totally crappy to having a bunch of artists and cool bars and gallery spaces and then it gets too expensive and it gets yuppified.

“I think [DUMBO] is in that transitional phase, but it’s a cool neighborhood. There’s no point in having a sort of romantic attachment to a neighborhood the way it was in a specific moment of time because everything is in flux. Shit’s always changing—if you’re bummed about it go pioneer the next neighborhood.”

Fairey’s new piece is a large mural with “Peace” on the left and “Justice” on the right, so we couldn’t help but think of Trayvon Martin. Those two words were prominent in rallies in New York and across the country (“No Justice, No Peace,” “Justice for Trayvon”). “I’ve incorporated peace and justice in several of my images over the past few years,” Fairey told us. “Having to do something that the city is going to approve and making it pretty with these floral motifs but incorporating the ‘Peace’ and ‘Justice’ in there was a way to subtly get to people’s conscious and consciousness. ‘Justice’ especially is a very open-ended word, but if you think about it and the Trayvon case and you feel like justice wasn’t really done— which is what I think—it’s just harder to sweep it under the rug.”

08/02/13 3:01pm


The DUMBO Improvement District and Two Trees Management Co in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation Urban Art Program (NYCDOT) and the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, announce the creation of DUMBO Walls, a series of eight outdoor murals packed within a four-block stretch of DUMBO along the BQE. We posted a preview of them earlier this week, but the news about the street art was released yesterday.

We took a few photos in progress this morning (in this post). This extensive project is being presented through the NYCDOT Arterventions program with funding provided by the DUMBO Improvement District and Two Trees Management Co. Works by CAM, MOMO, Stefan Sagmeister and Yuko Shizimu are presented by the DUMBO Improvement District and Two Trees Management Co. Works by DALeast, Eltono, Shepard Fairey and Faith47 are presented by Jonathan LeVine Gallery and Wooster Collective, in conjunction with 10 Years of Wooster Collective 2003—2013, a group exhibition on view at 525 W 22nd Street from August 7—24, 2013.


The art can be viewed along York Street between Washington Street and Pearl Street in Dumbo Brooklyn.

The press release is after the jump. (more…)

07/29/13 3:09pm

MOMO Mural at York Street

MOMO Mural at York Street

MOMO Mural at York Street

Looks like there are 7 new street murals are coming to Dumbo. One of them, on York Street (between Adams and Washington Street) against the BQE wall started this past weekend and will take about a week to complete, according to the artist. The artist’s name (pictured on the right) is Momo.

Photos by Jane Kratochvil.

More details to come on the others in the next few weeks.