Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery threatened to close its gates last week after some visitors ignored the 478-acre-site’s rules and regulations. In an email to supporters, the cemetery’s president Richard Moylan said people have biked, climbed trees, and even taken flowers that were placed on graves, all actions prohibited by the organization. “The conduct of a small percentage of our visitors has created an unacceptable situation,” Moylan wrote. “If things don’t change we may be left with no choice but to close our gates as many other cemeteries have done.”
What do Jean-Michel Basquiat, F.A.O Schwarz, Horace Greeley, Samuel Morse, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Boss Tweed, Peter Cooper, Leonard Bernstein, and Susan Smith McKinney-Steward have in common? All these notable New Yorkers are spending eternity in Brooklyn, specifically Greenwood Cemetery, the stunning 478-acre “rural cemetery” that’s home to 560,000 “permanent residents” (and about as many truly spectacular mausoleums.) Since the best secrets are the ones you take to the grave, come dig up the dirt on Green-Wood, and read on for 10 things you didn’t know about Brooklyn’s most sensational cemetery.
Listing photos by DDReps, courtesy of Compass
Perched at the highest point in Brooklyn in Greenwood Heights, tucked into a quiet street surrounded by greenery, this contemporary townhouse at 614a 7th Avenue, asking $2.75 million, would be equally at home in California or the sun-baked tropics. Balcony doors can be thrown open for panoramic views, which include the Statue of Liberty–and the endless vistas of the adjacent Green Wood Cemetery. On the lucky additions side, there’s a curb cut and a garage. Even better: A mural of Basquiat–a Brooklyn native–on the garage door.
Photo via Wiki Commons
It’s usually the tours and events at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery that get people talking, but the national landmark has its own chatty group that’s attracting a lot of attention. The group happens to be a flock of lime green parrots from Argentina, appropriately named “Monk Parrots” since they are hanging out in the cemetery despite Green-Wood’s nonsectarian nature. But how did these loud and exotic birds get all the way from South America to Greenwood Heights?
Green-Wood Cemetery via Wiki Commons
A rental building with some stellar amenities at 198 19th Street in a rapidly-developing section of Greenwood Heights is now accepting applications for six newly-constructed affordable units. The five-story residence is just a few blocks from Green-Wood Cemetery, the popular Park Slope and Gowanus neighborhoods, and the D and R trains. An impressive amenities package includes a common roof deck, gym and recreation space, basement storage, furnished common area, and washers and dryers in each unit. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 60 percent of the area median income can apply for the $1,035/month one-bedroom apartments and $1,175/month two-bedroom units.
635 Fourth Avenue via ND Architecture and Design
This stacked, Tetris-like facade is the type of thing we’re used to seeing in neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Long Island City, but ND Architecture and Design has brought a similar look to the less-trendy and more industrial area where South Slope meets Gowanus. The mixed-use building known as the Alexy was recently completed and features commercial space, parking, and 95 rental units, a mix of market rate and affordable apartments. The latter group of 19 residences, ranging from $813/month studios to $1,016/month two-bedrooms, is now accepting applications from New Yorkers earning 60 percent of the area median income, quite the deal considering market-rate units are renting from $2,400 to $5,100 a month.
It’s houses like this renovated two-family brick townhouse at 213 29th Street in lovely Greenwood, Brooklyn, that make us stop and think about the current real estate market. The home is asking $2.5 million. Sure, it’s a 2,379-square-foot townhouse–bigger than most apartments. And there are four bedrooms if you count the rental unit, though most of them are pretty small–and there’s that rental income, of course. But though Greenwood is a solid choice for townhouse living, a 17-foot-wide, three-story house is a tough sell in any neighborhood–and a two-and-a-half million dollar property is a tough sell in this one. Also: The house has no cellar (less storage and other downsides). But it’s awfully cute. And the crazy thing about home buyers is that it only takes one.
This shotgun house in East Bed Stuy (asking $775K last December) needs to move over: there’s another stubby property in town. And by town, we mean the neighborhood of Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, located just south of Park Slope. The two-story home comes with two bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathroom and the opportunity to expand. The question is, would you pay just under $1 million for it?
A certain “just right” location can make a buying a home there seem like it’s a way better idea than it might have been, say, ten years ago. That certainly describes one thing this unexpected loft condominium has going for it; it’s exactly at the crossroads where Greenwood meets South Slope and Sunset Park, with a side of Gowanus. All of those neighborhoods are uniquely poised, each in their own way, to become some of the most exciting districts in Brooklyn.
Though the surrounding streets are more likely to yield modest clapboard or brick multi-family homes, this 1,255 square foot condominium in a converted factory building at 248 17th Street just south of the border (of Park Slope) conveys a vibe of cool, authentic loft living, with poured concrete floors, painted brick walls, 14-foot ceilings and oversized steel-framed casement windows. And while the $1.2 million price tag may be a sign of the times, it’s definitely a sign of the territory.