Archive for the tag 'bungalows'


The bungalow communities near Emmons Avenue provides a glimpse into how people in Sheepshead Bay – along with much of coastal Southern Brooklyn – used to live when development first began coming to the resort destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The small waterfront homes were built for summer stays, and later became year-round homes as Sheepshead Bay became more residential.

Greenlawn Bungalow Colony on Emmons Avenue near Batchelder Street remains one of the largest intact examples in Brooklyn of how the area looked, still sporting landscaped walkways in front of the homes. We’re told it’s also one of the oldest in the area, and may have led the way in cooperative ownership, where homeowners owned a stake in the land like today’s co-op apartments.

Greenlawn, though, was one of the worst hit colonies by Superstorm Sandy, as we reported back in November 2012. Several houses were destroyed or severely damaged. Now, 22 of the bungalows are being sold for prices ranging from $250,000 to $600,000, according to the Edward Re, who is representing the property.

Re is selling the bungalows on behalf of Realty Finance Trust. Before Sandy, most of the bungalows were being rented out with the option of buying it. But after the storm, owners and tenants were left with a repair bill they didn’t want to pay for.

Waterfront activists concerned that the property might be sold to developers, who could tear down the homes and block out views of the waterfront, might take relief that the broker is hoping to preserve the properties.

“You would be buying the shell of a bungalow,” Re said. “We’re interested in finding people that want to restore the bungalow community.”

Re noted that the bungalows get interest from local business owners who want a summer home but can’t run off to another state because of the constant demands of running a small business.

But for the asking price you actually get more than a shell. Each cottage has water rights, known as riparian water rights for all you real estate geeks, to the Bay. The owner of a bungalow also has access to a communal bungalow with a cabaret license, he said.

“It’s like the old world,” Re said.

Port Sheepshead Marina, nothing but rubble.

Despite more than a week of cleaning, Emmons Avenue’s eastern end, a strip of waterfront condos, bungalows and boating clubs, remains in shambles.

We visited Emmons Avenue’s two waterfront bungalow colonies earlier this week, and, though Hurricane Sandy destroyed several homes and left families for the streets, there had been no visits from FEMA, Red Cross or any examples of the volunteer frenzy other neighborhoods have received.

In the absence of outside help, neighbors banded together to help each other.

Keep reading, and view a photo gallery of the destruction in the bungalow colonies.

The only entrance to Lake Avenue became impassable once water started tumbling down from Emmons Avenue, and debris littered the alleyway.

There is no shortage of heroes that came out of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, but it seems everyone on Lake Avenue agrees that two quick thinking residents of their bungalow colony and a nearby landlord are their first first responders.

The Nostrand Avenue condo building where Lake Avenue residents found refuge from the flood.

One of several Lake Avenue buildings that are now deemed uninhabitable by the Department of Buildings.

When flood waters breached the bulkhead of Sheepshead Bay and engulfed Emmons Avenue, it advanced forward, rushing into the bungalow colony alleys located below street level. With no drainage systems, approximately 60 residents of Lake Avenue – just off Nostrand Avenue and Emmons Avenue – realized their one-story bungalows were about to be submerged.

“All of a sudden the water started pouring into the house. My 94-year-old father and I live in the house together,” said Lake Avenue resident Wendy Mitchell.

That’s when neighbors Missy Haggerty and Peter McCandless rushed out of their homes and began banging on doors, telling people to get out. Some were sleeping or in the middle of eating dinner, and looked up the block to see a waterfall rushing down the steps into the colony’s dead end alley.

“I got out and I’m trying to hold the door open [for my 94-year-old father] and Peter got him out finally,” Mitchell said. “When we first left, the water was up to the knees. By the time we got about five houses down it was under my arms. I’m five-foot-five and it was under my arms.”

Mitchell said she never would have been able to get out of there if it weren’t for Missy and Peter – and the landlord of a nearby building that abuts the alley.

Continue Reading »

While the looting situation has not been that bad in Sheepshead Bay compared to other hard hit neighborhoods, we haven’t been spared completely.

Greenlawn Bungalow Colony resident Bruce Z. wrote to us, “There has been looting here every night. I put this in front of my bungalow.”

I sure do hope it helps. And I hope no one steals the skeleton.

Midweek Photo: Surprise!

This week’s Midweek Photo comes in from Lisanne via Flickr. She’s been quietly documenting the construction at this house on East 14th Street and Avenue V, and the recent direction of it comes as a pleasant surprise from where she thought it was going. She writes on Flickr, “Wow, they’re not going to be building two additional stories the way they have been doing on this block when they “reconstruct” a bungalow.”

You can see how it looked before they began work – and when it had no roof – over in her Flickr collection.

Courtesy of Nathan Kensinger

Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay share a lot of things. A huge Eastern European population. A beautiful waterfront. And a screwed up history of poorly planned development. The last bit got highlighted in Brighton Beach by urban photographer Nathan Kensinger. He turned his lens to Brighton’s abandoned bungalows and condos, and through photos and text gives a great retelling of the Beach’s history. He describes the nabe as “pockmarked with abandoned construction sites, huge empty lots, and boarded up buildings. Arsonists, squatters and drug dealers have moved in to these unclaimed spaces … a few remaining summer bungalows have born the brunt of the damage.” Some might take issue with his comparisons with the Rockaways, and some might also say that he fails to highlight the good side. But as a story of poor planning scarring a community for generations to come, I think Kensinger tells it just fine.

· Brighton Beach Bungalows [via Curbed]

Rockaway, NY, bungalows c. 1910

John Foster of the Accidental Mysteries blog stumbled across this photo of the Rockaways, circa 1910. Besides being an amazing photo, it gives a lot of insight into what life – and architecture – might have been like on our side of the shore. Sheepshead Bay, especially around Plumb Beach, had bungalow colonies similar to this one, used initially as summer homes for the city’s wealthier residents. If you take a stroll around some of the alleys on the eastern portion of Emmons Avenue, you can still find many homes like this, though now they’ve got more of that “lived in (for 100 years)” look and none of the symmetry.