Brooklyn Heights Studio With Archways, Four Closets, Deco Bathroom Asks $525K

While not abundant in square footage, this Art Deco-era studio has all the benefits of apartments from that era, including a separate dining space, arched doorways and decent closet space. The co-op unit is on the third floor of The Mansion House, the six-story 1930s apartment building at 145 Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights, giving it a location within walking distance to shops and parks spanning several nearby areas, including Downtown Brooklyn.

The Mansion House moniker is a nod to the building formerly on the site, a mansion that was used for an academy for young ladies before being turned into a hotel. When it was demolished in 1930 some tenants had been in residence since the 1880s. The land stayed vacant for several years, prompting some ghost stories, before construction began in 1935 for the current building.

Designed by Arthur Weiser, the restrained brick building has touches of the Colonial Revival, with urn-topped brick pillars guarding a brick pathway to the recessed entrance with a columned portico. A sketch of the building in an early brochure and the circa 1940 tax photo both show shutters on the central windows of the second floor. While gone, the shadows of the shutters are still visible.

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The same brochure lists the many “modern conveniences and improvements” designed for residents, many still found in this studio unit. A foyer with three closets and niched shelving leads to the raised dining area with arched openings to the living room. The windowed space, referred to as a dining balcony on the early floor plans, has its original iron railing and the fourth closet. The living area, which is large enough to fit both seating and sleeping areas, has three windows on two exposures and a view to the charming carriage houses of College Place.

The windowed galley kitchen has white cabinets and counters and appears in good shape although perhaps ready for a style tweak.

For some reason the listing photos don’t include a shot of the tiled Art Deco-era bathroom, which, at least in the glimpse available in the video tour, looks fairly fabulous for lovers of vintage style.

The 107-unit elevator building has laundry and storage in the basement and an attended lobby. Maintenance for this unit is $774 a month. It is listed at $525,000 with Brian Lehner of Brown Harris Stevens. Worth the ask?

[Listing: 145 Hicks Street, APT B36 | Broker: Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

brooklyn heights 145 hicks street interior

brooklyn heights 145 hicks street interior

brooklyn heights 145 hicks street interior

brooklyn heights 145 hicks street interior

brooklyn heights 145 hicks street exterior

Photo by James Dowd for PropertyShark

brooklyn heights 145 hicks street interior

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Workshop/APD and April Bovet Interior Design Team Up on a Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Gem

In the dining room, Eoos chairs ring a custom concrete table beneath a Rich Brilliant Willing pendant fixture. Photography by Donna Dotan.

Each of the five boroughs contains a constellation of neighborhoods with their own cultural quirks and pervading personalities. In Cobble Hill, ethnically diverse mom-and-pop shops and traditional brownstones entwine with a boho art scene, yielding an old-school yet forward-thinking Brooklyn vibe. It’s here that Workshop/APD founding principal Andrew Kotchen was given the opportunity to nestle a unique piece of architecture between two 1900s town houses, at once putting into relief the district’s dual natures.

GamFratesi stools pull up to the kitchen’s granite-topped island. Photography by Donna Dotan.

“It’s rare to get the chance to run an intelligent design process that isn’t based in historical preservation,” Kotchen says of the ground-up plan he conceived for his client, a married couple with two teenage children. After performing initial zoning studies, he and the WAPD team demolished the existing residence and inserted a modernist glass-and-steel town house, encompassing 7,000 square feet and four bedrooms across six floors. “We didn’t set out to take up every inch of buildable square footage,” Kotchen continues. “The focus was on creating comfortable, livable rooms.” Leveraging ideas from past projects with this client, he has devised, in its “calming simplicity,” an exemplar of the contemporary urban home.

White-oak built-ins backdrop an Antonio Citterio sofa and ottoman in the living room. Photography by Donna Dotan.

The streamlined program begins with a triple-height entry atrium that references elements from the facade. A screen of ebonized-oak slats rises the full 31 feet and then crosses the ceiling, the orientations nodding to the exterior’s vertical windows and horizontal Belgian bricks, which extend into the entry. Furthermore, the slat color links to the blackened steel framing those windows. It all functions as a sort of decompression chamber, providing a “gradual transition to and reveal of the
interiors,” Kotchen notes.

Slabs of honed Pietra Cardosa surround the main bathroom. Photography by Donna Dotan.

Beyond is the main living level, where the architect constructed volumes that flow and intersect seamlessly for maximum functionality. The kitchen is central, specially designed to support the client’s love of cooking and entertaining. Flanking it are the dining and living rooms, and directly behind its generous island is a clear path to stairs leading down to an expansive terrace and lawn for casual outdoor gatherings. Surfaces are clad in brushed stainless steel or black granite for textural nuance and durability. Extensive white-oak built-ins provide storage in the living room and conceal it in the dining room and kitchen. “We
approached the structure as a compositional explor­ation, using restraint to avoid over-embellishing,” Kotchen explains.

Carrie Crawford artwork and a bone-china pendant decorate the main bedroom. Photography by Donna Dotan.

It also provided a neutral envelope to backdrop the cadences of daily family life. April Bovet Interior Design was brought on to infuse the home with a
sophisticated palette that complements rather than competes with the

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New Kitchen and Community Center Addressing Racial Disparity in Food to Open in Brooklyn

With the pandemic revealing the ways in which restaurants have systematically failed to prioritize the physical and mental health of their staff, an upcoming Brooklyn culinary center is using the crisis to reevaluate what the future of hospitality can look like.

a commercial kitchen: Auxilio Space is planning to open in December

© Ignacio Javier Bidart/Shutterstock
Auxilio Space is planning to open in December

Auxilio Space — a new project from a trio of forward-thinking hospitality and nightlife veterans — will be an intersectional community-focused food space with the mission of providing resources and meals for New York City’s queer, Black, trans and/or Indigenous communities of color. It’ll include a test kitchen, front-facing bakery and prepared foods cafe, and a co-op CSA model that allows customers on WIC/SNAP to access high-quality fresh produce. The name Auxilio means to offer help in Spanish, a nod to co-founder Zacarías González’s Cuban heritage.

González, a former art director-turned-hospitality worker who most recently was at the new-wave Mediterranean restaurant Petra in Bushwick, had already been yearning for a more community-oriented kitchen space prior the pandemic that allows a new generation of “queer chefs to get their foot in the door,” he says. González is working alongside Kia Damon, formerly the executive chef at Lalito and culinary director at Cherry Bombe, and Mohammed Fayaz, an illustrator and one of the organizers of Papi Juice, an instrumental artist collective celebrating queer and trans people of color in NYC’s nightlife scene that has overlapped with the culinary world on several past events.

The center will also be a place for emerging chefs to host pop-ups and benefit from in-house culinary residencies. Damon will lead mentorship programs out of Auxilio as well as use the space to house her Kia Feeds the People Program, a new mutual-aid meal initiative. Fayaz will handle community outreach and social media, while González’s work will be more focused around development.

Originally, the center was set to open in Downtown Brooklyn, next door to Dépanneur Wines at 294 Livingston Street, between Bond and Nevins Street, where González is currently a buyer. However, in recent weeks, the Auxilio team has shifted to trying to open in an area where the need for more equitable access to food is more urgent and where a queer-led food community is already beginning to gain force, such as Bed-Stuy, where the team has more ties. The target opening date for the project is December.

Though it is clear that Auxilio Space is ambitious and lofty in its multi-pronged approach to creating more access and equity for those who have been left out of positions of power in hospitality, the pandemic has only revealed the dire urgency to all issues it is attempting to chew off. With restaurant jobs remaining scarce, more workers than ever are being pushed to seek out food pantries. The recent Black Lives Matter protests have also galvanized a push to end the general toxicity and “yes, chef” mentality that has allowed racist, homophobic, transphobic, and sexist behavior to pervade the city’s kitchens.

“Prioritizing mental

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