Brooklyn Navy Yard townhouse rehabilitation recognized by state parks


The restored B Building, circa 1872, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, now occupied by Steiner Studios. Photo courtesy of State Parks

The restoration of the 19th Century Building B at Brooklyn Navy Yard is one of nine projects that were recognized Thursday by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for excellence in historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse.

The Building B project gave new life to the once endangered 1872 townhouse, the last remaining building in Admiral’s Row, which now houses the offices of Steiner Studios.

Steiner is the well-known film and television production center whose soundstage, also located in the Navy Yard, is the largest such production facility in the United States outside of Hollywood.

The row house in Building B is the only surviving building in Admiral’s Row, a row of 10 homes that were once used by naval officers stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After the U.S. Navy abandoned the facility, the homes deteriorated to the point of collapsing. Most were demolished in 2016. A huge Wegmans supermarket which opened on the site in 2019 has been well received by the community and provided many jobs.

According to the Evergreene Architectural Arts website, one of the consultants in charge of the renovation, Building B was the tallest of the houses in Admiral’s Row. It originally had 10 bedrooms and six bathrooms. “To allow access,” the website says, “the whole building had to be considerably reinforced, including the walls and ceilings of the structure.”

One of the interior spaces of the restored Brooklyn Navy Yard B Building. Notice the details of the fireplace and the ceiling. Photo courtesy of State Parks

“The 2021 New York State Historic Preservation Awards are an opportunity to highlight projects and people who are helping preserve the state’s heritage for the benefit of our current residents, visitors and future generations, ”said Erik Kulleseid, State Parks Commissioner.

“The diversity of recognized projects demonstrates that preservation begins with passionate local individuals extending their advocacy into productive partnerships. We are proud to be one of these partners and congratulate all individuals and groups for their extraordinary efforts to preserve these historic places, ”he added.

Other projects recognized by state parks include:

  • Point O’Woods, Fire Island, Suffolk County. The oldest community on Fire Island, Point O’Woods was founded in 1898 with the mission of forming a summer community providing education and entertainment opportunities in a “healthy environment”.
  • Row houses on Clinton Avenue, Town of Albany, County of Albany. The project involved renovating 70 townhouses in the Arbor Hill neighborhood of Albany. Acquired in foreclosure, the buildings were renovated using historic rehabilitation tax credits to include 210 affordable housing units and six commercial spaces.
  • Roe-Jan Brewing Co., Hillsdale, Columbia County. The project involved the adaptive reuse of the Buckley Store building circa 1851 into a craft brewery and restaurant.
  • Kreiner Malt House and Grain Elevator, Town of Buffalo, County of Erie. This project transformed a historic grain elevator into offices, apartments and a brewery.
  • Northland Corridor Redevelopment / Niagara Machine and Tool Works, Town of Buffalo, Erie County. This project involved the revitalization of several vacant properties in a large manufacturing district on the east side of Buffalo. The cornerstone of this redevelopment project is the Northland Workforce Training Center in the former Niagara Machine and Tool Works.

The New York Division for Historic Preservation, part of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, helps communities identify, assess, preserve and revitalize their historic, archaeological and cultural resources.


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