Chewing Karl Fischer’s Chocolate (Once Again)

February 10, 2009 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

I planned upon completing New York Shitty’s blogahhreafest yesterday by writing a very nice (and well deserved) puff piece about a new pizzeria in the ‘hood. Then the following challenge darkened my Twitter doorstep.


Intrigued to see what this was all about I pointed and clicked my way over to WGPA’s web site:

Every year, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Building Brooklyn Award for the best architecture of the borough. And every year, Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg come up short. Since the nominations are due on Thursday, we’d thought we’d throw out a few of the projects that we think are award worthy (and a few that are clearly not worthy).

First, their rules. To be eligible, a project must be completed and have received a CO or TCO in calendar 2008. Now our rules. We’re looking at projects in North Brooklyn only. The BB categories are a little bit wacky (do we really need two categories for residential buildings under 5 families – that’s so 20th-century Brooklyn?). So we’ve added a few of our own.

As of the writing of this post, they haven’t. However, Scarano’s “Canvas Condominiums” made it onto their list. Albeit for different reasons than its very own tenants would recommend.


Not nominated:
118 Greenpoint Avenue
Scarano Architect

This one was designed to the highest preservation standards – those of the NYC Landmarks Commission – but the results are underwhelming to say the least. None of it rises to the level of the unregulated Mill Building. This project would have passed unnoticed, though, were it not for the cornice, which looks like someone installed a crown molding on the face of a factory.

Um, you forgot the fact it is located next to a poultry slaughter house whose stench has been rather fowl (pun intended) of late. One would presume the WGPA would understand the primary rule of New York City real estate: location, location, location. Apparently they do not. Nonetheless, if you’re into treading upon offal-soaked sidewalks on the way to the G train in the morning (or really like chickens), this is the place is for you. Be sure to inquire about the eastern-most units: they have windows overlooking this facility!

But back to my nomination. Who else would I recommend than my good friend Karl Fischer and the Newtown Creek-esque creation train wreck he erected at 130 Diamond Street?


The presence of a discarded stove in the foyer is a nice touch.


Savor for a moment— if you will— the painstaking crafts CRAPmanship lavished upon this stairway.


See that door to the left? That’s the entrance for the “mobility impaired” (READ: wheelchair users). Makes a damned nice place to chuck your garbage doesn’t it?


The highly skilled and no doubt well recompensed laborers* who built this magnificent testament to Greenpoint gentrification didn’t see fit to remove the shrink wrap from this panel. And so it has remained there for a year now.


Note how seamlessly Karl’s Krap fits in with its neighbors.


But the erection of this satellite dish (whose cable is draped on the front of the building) is a promising start! One would presume such luxurious digs would be wired for broadband, but then again this is only Greenpoint. We’re living La Vida Fischer, baby:

That’s what makes parts of Brooklyn so special. You have all of these rowhouses, townhouses, smaller-scale developments, more neighborhood-friendly developments. You have more open space. The quality of life in this way is going to be preserved in Brooklyn.

– Karl Fischer

Um, okay.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Next year the WGPA can look forward to me nominating this gem. Provided it actually gets completed. Even if it isn’t I’ll nominate it anyway.

*This is sarcasm.


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