LPC Again Rejects Proposals for Three-Story Townhouse at 56 Middaugh Street in Brooklyn Heights

Updated renderings of 56 Middaugh Street proposed in December 2020 - Pratt + Black ArchitectsUpdated renderings of 56 Middaugh Street proposed in December 2020 - Pratt + Black Architects

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.

Original renderings of 56 Middaugh Street proposed in January 2020 - Pratt + Black Architects

Original renderings of 56 Middaugh Street proposed in January 2020 – Pratt + Black Architects

Updated renderings of 56 Middaugh Street proposed in December 2020 - Pratt + Black Architects

Updated renderings of 56 Middaugh Street proposed in December 2020 – Pratt + Black Architects

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.

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9 Comments on "LPC Again Rejects Proposals for Three-Story Townhouse at 56 Middaugh Street in Brooklyn Heights"

  1. I do understand the LPC’s thinking. I feel bad for the architects though. ?

  2. Outdoor terraces facing the create a sense of connection between passerbys and occupants, IMO. I guess not everyone feels that way. It sounds like they want the building to be as drab as possible.

  3. LPC again proving to be a laughing stock;
    fret and fuss over a three story private residence in the heights, and allow for the destruction of an enormous stretch of premium quality limestone beaux arts commercial architecture on 57th street off of 5th avenue in Manhattan, (see yimby post of solow tower demolition in progress) one of the highest profile locations in the city. the unique context provided by these building, and the Rizzoli group across the street, was invaluable.
    the LPC has been reduced to, in essence, a block association, no vision, no courage; disgusting.

    • I remember the destruction of Penn Station. The Landmark’s Commission is not a laughing stock. However, the implementation of “Historic Districts” rules has now gone too far. To me, either proposal blends in sufficiently and should be approved. In contrast, I remember a wood framed house on 88th St between 1st and 3rd; I can’t rember exactly where, other than that it was on the south side of 88th. If it still exists, it is the only such house in New York County and should be preserved as long as possible at its original site.

      • I remember the destruction of Penn Station as well, very vividly in fact, and it proves to me the point that The Landmarks Commission IS in fact a laughingstock.
        They have done nothing in a generation to protect the historic built environment of New York City.
        Nothing to protect, or even acknowledge, Terminal City, Fifth Avenue, The Seaport, and now even to firmly protect SoHo.
        It is disgraceful, and yes, I too am disgusted.

  4. Middagh, NOT “Middaugh”!

  5. Katrina C Brownlee | December 13, 2020 at 7:33 am | Reply

    How can I apply for application

  6. Please send me an application .

  7. This is ugly, fire the architects. This could be anywhere, from Atlanta to a Toll Brother’s development adjacent to the Great Neck LIRR station.

    Here’s some advice.

    1. CORNICE!! put a damn modern interpretation of a cornice on it for god’s sake.
    2. Get rid of the crappy light speckled brick from the late 90’s and the fake limestone, it’s isn’t the upper east side.
    3. Spread out the windows, Good modern Brownstown design is simple, business in the front, party in the back.
    4. Put some sort of ornamentation on the front, this is so boring it makes me gag.

    Just hire BKSK to do it right.

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