Glamor and grit in Bushwick

Eye on Real Estate

November 1, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Welcome to Bushwick, where the bluebird of happiness can be seen on the ceiling of Bushwick's Myrtle Avenue L train station.  Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Glamor and grit. Hispanic haven and hipster haven.

That’s Bushwick in a nutshell.

You can spend a whole day walking around the neighborhood, which was one of Brooklyn’s original six towns, and tracking down landmarked and landmark-worthy architectural eye candy.

Even the neighborhood’s subway stations are scenic. Have you seen the mosaic ceiling inside the Myrtle Avenue L-train station?

Bushwick is a foodie magnet, with excellent places to eat Mexican and Ecuadoran food and go bar-hopping.

But real-estate nerds are more interested in brewers’ mansions than brew. Instead of writing up bar-crawl listings we’ll point the way to Bushwick Avenue, where beer barons and business tycoons lived long ago.

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Brewers’ mansions on Bushwick Avenue
* Catherina Lipsius House at 670 Bushwick Ave. is everybody’s favorite brewers’ mansion.

She and her family owned Bushwick’s Claus Lipsius Brewing Company.

Her American Round Arched-style mansion has a turret like a small castle.

The eye-catching individual city landmark on the corner of Bushwick and Willoughby avenues was designed by distinguished architect Theobald Engelhardt and constructed in 1889 and 1890.

The house — which is also known as the Cook Mansion in honor of a later resident — hit the headlines in June 2016 when an upper-floor deck collapsed during a party. More than a dozen people were injured.

Since then, the deck has been removed. The only visual hint that it existed is a door on an upstairs floor of the house where you’d expect a window to be.

* Next door to Catherina Lipsius House, a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant has been demolished as a prelude to residential development. The site of the former KFC, whose address is 666 Bushwick Ave., also has frontage on Myrtle Avenue and Ditmars Street.

The property belongs to an LLC controlled by DSRS Holdings LLC, with Dovie Sperlin as manager, city Finance Department records indicate. The LLC paid $1.4 million for the property, Finance Department records show.

According to city Buildings Department filings, a 50-unit apartment building with commercial and community-facility space is planned for the site.

An 1850s church and a Masonic lodge

* The landmarked Reformed Church of South Bushwick was built in 1853. Its original congregants lived on nearby farms. The church is still in use today.

The Greek Revival-style house of worship at 855-867 Bushwick Ave. has a soaring spire. The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation report about the building says this type of steeple topped the London churches that famed architect Christopher Wren designed after the Great Fire of London in 1666.

* Construction is underway at another city landmark, the former Ridgewood Lodge No. 710, Free and Accepted Masons. It was designed by architecture firm Koch & Wagner and built in 1919 and 1920. 

The stately Masons’ lodge at 1054 Bushwick Ave. — which had served as a venue for indie concerts in recent years — is being converted into an apartment building. The developer is Yoel Wertzberger, the managing member of an LLC that purchased the property for $2 million in 2014, Finance Department records indicate.

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