Brooklyn Heights

Construction fence at dilapidated Brooklyn Heights former mansion blows down in wind

Long history of violations at 100 Clark St.

June 26, 2024 Mary Frost
A construction fence surrounding a dilapidated Brooklyn Heights building under construction since 2017 blew down Monday night. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A construction fence surrounding a dilapidated building with a long history of violations in Brooklyn Heights blew down in Monday night’s heavy wind, scattering lumber and building materials across the sidewalk at the intersection of Clark Street and Monroe Place.

Firefighters responded to 100 Clark St., also known as 1 Monroe Place, at roughly 10:27 p.m. following a 911 call about falling debris, an FDNY spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle. Responders placed heavy concrete blocks on the wooden structure to prevent it from blowing further, and blocked off the area with caution tape. 

Firefighters responded to 100 Clark Street, also known as 1 Monroe Place, following a 911 call about falling debris. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

The building, under stop-and-start renovation since 2017, has a history of violations in recent years, including failure to maintain the exterior, excessive debris, failure to maintain the building and more. Inspectors in July 2021 discovered cracked walls, bent window lintels, broken brick and loose mortar joints. 

The contractor has racked up at least five violations related to the construction fence in the past year. A violation issued last month, on May 17, charged work was being done with either no permit or an expired permit. Since that time, the contractor obtained the proper permit, which could be seen taped to one of the broken wooden panels laying crookedly on the sidewalk.

100 Clark St. under construction in February 2023. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

Long and troubled history

The once-grand building, for years considered a neighborhood eyesore, dates to 1852. By 2008, the structure — owned by Penson & Co. at the time — was so deteriorated the walls were reported to be creaking and moving, according to the McBrooklyn blog.

The tenants were rapidly evacuated and the NYC Department of Buildings sent a wrecking crew to tear down the house on Memorial Day weekend of that year, former Brooklyn Eagle real estate reporter Lore Croghan reported at that time. It was half razed by the time the Penson & Co. went to court and got the demolition stopped. (The top three floors are gone.)  Real estate investment and development firm Newcastle Realty Services subsequently bought the building, Croghan reported.

In August 2016 the Landmarks Commission approved an application to rebuild the structure.

Margaret Streicker Porres, Newcastle Realty Services’ founder and president, promised in 2016, “It’s going to be a cornerstone of Brooklyn Heights again.” However, she cautioned that the timetable for completing the rebuilding was going to be longer than for an ordinary project of this size “because of the complexity of the permitting sequence.”

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