Townhouse Proposed for Vacant Rowhouse Lot

Project would fill gap in historic row near Brooklyn Bridge. On May 5, 2009, Landmarks heard testimony on a proposed new residential building at 9 Old Fulton Street in Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Historic District. The four-story-plus-penthouse structure would occupy a vacant lot in a row of 1830s Greek Revival rowhouses.

Calling the vacant lot a “missing tooth” in the street’s composition, the project’s architect, Walter Maffei, testified that the new building would match the height of the adjacent rowhouses. Maffei based the new building’s design on the adjacent rowhouse located at 7 Old Fulton Street, proposing a brick-face, ground floor retail, cherry-wood storefront, and a fiberglass cornice. He stated that the proposed penthouse would be set back 25 feet, ensuring that it would not be visible from Fulton Street. A bulkhead set back 12 feet from the facade would likely be partially visible from the street. Maffei noted that Landmarks had approved penthouse additions to three other buildings in the row.

Preservationists, community residents, and commissioners concurred that the proposal’s concept was appropriate, but believed that more detail was necessary before Landmarks would approve. A representative of the Fulton Ferry Landing Association objected to the penthouse. Commissioner Diana Chapin noted that 7 Old Fulton Street’s facade possessed little historic fabric, and suggested that the new building be modeled on 11 Old Fulton Street instead. Chair Robert B. Tierney asked the applicants to return with a rethought design.

LPC: 9 Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn (COFA# 09-6644) (May 5, 2009).

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