The former butcher building was constructed in 1896 and became a cinema in 1970. It was shuttered in 2014. The nearly double-height single story brick building will be renovated and adapted to a five-story condo building. The existing building would be divided into two floors—the ceiling of the first-floor retail space would be just eight feet high to allow for more ample room for the second-floor apartment to be built above it, then a three-story brick addition will be constructed atop the building.
The design calls for five apartments. One is a maisonette, meaning a ground-floor and second-floor apartment with its own front door on Orange Street. There would be one apartment per floor on the project’s third, fourth and fifth stories. The low-rise commercial building on the corner of Orange Street in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District was the home of the movie house for 44 years until its closing last August. The shuttered cinema building was originally constructed in 1895 as a butcher shop, preservation consultant Ward Dennis said at the hearing.
The building would be 50 feet tall — the maximum height allowed in the area.
The firm will work with the preservation agency’s staff to choose a brick color for the upper floors that that will more sharply contrast with the exterior of the existing building. The contrast is meant to make a visual distinction between the new construction and the red-brick existing building.