Category: Gowanus


Whew! It’s official. We have closed on the Gowanus house and we are exhausted (as evidenced below).    

Roses in the backyard

When on our way to clean up Ennis Park with the Gowanus Alliance, Husband and I ran into the current owner of our new house, and he told us we should come to the backyard and see the roses. During…

Gowanus Alliance

The wife and I joined the Gowanus Alliance this weekend to help clean up Ennis Park which is right around the corner from our new place. We weeded, picked up trash and did some planting. Neither of us had been…

Whole Foods

A bit down the road from us an epic eight year battle to bring Brooklyn’s first Whole Foods finally came to and end. The grocer passed it’s last regulatory hurdle recently and will begin construction on a 56,000 square foot…

Where is Gowanus?

Where is Gowanus? Even many New Yorkers are not sure of its location. It sits at the heart of “Brownstone Brooklyn” sandwiched between Carroll Gardens, Park Slope and Boerum Hill.  

This old house?

On our first viewing of the house we couldn’t immediately peg its age because it was well cared for by the current owners for 30+ years. Also, property records in Brooklyn have a habit of “getting lost” prior to 1920 (the mob…

Some history on Gowanus

The Canarsee Indian tribe were the first inhabitants of what is now Gowanus. In 1636, Jacob Van Corlaer, an official in the Dutch colonial administration, made the first land purchase from Gowane, the chief of the Canarsee Indians. The Gowanus Canal…

A Gowanus Renovation

We are already joking that this will be a 10-year renovation, so at least we are keeping our expectations in check. Like with any housing search there are three trade-offs for size, location and price. But our search for a new home and a renovation project during the spring of 2012 added a new variable to the mix…condition.

There was the house on 11th street in Park Slope with temporary bracing to keep the floor from caving in, the decaying house on 15th which appeared to come with the original owner, the house on 2nd with family in-fighting preventing its sale, and our personal favorite, the house on 12th which the Realtor spun as having a “gravity problem”.

We kept our search within Brooklyn and quickly realized we would need to sacrifice one of the four trade-offs. Location seemed like a good one, especially if we positioned ourselves in an up-and-coming area. As soon as we saw the house in Gowanus, our search was officially over.

The home is a legal 3-family, which gives us many different options for configuration today but also down the road should we decide to expand or contract. It sits on a 20×100 lot, has a backyard and is in surprisingly good condition for its age (credit goes to the current owners). We plan to rent out the bottom floor and convert the top two floors to a single residence.

We hope this site will document the renovation of our home, but the surrounding area as well. We expect that over the coming years both will have big changes.