23 October 2012

How They Lived, How We Live

Here is a study in contrasts, on the corner of Richardson and Humboldt in Williamsburg. In the foreground, we have a handsome, three-story, brick building, with finely patterned blonde and brown brickwork, arches over the first story windows, a grand-looking entrance and an elegant cast-iron fence surrounding all. Who wouldn't be proud to live there.

Looming behind it you have a hideous, 11-story, "finger" building, erected by ubiquitous "architect" Karl Fisher in 2009. It was intended as a rush-job casing for million-dollar condos. Then the economy tanked, and it became a rental, like so many other Brooklyn condo towers. It was sold last year. Not sure what's happening with it now. But it's still ugly.

The smaller building, meanwhile, is a beauty forever. Though it looks (to me) like it was an apartment building, if actually began life as a schoolhouse, and also served as the Old Saint Catherine's Maternity Ward. (I tend to believe the ward part, the schoolhouse part not so much.) It was restored in recent years and now goes by the name of Humboldt Street Lofts.

1 comment:

Kent said...

I was walking around DC this past week and noticing even in the Federal buildings architecture has that same thing going on.

The building from years ago just have SO much more visual interest vs. looking like some cold slab boring all-in-one pieces of 1965-1979 crud.