Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn architecture’

A city library designed to look like an open book

October 20, 2014

BPLwikiWhen you view it at street level, the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library looks like an imposing literary fortress, with a magnificent front door lined with Art Deco motifs of famous characters from great books.

But the architects behind it also gave the building a whimsical touch: they designed it to be shaped like an open book. The spine is at Grand Army Plaza, with one cover along Eastern Parkway and the other on Flatbush Avenue.

BPLunderconstruction

“In the nearly thirty years that had passed since breaking ground on the Central Library building in 1912, the modernist aesthetic, with its clean lines and austere façades, had taken hold. . .  .

“The new library building would be briskly modern, and the very shape of the building—with two wings stretching out like the covers of an open book—would reflect the purpose of the institution itself,” states the Brooklyn Public Library website.

BPL1941

The open-book design is probably best viewed from the air, but the second photo, taken during construction, offers a sense of it. Clever, right?

The stone masons on a Clinton Hill building

May 4, 2011

The Royal Castle Apartments have towered over the corner of Clinton and Gates Avenues since 1912.

And so have these serious-minded stone masons, carved into the facad—reminding passers-by that constructing gorgeous architecture takes skilled hands.

This corner is one of the loveliest in a neighborhood bursting with interesting, well-preserved mansions and brownstones.

But then, they didn’t call Clinton Avenue the Fifth Avenue of Brooklyn for nothing.

Brownstoner has a cool writeup with more photos and history of the Royal Castle Apartments here.