Update: CB6 has no ‘Amity’ for zinc-brownstone plan

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Updated Friday, May 23, 2008; 3:58 pm.

A developer who wants to build housing on a parcel that includes a historic Beaux Arts edifice on Amity Street must retool his project a third time in order to shore up public support.

Community Board 6’s Landmark and Land Use Committee voted against Lucky Boy Development and Time Equities’ latest plan to convert the 106-year-old Lamm Institute, a three-story brick and limestone structure at the corner of Amity and Henry streets, into a seven-unit residence and build four new townhouses on the property.

The committee blasted the modern brownstones for their zinc siding, penthouses and the height of the rear-yard extensions, on the grounds that they are too big and inconsistent with the surrounding housing stock in the Cobble Hill historic district.

“We had many issues with the brownstone next to the Lamm building,” said Lou Sones, a member of the board, for instance “the glass penthouse looked out of context.”

The criticism were strikingly similar to what the developers heard at Monday night’s presentation to the Cobble Hill Association.

But even though the project suffered a defeat, the setback was nothing compared to the drubbing meted out by neighbors and the Landmark Preservation Commission for last year’s controversial mews-style design of townhouses along a gated alley.

“It’s a big improvement over what we saw before,” said the Association’s new president, Jeff Strabone.

In the new plan, the brick facades for three houses on Henry Street and one on Amity Street would incorporate historical features. Further away from the street, the design would become much more modern, including partial cladding in zinc.

“It’s going to look like a hodgepodge,” said Stan Maurer, a local architect, at the Cobble Hill Association meeting.

Nonetheless, the developer was optimistic about the project’s future.

“We’re getting there,” Lucky Boy Development principal Jonathan Wachtel said on Monday night. “We had some constructive criticism and we’re taking it into account.”

Updated 5:06 pm, July 9, 2018
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