Jeff Sherman of Delson or Sherman Architects presented the plans to at a Community Board 6 committee meeting last week.
“The change that we are talking about is really only on the roof and to the rear façade,” he said.
On the rear façade, the plan is to remove masonry and add three glass windows, two clear and one white. An extension of the house in the rear will become a roof deck with a staircase.
The idea is to remove the ceiling to make it an outdoor space.
“Currently the top floor has a very low ceiling,” said Sherman. “Rather than adding to the building, we’re actually subtracting.”
However, it is the glass windows in the rear of the building that had community board members concerned. Many were afraid that these renovations would take away from the historical look of Park Slope.
A board member asked Sherman how the proposed glass will match up to the rest of the backyards extensions that are already in existence. Sherman said he didn't think there was anything like it on the block.
After hearing his response, the board member criticized the change to the back wall regarding the glass. He said,
“It doesn’t even resemble anything that might have been constructed, such as a tea house or other extension,” said the board member after hearing Sherman's response. “It’s seemingly modern.”
“We have done this sort of thing before in landmark neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and it has been seen as an improvement,” countered Sherman.
“I think each of our landmarks districts have to stand on our own,” said another board member. “What works in Park Slope might not work in Carroll Gardens.”
Another concerns of the committee was if any of the renovations in the rear would be visible from the street. Sherman said none of the changes can be seen from the street.
Committee members also criticized the inclusion of the deck. One member noted that none of the other residences in the area have a deck similar to the one proposed.
“I would be much more inclined to favor this if it were more traditional,” he said. “It’s extremely modern.”
In the end, a motion was made and carried to initially recommend the approval of the project, provided that the white glass in the windows be made darker and railings on the staircases be vertical instead of horizontal to match the roof.