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Architecture, Brooklyn, Carter Uncut, Downtown Brooklyn, Features, real estate trends, Urban Design

Skyline Wars: Brooklyn Enters the Supertall Race

By Carter B. Horsley, Wed, April 20, 2016

Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. Here, Carter brings us his fifth installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at Brooklyn’s once demure skyline, soon to be Manhattan’s rival.

Downtown Brooklyn has had a modest but pleasant skyline highlighted by the 350-foot-high Court & Remsen Building and the 343-foot-high great ornate terraces of 75 Livingston Street, both erected in 1926, and the 462-foot-high flat top of the 1927 Montague Court Building. The borough’s tallest building, however, was the great 514-foot-high dome of the 1929 Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, now known as One Hanson Place, a bit removed to the east from Downtown Brooklyn. It remained as the borough’s tallest for a very long time, from 1929 until 2009. A flurry of new towers in recent years has significantly enlarged Brooklyn’s skyline. Since 2008, nine new towers higher than 359 feet have sprouted there, in large part as a result of a rezoning by the city in 2007. A few other towers have also given its riverfront an impressive frontage.

Whereas in the past the vast majority of towers were clustered about Borough Hall downtown, now there are several clusters with some around the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the former Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower and some around the Williamsburg riverfront.

more on Brooklyn’s skyline here

Real Estate Wire

walker tower flip, walker tower
  • The owner of a 3BR/4.5BA duplex with a terrace in the Walker Tower is looking to sell their $14.26M duplex for $25M. [Curbed]
  • Architectural Record has released its annual list of the “Top 300 Architecture Firms” in the United States. Results are based on architectural revenue from 2013. [Architecture Record]
  • Developers are having trouble filling out the affordable apartments at 66 Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn. A spokesperson for the building says they can’t find residents who qualify, but Rob Solano, director of Churches United For Fair Housing, says locals are being disqualified for silly errors and subpar credit scores. [DNA Info]
  • Piqued interest in Long Island City living is causing apartment square footage to shrink. [WSJ]
  • Current and former mayors both claim 8,700 affordable apartments have received financing the first half of this year, but some real estate observers say the real numbers are coming up short. [Crain’s]

The Walker Tower unit (left); Top earning firm Gensler’s Shanghai towers (right)

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