Rheingold Gardens in Brooklyn, New York
Designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning (New York) with project team members Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (client, Brooklyn, NY), Paulus, Sokolowski and Sartor Engineering (structural engineers, Warren, NJ), Phillip Habib & Associates (site engineers, New York), Erlandsen-Crowell & Shaw (site surveyor, New Hyde Park, NY), Tectonic Engineering and Surveying Consultants (geotechnical engineers, Mountainville, NY), JAM Consultants (expediters, New York), The Bluestone Organization (general contractors, Fresh Meadows, NY), New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (consultants, New York) and New York City Housing Partnership (consultants, New York)
This new development created a traditional Brooklyn “townhouse” neighborhood on a former industrial brownfield site. Once home to Rheingold Brewery as well as a gas station containing an underground storage tank, a garage, a waste-paper plant, an auto-repair facility and a food-products factory, the property now features a vibrant residential community made up of 57 two-family townhouses and14 three-family townhouses. We were excited to see a developer building three-family housing: although three-family housing is now rare in new construction, we find it an exciting housing type that creates homeownership opportunities, with the added bonuses of those homeowners both watching their rental units and benefiting from rental income. The buildings’ pitched roofs speak to the original Dutch settlement in that part of Brooklyn, and the design looks ample, not like someone was trying to skimp. Overall, we found this a very humanizing response to urban housing.