The Landmarks Preservation Commission has again rejected proposals to construct a new three-story townhouse at 56 Middaugh Street in Brooklyn Heights. Designed by Pratt + Black Architects, the three-story townhouse would redevelop a partially vacant lot that is sandwiched between an existing single-story garage and another three-story, albeit shorter, single-family townhouse.
The project was originally presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in a public hearing on January 14, 2020. The Brooklyn Heights Association, as well as ruling commissioners, testified against the project, which they felt was not appropriate in relation to the existing structure. Specific criticisms included the window design and fenestration, the prominence of the garage, construction materials, and cornices, among other design details.
The most recent iteration of the project called for a pale red and brown brick façade, industrial-style windows, and a third-floor balcony, which together appear to be an even further departure from exterior design of the existing building. That considered, the architects worked closely with the Brooklyn Heights Association to present an amenable design that could appease the Commissioners.
Unfortunately, the LPC still felt the building was out of context, overly complex, and should instead be a simple vertical volume with no setbacks or outdoor terraces facing the street.
It is not clear when the architects will return to the LPC for a third attempt.