An 1879 Brooklyn Heights townhouse will sprout a three-story rear deck with "fancy" ironwork, thanks to an approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The four-story, two-unit house at 45 Remsen Street sold in August for $5.45 million, and the new owners, artist Tom Fruin and his wife, according to public records, are looking to jazz up the joint. In addition to the new rear windows and outdoor space that the LPC voted on, Department of Buildings filings indicate a full interior renovation as well.
Even though the exterior changes are limited, the approval didn't come without a little discussion. Commissioner Roberta Washington commented that the proposed ironwork was a little "fancy," but commissioner John Gustafsson point out that they have approved "much more bizarre" things in the past.
While the commissioners approved the proposal unanimously and Brooklyn Community Board 2 also backed it, the Historic Districts Council did not. "HDC welcomes a rear yard deck, but could not concede that the elaborate iron work is appropriate," HDC's Kelly Carroll said. "While the material is quite lovely, of quality, and found in other historic quarters of the country—New Orleans' Vieux Carre came to mind—the Committee agreed that such a style does not fit in Brooklyn Heights."
—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· All Landmarks Preservation coverage [Curbed]