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Olive Park, 100 Maspeth Avenue: Review and Ratings

between Kingsland Avenue & Olive Street View Full Building Profile

Carter Horsley
Review of 100 Maspeth Avenue by Carter Horsley

Sometimes buildings need to be rescued.

Not from changing tastes, nor the ravages of time, but the demands of the city's Zoning Resolution, which sometimes imposes rather severe restrictions on design

At 100 Maspeth Avenue, Aron Deutsch of Superior Construction and Consulting Corporation commissioned architect George Schwartz to design a 7-story residential condominium building overlooking Cooper Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The development was designed with all the trimmings in terms of amenities: a pet spa, a bicycle room, a garden, private storage, a billiards room, a roof deck with cabanas, a fitness center with swimming pool , cold storage, a 24-hour concierge, washers and dryers, dishwashers and a garage.

Most of the amenities were not required by zoning but were intended as marketing tools and the developer also hired Andres Escobar and Hadas Meltzer to put polish on the interiors.

One detail, however, escaped most peoples' notice. The zoning law required a 15-foot setback but the architect had designed no setback.

In 2009, the developer brought in Robert M. Scarano Jr., one of the most active residential architects in Brooklyn, to tackle the problem so that sales could begin.

(Mr. Scarano would later be penalized for wrongly certifying that some of his projects - not this one - were up to code.)

Mr. Scarano's solution might have pleased some medieval architects who loved "flying buttresses" that were employed to support big walls.

He designed a "fence" at the building line that went straight up six stories and then were attached to the building 15 feet away. The fence had large spaces between its piers so that views from the apartments were not too dramatically disrupted or blocked.

To ease the visual pain, the columns had rusticated bases and the rest were faced with brick to match that on the "inner" building.

The building has a corner location at Olive Street where it has curved balconies.

The new "appendages" did not really amount to putting the building in an "iron mask" and their straight geometries precluded any romantic notions of hunchbacks tolling bells.

Indeed, the "crutches" give the building a strengthened character and surely will inspire some future architecture students to mull over "shadow" buildings and the like and who can forget all those amenities and the park especially in a city that tears down perfectly good baseball stadiums without a peep of protest or embarrassment.

Here at least new, legal housing units were created.

"We were brought in as trouble shooters, shortly after the building had been framed out and City Planning had made its decision to halt construction," said Mr. Scarano told therealdeal.com, adding that "Our goal was to help the developer complete the project without having to start from the very beginning, which would have been cost prohibitive."

Rating

18
Out of 44

Architecture Rating: 18 / 44

+
26
Out of 36

Location Rating: 26 / 36

+
20
Out of 39

Features Rating: 20 / 39

+
8
=
72

CityRealty Rating Reference

 
Architecture
  • 30+ remarkable
  • 20-29 distinguished
  • 11-19 average
  • < 11 below average
 
Location
  • 27+ remarkable
  • 18-26 distinguished
  • 9-17 average
  • < 9 below average
 
Features
  • 22+ remarkable
  • 16-21 distinguished
  • 9-15 average
  • < 9 below average
  • #37 Rated condo - Williamsburg
 
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1289 Lexington Avenue
at The Northeast corner of East 86th Street
Carnegie Hill
Refined Residences that Redefine life on Lexington Avenue.
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