“The Bridges” at Vinegar Hill in Brooklyn, New York.

Today’s “Throwback Thursday” highlights a magnificent six-story condominium with 37 units, originally built in 1920, located in a part of Brooklyn known as Vinegar Hill. “The Bridges” Condominium was built and converted in 2002. The exterior of the original building was preserved and the fifth and sixth floors were added to create the existing condominium as it stands today. With its 37 residential units, there are 20 different floor plans on floors two through six. There is also commercial space on the first floor. There are 11 storage spaces for rent, a bike room, and a 12-car parking garage. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th floors have laundry rooms. There is a paved portion of the roof featuring panoramic views and a second-floor open-air courtyard created from a pullback of the original exterior walls.
Vinegar Hill is s historic and vibrant neighborhood in Brooklyn. The area has a rich Irish and Lithuanian history as well as a Tibetan Buddhist center, popular restaurants and a large mansion previously occupied by Commodore Matthew C. Perry. The neighborhood is a five-block square cobblestone area next to the Manhattan Bridge that seems to have been preserved in time, circa the nineteenth century. Its eighteenth-century developers named it after a battle in the Irish Rebellion, to attract immigrants from that country to the area, who were needed as workers at the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Vinegar Hill is a neighborhood located in the borough of Brooklyn, near New York City, on the East River waterfront between DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The neighborhood is locally policed by the NYC Police Department’s 84th precinct. Vinegar Hill, having one of the largest Irish American populations, made it one of several New York City neighborhoods once known as “Irishtown.”
Vinegar Hill gets its name from the Battle of Vinegar Hill, an engagement near Enniscorthy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The neighborhood also includes 19th-century Federal-style and Greek Revival-style homes mixed with Industrial buildings. Hudson Avenue and Plymouth, Water, and Front streets are made of Belgian Blocks, although residents mistakenly Refer to them as cobblestones.
Some of the buildings in Vinegar Hill were originally warehouses which since the early 2,000’s have been converted into residential loft buildings or office space. The area began a total revitalization in the late 1970s when an ethnically diverse group of newcomers, many of whom were artists, came to the area, attracted by the views and proximity to Manhattan. These residents brought back the name, Vinegar Hill to the area and helped preserve the Belgian Block streets. The City of New York, petitioned by the residents of Vinegar Hill, declared the area a Historical District in the late 1990s.
In the mid-19th century, Vinegar Hill was home to illegal distilleries that produced potheen, derived from the Irish word “pot in” meaning little pot. Potheen was a type of “Irish Moonshine,” distilled in a small pot, often made illicitly using potatoes. The alcohol percentage is usually very high, between 40% to 90% ABV. John Devlin, John Whiteford, Ginger Farrel, and Ned Brady were the leaders of the potheen business in Vinegar Hill, operating under the radar to avoid having their products confiscated and businesses shut down.
From a possible brewery converted to a luxurious condominium, “The Bridges’ is another success story for Scarano Architect. Because it was declared a Historical District, any type of building, construction, and/or renovation automatically becomes more difficult and complicated. More permits are needed from the City and more Plan Examiners become involved. The decades of experience that Robert Scarano has done this exact type of work have enabled him to get these jobs done in a timely fashion. These large-scale projects cost the clients tremendous sums of money and every day that they go over budget matters. Robert makes sure he does everything in his power to keep the job under budget and finish on schedule. It is because of his experience, attention to detail, and planning that he is able to do this. Over the years he has forged many friendships with his clients because they see how hardworking and caring he is. He is laser-focused on their project from start to finish and it shows. 79 Bridge Street is a beautiful building and the owner was extremely happy with the results. The building sold out in its first offering.
Throwback Thursday, we open up our files and pull out a random job from 2002, originally built in 1920. Gracefully converted from a distillery to a sought-after condominium unit in the Vinegar Hill section of Brooklyn. Giving the people what they want, and creating luxurious buildings that elevate the neighborhood. Scarano Architect, taking hold of the past, improving it for the future. Please visit our website so you can see our many award-winning projects. If you need Architectural services please give us a call at 718-222-0322. Thank you.

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