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Middagh Street Studio Apartments (former)

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Brooklyn's first federally-subsidized housing for artists

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Brooklyn Heights
Industrial, Residential

Place Matters Profile

The Middagh Street Studio Apartment Building is a rare example of subsidized housing created for artists, and was Brooklyn's first housing of this type. Converted from an historic factory building in the 1970s, Middagh Street was developed using incentives offered by the Mitchell-Lama program. As of 2004, it is being turned into luxury apartments--an all too familiar transformation in New York City--and it has the dubious distinction of being the first Mitchell-Lama building to evict all of its subsidized tenants.

Originally built in 1870, the Middagh Street building is located at the north end of Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights (the building was also known as the Henry Street Studios). For many years it was operated by the Mason, Au & Magenheimer Confectionery Manufacturing Company, which used the factory to produce Mason Peaks, a candy bar with coconut covered in chocolate, and Mason Mints, round, chocolate-covered mint patties. The sign...

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Brozan, Nadine. "Leaving Mitchell-Lama: Many Paths, All Bumpy." New York Times, November 2, 2003, Real Estate Section.

Grunberg, Liane. "Lively Cultural Center on Henry." Brooklyn Paper, May 7-13, 1983.

Karl, Anita. "Brooklyn Mitchell-Lama Tenants Face Full Building Eviction." TenantNet, January, 26, 2004.

McDowell, Edwin. "Tenants and Owners Battle Over Defecting From Mitchell-Lama." New York Times, April, 29, 2001, Real Estate Section.

New York Times. "Century-Old Candy Plant in Brooklyn Will Be Converted Into Artist Studios." March, 31, 1968.

Plunz, Richard. A History of Housing New York New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.

The City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Cadman Plaza Urban Renewal Project--Second Amended Urban Renewal Plan, November, 1979.


Ann deVere

Built during the Civil War as a munitions storehouse, the building later became the Peaks Mason Mints candy factory and was converted to artist housing 1974. It is the first housing building to have been sponsored by NYC as live/work space for artists and the only artist-subsidized housing in Brooklyn (one of three in NYC). Its conversion to artist housing was designed by Lee Harris Pomeroy, whose was awarded two design awards for the project.

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