Roger Horne, a Mohawk Ironworker in the Raising Gang, ca. 1970 via the Smithsonian
The Empire State Building. The George Washington Bridge. The United Nations. The Woolworth Building. 30 Rock. The Seagram Building. Lincoln Center. The Waldorf Astoria. Virtually all of New York’s most iconic structures were raised in part by Mohawk Native American ironworkers. Since 1916, when Mohawk men made their way to New York to work on the Hell Gate Bridge, ironworkers from two Native communities, Akwesasne (which straddles Ontario, Quebec, and New York State) and Kahnawake (near Montreal), have been “walking iron” across the city.
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In a vote today, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Boerum Hill Historic District Extension. The 288-building district is split into three distinct sections, all adjacent to the existing 250-building Boerum Hill Historic District that was designated in 1973. According to an LPC press release, the extension “represents the diverse cultural and economic history of Boerum Hill, as well as its largely intact 19th-century architecture.” It’s mostly residential blocks, made up of late 19th-century brownstone and brick townhouses, along with a block-and-a-half commercial stretch of Atlantic Avenue.
Shelly Place, an agent with Triplemint, describes Boerum Hill as “the perfect blend of old and new. Geographically, it is smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn, convenient to downtown [Manhattan], and close enough without being in the middle of the hustle and bustle. You can go days or weeks without ever leaving Boerum Hill but, if you want, you have the rest Brooklyn right there.”
Known for tree-lined streets filled with historic brownstones, Boerum Hill is one of those unique neighborhoods that has successfully blended past and present in a way few communities have been able to. There are a ton of great restaurants and creative cocktail lounges and independent specialty stores alongside the big brands, like Apple, Whole Foods’ 365, and Lululemon, lining Smith Street and Atlantic Avenue. And with a slew of new contextual developments springing up, it’s time to turn your attention to the buzz on Boerum Hill.
Everything you need to know about Boerum Hill
6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Boerum Hill home of Ample Hills founders Jackie and Brian. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
If you’ve ever indulged in an Ample Hills ice cream cone, you know that their fanciful flavors (Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, the Munchies, and Snap Mallow Pop, just to name a few!) are perfectly matched by the Brooklyn company’s whimsical shops. But founders Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith definitely didn’t grow in seven years from their first storefront in Prospect Heights to nine locations, including one in Disney World, and a forthcoming Red Hook factory where they’ll produce 1 million gallons a year, without a lot of hard work and business smarts.
And it’s this combination of playfulness and attention to detail that they’ve carried over to their adorable Boerum Hill home, which they moved into two years ago with their eight-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. A triplex in a quintessential Brooklyn brownstone, their home has cheery pops of color, mid-century-modern furnishings, and an eclectic mix of decor and family mementos. 6sqft recently visited the couple to tour their space, hear why they love Brooklyn, and learn about Ample Hills’ plans.
Tour this sweet home and hear from Brian and Jackie
“Million Dollar Listing New York” star Ryan Serhant had recently taken over the listing for novelist Jonathan Safran Foer’s gorgeous five-story Boerum Hill home, asking $8.995 million; the award-winning scribe first listed the home with Compass for $10.5 million last May. Now, according to The Real Deal, Serhant is the new owner of the 8,000-square-foot townhouse. Safran Foer bought the 1899 Greek Revival home at 374 Pacific Street for $5.4 million in 2014, so while the sale price represents a price chop, he didn’t do too badly on the deal.
Take one last look
Rendering of 120 3rd Avenue via Aufgang Architects
The city announced on Thursday their selection of two developers, Arker Companies and Two Trees Management, to build two 16-story apartment towers on parking lots at Wyckoff Gardens, a New York City Housing Authority property in Brooklyn. However, according to the Daily News, the owners of both companies have raised a total of $124,600 for Mayor Bill de Blasio, bringing into question the influence of donations on the city’s choice of the two developers.
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Sometimes you don’t need to go far to escape the frenzy of the city. Forget about charming mountain retreats or luxury seaside homes, this humble beauty provides the perfect place to escape it all right in a Boerum Hill, Brooklyn backyard. Crafted by local studio Hunt Architecture using salvaged cedar and fence pickets, the Brooklyn Garden Studio is a grown-up version of the classic treehouse.
Learn more about this small wooden shed
To help our fellow New Yorkers on their hunt for a good roommate, we present “Be My Roommate.” If you have an empty room you’d like to see featured here, get in touch with us at [email protected]!
Meet Marie, a laid-back bookworm searching for a roommate for her Cobble Hill two-bedroom. Marie, a Florida native, moved to the neighborhood just over four years ago after a spending several years in Chicago and more than a year living out of a backpack in Central America. Up until a week ago, she shared her Brooklyn apartment with a friend who has since flown the coop to teach in Paris. This has left Marie with an extra bedroom, and for anyone looking for new digs, a great opportunity to live in one of the city’s best neighborhoods.
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This bright, loft-like Cobble Hill condo pulls off a pretty neat trick: It’s on the ground floor (giving it a private garden) and it also has the penthouse perk of an enormous skylight and a private roof terrace just above. How is this possible, you ask? The apartment occupies the rear extension of a 25-foot-wide brownstone at 56 Bergen Street, combining penthouse perks and garden level access. The two-bedroom 1,413 square-foot home is at the crossroads of Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights and Fort Greene, within walking distance to everything from Trader Joe’s to the Promenade and antique shops on Atlantic Avenue.
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With the weather heating up and summer around the corner, it’s time to start drooling over private outdoor spaces up for sale. A deck, backyard and roof deck designed by a landscape architect adorn this Boerum Hill townhouse at 459 Pacific Street, now on the market for $2.996 million. The 19th-century townhouse was gut renovated into a modern owner’s triplex, with a separate one-bedroom apartment with its own entrance under the stoop. An open floorplan, built-in shelving, and fancy appliances complete the interior.
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