Browsing Tag

fulton street

Downtown Brooklyn, Landmark Preservation

Landmarks Unamused By Interior Alterations At Former Gage & Tollner Space

January 25, 2013

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to deny an application to legalize changes made to the interior of the former Gage and Tollner Restaurant at 372 Fulton Street. The landmarked interior, which has housed a discount jewelry store since 2010 (formerly Arby’s and TGI Friday’s) has already faced mounting fines because it masked the interior decor without permission.

Curbed reports that the applicant insists its display and lighting system doesn’t penetrate the walls—but Landmarks sees it differently, saying that a majority of the historic detail is gone. Several gas lamp fixtures remain, while an arch was placed in storage.

According to an LPC spokesman, the building owner’s architect described these changes as “interior desecration” and actually apologized on behalf of the tenants. Commission Vice Chair Pablo E. Vengoechea noted that “hiding something behind something is not a preservation strategy. You need to expose what’s there.” The tenant must now submit a new plan and file a permit application for the interior. (Top Photo: Chuck Taylor/2010)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Downtown Brooklyn, History

Take A Look At Me Then: Downtown Brooklyn’s Fulton Street, 1909/1940s

September 6, 2012

Above, “Bird’s Eye View Of Fulton Street,” December 1909. Below, “Fulton Street, the heart of Brooklyn’s shopping district,” 1940s.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights

Birthplace of Whitman’s ‘Leaves Of Grass,’ Cranberry & Fulton, 1949

August 16, 2012

This sketch of the “Birthplace of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’” depicts the corner of Cranberry & Fulton streets (which is now along Cadman Plaza West heading to Old Fulton Street) dated September 11, 1949. It is signed by Josephine Barry.

Legend has it that the red brick print shop in Brooklyn Heights where Walt Whitman set the type for the first edition of “Leaves” in 1855—torn down years ago to build the Whitman Close co-ops at 75 Henry Street—was salvaged, with bricks embedded in the ground around a planter near the A train stop on Cadman Plaza West.

(Sketch: Museum of the City of New York/Planter: McBrooklyn)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Downtown Brooklyn

Gentrification: Clothier Brooklyn Industries Coming To Fulton Mall

July 10, 2012

Gentrification continues along the Fulton Street Mall corridor, this time with Brooklyn Industries coming to 342 Fulton Street, close to the entrance. An HSBC bank was previously on the site. Brownstoner shares that the Brooklyn-logo clothier has seven locations in the borough, including shops in DUMBO and Cobble Hill, along with a sprinkling in Manhattan. A tipster says that the store is set to open by the end of July.

Add Brooklyn Industries to the new Starbucks and Gap Factory Store along Fulton, as well as recently opened and/or coming soon Shake Shack, H&M, T.J. Maxx and Century 21.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, History, Landmark Preservation

Backtrax: Downtown’s Martin’s Dept. Store & Offerman Building

June 23, 2012

As the Landmarked Romanesque revival Offerman Building along Fulton Street Mall continues buildout of TJ Maxx and a bevy of boutique stores—alongside H&M’s new-construction two-story glass modernist structure—it’s high time to take a look back at the history of the storied location at 505 Fulton Street.

Its life began in 1891, commissioned by mogel Henry Offerman, who owned the Brooklyn Sugar Refining Co., on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His Downtown “highrise” opened as one of the tallest buildings in Brooklyn. The Wechsler Department Store operated in the space until 1897; with Darlington’s Department Store scheduled to take its place in 1907, until developer Kingston Realty went belly up before the location ever opened.

But its fortunes were soon to change for the long term. Hyman Zeitz, who had emigrated to the U.S. in 1882, opened a coat & suit department in an existing blouse shop called Martin’s at Fulton & Bridge Street. The business burgeoned and in 1924, Zeitz bought out Martin’s owner and moved next door to the seven-story Offerman Building, comprising 225,000 square feet. The cutting edge locale offered its own electrical generator and pneumatic tube system for moving cash through the store.

As Brooklyn’s Downtown Fulton district flourished, Martin’s ushered other major department stores to the neighborhood, including A.I. Namm & Son and Abraham & Straus (today, Macy’s). In the 1950s, Martin’s opened additional locations in the New York suburbs: Garden City, Babylon, Suffolk County, Hackensack, N.J., and Huntington. The latter store was 75,000 square feet and offered a 500-seat community room for civic meetings, making it the largest branch store at the time.

In October 1977, with annual sales of $30 million, Martin’s was sold to the Seedman Merchandising Group, operator of Times Square Stores. Unfortunately, their vision for the future differed, and in 1979 the Fulton Street store was closed because of “long-term unprofitability.” In hand, the downtown Brooklyn shopping district, which once catered to the borough’s affluent, “was no longer related to the surrounding shopping area,” the company surmised.

Soon after, the remaining Martin’s either closed or changed names, while the Offerman Building was designated a New York City Landmark in 2005. Throughout that decade, it housed job agencies, the MTA adjudication Bureau and discount retailer Conway (which moved to a new location on Fulton in 2010). Its last retailer was a temporary seasonal Christmas discounter in late 2010, before it was sadly boarded up.

And then came new life to the Downtown Fulton shopping district. An interconnected three-story annex to the east along Bridge Street was demolished to make way for Swedish retailer H&M’s first Brooklyn location in a new shiny glass two-story structure. Offerman, meanwhile, will house TJ Maxx, with hints of such upscale retailers of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani on signage outside. The upper floors are said to be going residential, with rumors of interest by hipster Justin Timberlake.

Meanwhile, Downtown Brooklyn’s City Point up the block continues to take shape, first to comprise a four-story 50,000sf retail building on Albee Square across from the landmarked Dime Savings Bank building. In all, that project intends to encompass 1.5 million square feet of retail & residential.

It’s gratifying to see this beautiful 120+-year building find new life, as one of the most beautiful architectural triumphs on Fulton. Long live the Offerman Building.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web