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Historic Prospect Heights building will get a modern rooftop addition

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The four-story building is part of the Prospect Heights Historic District

What the building will look like from street level with the rooftop addition.
Renderings courtesy of OPerA Studio

A 126-year-old Prospect Heights building is set to get a quirky, modern penthouse addition after the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission gave its approval to the project last week. Located within the Prospect Heights Historic District, 576 Vanderbilt Avenue (a.k.a 638 Bergen Street) is a four-story building at the intersection of Vanderbilt Avenue and Bergen Street, and just a few blocks away from Grand Army Plaza.

The building, which has operated as a rental in recent years, was purchased by an LLC in 2015 for $2.9 million, property records reveal. The developer then brought on OPerA Studio Architecture to restore the building. The architecture firm will now work to repair the cornice, restore the windows and doors to their original wood mullions and moldings, and repair the brick and stone on the facade.

The most notable change however is the penthouse addition—a 299 square foot topper that will function as part of a newly renovated duplex apartment that will have a private terrace.

The dark bronze and teak-clad structure is a contemporary take on the mansard roofs found on some of the Romanesque Revival-style buildings within this historic district, according to the architecture firm.

In addition to the four apartments at this building, there’s also a ground-floor retail space. The new rentals haven’t yet come on the market, but that will likely happen sometime early next year.

While some building records state that this building was built in 1931, a look at the designation report [PDF!, pg. 68] for the Prospect Heights Historic District reveals that the house was actually built circa 1891.