Sunday, August 28, 2016

In Greenpoint historic block, echoes of "blighted" Dean Street row houses

Via YIMBY: current view in Greenpoint, house at left
A 7/5/16 post by New York YIMBY, Landmarks Approves Restoration Of 218 Guernsey Street, Greenpoint, discusses the 1870-era home in Greenpoint's historic district.

It includes some great architecture and some buildings that have been modified but are worth saving, because they convey the neighborhood's fabric (and thus were included in the district when it was designated in 1982).

The building at issue is the modest, two-story building at left in the photo at right.

About blight

Note the rather unbecoming wall covering and modest size of the building, which is apparently 28 feet high. It may be built out to less than 60% of the allowable height--remember, the arbitrary blight designation with Atlantic Yards--given that R6B zoning, at least for new buildings, requires a base height before set back between 30 and 40 feet, and the maximum height is 50 feet.

The Floor Area Ratio, or FAR, allows a lot coverage of 2.0; the lots size is unclear. But it seems to me a determined condemnor might find the house blighted and thus get it demolished.

Via YIMBY: renovation plans
Instead, the proposed restoration is at left.

To quote YIMBY's Evan Bindleglass, the architects "have probed the structure to find evidence of its past glory and plan new cement board cladding with wood door and window elements, plus the restoration of the cornice, in wood."

Indeed, they have. It's a nice restoration.

And in Prospect Heights

The cluster of three houses reminded me of the three houses recently demolished on Dean Street east of Sixth Avenue (below), part of a larger group of five houses (further below) demolished to create--initially--a staging area for Atlantic Yards arena block construction and new await a 27-story tower (aka 664 Pacific) with a school in the base. The blight, I wrote in 2006, was arbitrary.
December 2015 photo
August 2006 photo

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