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47 Plaza Street West

Between Berkeley Place & Grand Army Plaza Oval

Carter Horsley
Review by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

With a great and prominent location, this pre-war apartment building is one of the most elegant in Brooklyn, a reflection of the fact that it was designed by Rosario Candela, the most famous architect of luxury pre-war apartment buildings in Manhattan.

While it does not have all of the posh details of some of Candela's most famous and very expensive Manhattan buildings, it has something most of them do not, a very distinctive shape. Like some of the better buildings along Riverside Drive overlooking the Hudson River on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this building has a gentle curve along one of its long façades. Its south façade has a chamfer small enough to accommodate just one window, an extremely nice design touch.

While the building has no grand river to overlook, it does overlook Grand Army Plaza, one of the city's greatest intersections with one of the city's greatest streetworks - the monumental arch designed by John Duncan and topped by Frederic MacMonnies's great Quadriga sculpture with Columbia on a chariot flanked by winged Victories at the entrance to the great Prospect Park.

As if that were not enough, it also has a sparkling new neighbor, On Prospect Park, a glass-clad apartment tower designed by Richard Meier just to the west of the great Brooklyn Public Library that has perhaps the most spectacular front doors in the city and which is just a few block south of the impressive Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Although the proverbial heart of Brooklyn, Ebbets Field, the home of the departed Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, no longer exists, this is the grand architectural heart of Brooklyn (even if Brooklyn Heights will always win the charm contest).

This location is the borderline between Park Slope and Prospect Heights and this building falls into the former neighborhood, one of the most desirable in Brooklyn.

This 16-story building was erected in 1928 and has 47 co-op apartments.

It has a 24-hour elevator/doorman, a canopied entrance, and is very close to several subway lines. Mail and newspapers are delivered to the front doors of apartments and garbage is collected by the rear door of apartments five days a week. Each apartment was originally designed with at least one maid's room.

Candela designed only one other building in Brooklyn, the Berkeley Plaza, which is nearby at 39 Plaza Street West.

This brown-brick building has quoins, stringcourses at the third and fourth floors, a small cornice, and a few decorative balconies. It permits protruding air-conditioners and has basement storage space. It has gargoyles at the corner of Plaza and Union Streets and below the decorative balcony on the fifth floor.

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