Framed: PrattStore irks a local biz

The Brooklyn Paper
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In a move likely to tarnish town-gown relations, PrattStore — the modernist art supply shop run by the venerable Pratt Institute — has begun offering custom framing, possibly injuring the business of a local Myrtle Avenue merchant.

“For the past seven months, I’ve been working with a deficit,” said Lurita Brown, the owner of Clinton Hill Simply Art & Framing, a 17-year-old framing shop that sits little more than a block away from the three-year-old PrattStore.

Brown told The Brooklyn Paper that she was already struggling at Myrtle and Classon avenues when, a couple of months ago, PrattStore, near Emerson Place, introduced a custom framing service of its own.

Last month, Brown wrote to Pratt President Thomas Schutte that she was “flabbergas­ted” that the school would compete with an existing, locally owned business with limited resources.

Indeed, three years ago, Schutte told the New York Times that “[PrattStore] will be a tremendous resource for our students but, because of its location, for the community as well.’’

The store, which Pratt completed in 2005 for $2.2 million, is a stark, gray-silver structure designed by architect Richard Scherr. A recent visit to the second floor of the shop revealed an ample custom framing showroom, adjacent to a large ready-made framing section.

A Pratt Institute’s spokeswoman did not respond to several requests for comment. She said that Schutte was preparing a response to Brown’s Dec. 10 letter.

For her part, Brown remained incredulous.

“What were they thinking?” asked Brown.

Updated 4:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Jacquelyn from Bed-Stuy says:
Hi --

As a customer of the Clinton Hill Simply Art & FRaming for over seven years, I can certainly say that LB offers so much more than framing. She provides the bespoke touch to each customer that makes it so much more than a transaction. Besides being a skilled artisan, she offers great advice and was a pioneer in a neighborhood that was completely DEVOID of such services and flair. So many patrons cherish her homey touch and great interest in the needs and objectives of her customers. The best approach for a revered educational institution like Pratt might have been to form partnerships with local businesses as this is the that a community moves ahead. It's said that Pratt has now become the Walmart of Clinton Hill. A shame.
Feb. 9, 2008, 2:50 pm

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