Brooklyn Warehouse Architectural History

Project: Waterfront Warehouse Rehab, Episode 2, Part 3



Bob and his son Chris tour a loft space in the nearby Sweeney Building. On top of stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge and downtown Manhattan, the building boasts a "tar beach" rooftop deck.

David and Jed Walentas of Two Trees Development communicate their vision for the area. Back on site, demolition is underway and preservation expert Bill Higgins, of Higgins and Quasebarth, tells us more about the history of the building.
Part 1: Roof Deck Construction
Part 2: Interior Demolition for Warehouse Conversion
Part 3: Brooklyn Warehouse Architectural History
Bob meets with Bill Higgins, of Higgins and Quasebarth Restoration, to discuss the project building's history. Higgins utilizes archival information and on-site physical evidence to piece together a portrait of the building's history.

On the exterior, Higgins notes the presence of cast-iron lintels above the second- and third-floor windows, and points out the absence of those lintels above the windows on the fourth floor.

Between the third and fourth floor, the historian notices a change in the masonry quality and surmises that the fourth floor was an addition.

Inside, evidence of covered-up window openings in the original brickwork suggests the building predates the structures on its left and right.
Bob Vila heads to the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, for this project involving an abandoned warehouse built in the mid-19th century. Bob's adaptive reuse will yield three ultra-hip apartments with commercial space at street level. Project manager is Bob's oldest son, Chris Vila, who helps guide this complete rehabilitation of a beat-up building in the city that never sleeps.

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