Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cadman to Fulton to Clark, We Made Our Way on a Lark

Wednesday morning, Blue and I headed southeast to Downtown Brooklyn, cutting through Cadman Plaza before taking a stroll on Fulton Mall and heading home. 

Start time: 6:35am 
Duration: 1 hour
Distance: 2.66 miles 
Neighborhoods: Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights

View 06/27/12 Walk in a larger map

Heretofore unbeknownst to me, the first recipient of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce's "Best Apartment Building" stands just around the corner from our apartment.  "The Granlyn", an 11-story Art Deco apartment building was designed by New York (by way of Lwow) architect Hyman Isaac Feldman and completed in 1931.  From what I understand, Feldman was quite prolific, though not all of his designs held up as well as this one.  According to his daughter, much of his buildings were "hack work."  You can check out the original Certificate of Occupancy for the Granlyn here.

The Granlyn Apartments

From there, we made our way to one of Blue's absolute favorite spots--Cadman Plaza, which runs from the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge south towards Borough Hall. Aside from the beautiful allées, I must love it so much because it was named for Samuel Parkes Cadman. You'll never believe this, but the congregational minister was from Wellington... England.

Cadman Plaza West

On to Fulton Mall... a rapidly changing strip in Downtown Brooklyn.  Anchored by Macy's (2nd photo below), the mall has become a juxtaposition of the lively old(er) guard (Jimmy Jazz, Dr. Jay's, Cookies) and the infiltration of Gap Outlet, Express and--marking the entrance from the west--Brooklyn's first Shake Shack.  If you want to skip the lines--and avoid the rain--cross the bridge to the BK.  By the time you do that, order a shake and a burger, and head back... your buddy in Madison Square Park might have made it to the front of the line.  I digress... back to some snapshots of current-day Fulton Mall.  Soak it up, because a few years from now, it will be unrecognizable--thanks in large part to the development springing up around the new Nets arena... or as I think it will come to be called: The House That Tyshawn Built.

Shake Shack @ Fulton Mall
Macy's @ Fulton Mall
Express store under construction on Fulton Mall
Fulton Mall
A delightful view from Livingston and Bond, looking north to Fulton

On the way back home, across the street from Cadman Plaza, we come upon what I'm guessing is not every Brooklyner's cup of tea.  The massive (by Brooklyn Heights standards) apartment complex centered on Clark Street, between Henry and Hicks, is composed of a tower (in the background below), a mid-rise apartment building, and low-rise townhouses, cultural centers and retail spaces.  The complex is interconnected by a series of bridges and elevated gardens and plazas.  Oppressively Brutalist to some, I find them strikingly sculptural, and sometimes beautiful, when they catch the light just right.  And the materials used are somewhat unexpected--and definitely out of character for the neighborhood: a composition of cast-in-place concrete and raked, colored concrete blocks.  Expect more photos and documentation in the future.

Apartment complex on Cadman Plaza West and Clark

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