At the end of last month the Clinton Hill branch of the Brooklyn Public Library celebrated its nomination as one of the ten finalists in the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards. To recognize the contribution of the library to the neighborhood, City Council-member Laurie A Cumbo came to the library on May 19 to join the staff and residents to beautify the building and its surroundings. Mirroring a similar planting that took place last fall, there was also a planting and children’s arts and craft program.
“Our neighborhood libraries serve as a gateway for millions of readers to travel across the globe and throughout history without ever leaving their seats,” said Cumbo. “The Clinton Hill branch has been an outstanding resource for area residents by providing critical programs and services that promote literacy, learning and community. I applaud the librarians, staff and patrons whose dedication has made this branch an invaluable part of our lives and a shining example of excellence.”
The Brooklyn Public Library has been requesting that the city invest more of its budget in essential community institutions like the BPL, as well as its partners in Queens and Manhattan. The three library systems together created the Invest in Libraries campaign, through which they are urging NYC to invest $65 million in the restoration of operating expenses for this year.
“Brooklynites rely on our 60 branches for helpful, free programs like resume-writing workshops, English-language classes and after-school programs for children of all ages,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda Johnson. “As the staff, volunteers and patrons of BPL’s Clinton Hill branch celebrate its well-deserved Neighborhood Library Award nomination, we urge the city to restore a sufficient level of funding to New York’s libraries.”
According to property records filed with New York City today, a group of four apartment buildings in Clinton Hill were purchased for $38 million. The buyer of the properties is called Coastline Apartment Investors. The sellers of the buildings are Yechiel Weinberger and Bernard Miller.
Together the portfolio has 129 units within more than 123,000 square feet and varies from 4 to 6 stories high. The properties are located at 29 Putnam Avenue, sold for $6.5 million; 90 Downing Street, went for $11.5 million; 425 and 435 Grand Avenue both gone for $10 million per building.
One year ago the partners sold a property in Crown Heights for $25 million to an Australian real estate investment trust, Dixon Advisory. That group of buildings had 124 units.
A report conducted by and published on the web site Niche.com says that Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene is the 40th best public high school in all of New York State.
The school was given an overall grade of A+ based on reviews from parents and students. The school was evaluated and received an A+ on the quality of the teachers, administration/policies, educational results, and extracurricular activities. For academics and student culture and diversity the grade came slightly down to an A, and for resources and the facility, unfortunately the school was only able to pull a B-. Brooklyn Tech almost failed in the food department, receiving a scant C+.
“Brooklyn Tech prepared me for college in just about every way possible,” a former student wrote in an assessment of the school. “The curriculum itself is meant to push students above and beyond in order to give them an advantage in the real world and in college. As a college student, I can honestly say that most of the work has been easy, whether it’s writing essays, computing math problems, or brainstorming ideas for projects.”
The web site had the task of ranking a total of 14,431 public high schools all over the United States. They collected over 4.6 million evaluations from 280,000 students and parents.
Top ten New York public high schools include:
1. Stuyvesant High School
2. Staten Island Technical High School
3. Jericho Senior High School
4. Rye High School
5. Horace Greeley High School
6. Edgemont Junior/Senior High School
7. Great Neck South High School
8. Scarsdale Senior High School
9. Blind Brook High School
10. Manhasset Secondary School
The property is located at 29 Ryerson Street and is a vacant, eight-story loft warehouse in Clinton Hill. The developers plan to market the office space as an affordable alternative to other areas of Brooklyn. Built in 1951, the owners would like to see high-tech firms and other creative types of businesses housed on the property.
Some of the enticing features of the building are 15+ foot-high ceilings, three-side exposures providing great light and air circulation. The building has 440 feet of exposure on Ryerson, and an additional 110 feet on Flushing Avenue, making this a great location for the growing retail marketplace in the area.
“Rising rents and the lack of large, classic industrial spaces throughout Manhattan has changed the value proposition and driven tenants to look elsewhere for space. We’re excited about the investment and the opportunity to participate in the transformational change that the neighborhood is experiencing,” said Joshua Zegen, co-founder and managing member of MRC.
Over two years ago Brown Memorial Baptist Church completed the first phase of a restoration project of their historic church, and embarked on the second phase: the restoration of two stained glass windows created for the church in 1891 by the famed stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. Today one of the Tiffany windows called “The Pilgrims” was unveiled to the public in all its former glory.
The church was founded in 1860 and today has landmark status. Located on Washington Avenue in Clinton Hill, the church today has over 800 regular members. In mid-2012 an ambitious restoration project on the church was completed after 11 years. A new roof, ceiling for the sanctuary, chandeliers, light fixtures and more, were added to the Early Romanesque-Revival building.
After the first phase of the renovation was completed the church decided to tackle two of their twelve stained glass windows created by Tiffany in 1891. The church was the recipient of a grant of $200,000 to restore the two windows. The money came from a fund created by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a group that is dedicated to restoring sites in New York City of historic value.
“The inside of the sanctuary inspires awe,” said Aquila Middleton, the volunteer director of construction at the church. “A lot of time and care went into its restoration.”
An additional $150,000 was also raised from the New York Landmarks Conservancy and other sources.
“The Pilgrims” is 40 feet high and 50 feet wide. It shows two pilgrims visiting with an angel.