110 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY
110 Livingston - Exterior
|Developer||Two Trees Management Company|
|Architect||McKim, Mead & White|
|Management Company||Two Trees Management Company|
|Number of Units||299|
|Number of Floors||16|
|Type of Roof||IRMA|
|110 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY|
|Distance to Public Transit||Less than one block|
|Region||New York City|
|Municipality||New York City|
|Title of Land||Condominium|
Erected in 1925, 110 Livingston began its first life as the home of the legendary Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks.
More commonly known as the Elks Club, the BPOE started in 1868 as a place for influential men to gather, socialize, and dodge New York’s early laws regarding the operating hours of local taverns. Though 110 Livingston wasn't the first home of the Elks, it was their first purpose-built space. The building’s original layout included short-stay rooms, banquet halls, café/restaurants, and a number of bowling alleys.
With more than a million members in chapters all across America, the Elks Club still exists today. However, in 1940, they left 110 Livingston, turning it over to the city as the home of New York’s Board of Education. Interestingly, that meant most of the old acronym still applied – Benevolent Order of Elks; Board of Education: BOE.
Over decades of use, 110 Livingston became synonymous with the boys’ club bureaucracy of the old New York school board. Critics were quick to point out the “appropriateness” of the building’s beginnings. With the Board of Education under fire, the city sold the building in 2003, for redevelopment as luxury condominiums.
With Two Trees Management now at the helm, 110 Livingston has reclaimed its proud and luxurious history. 299 classically slick apartments with all of the old cachet, and none of the old baggage.
Mid-block between Boerum Place and Schmerhorn Street, 110 Livingston is in downtown Brooklyn, just a few blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition to public transit routes over the bridge, residents at 110 Livingston are minutes from the 2,3,4,5,C,R,F, and A trains – convenient access to east and west Manhattan.
Of course, travelers will find all manner of entertainment, fine dining, and culture in Manhattan proper, but close proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t necessarily oblige one to use it. 110 Livingston is also a brisk walk from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Trader Joe's, and the unique culture of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
110 Livingston is a 16-story concrete mid-rise boasting 299 luxuriously appointed units, with ceilings that range from 10 to a sprawling 20 feet high.
Architects McKim, Mead, and White designed the original structure in the mid-1920s, near the tail end of Beaux-Arts influence on American architecture. As a result, the building is a combination of simpler pre-modern lines, and sculptural decoration. Though that decoration is more conservative – more natural. Low relief carvings or figures are incorporated relatively subtly into the design of Livingston’s moldings, columns, and cornices. For more on Beaux-Arts traditions, see the reference section at the end of this article.
It is interesting to note that, when the building was converted to condos in 2003, developers added a few extra floors on top. Rather than attempt to mimic and maintain the more intricate carvings of the existing structure, new designers elected to “cap” the building in modern glass and steel – a sticking point for some critics, a nod to unity and progress for others.
Layout and Features
110 Livingston may have gone up in 1925, but a turn-of-the-millennium remodel means that the building showcases the best of American Beaux-Arts architecture alongside modern open-concept living spaces.
Suites at Livingston are available in a full range, from studio to three bedroom. Bathrooms are either single, or master and en-suite. Even the studio spaces have Jacuzzi tubs with separate shower stalls.
With respect to finishes, floors in the main living areas are bamboo and kitchens are fitted with top-of-the-line Energy Star appliances by Viking, Sub-Zero, Thermador, and Bosch. The polished stone worktops go almost without saying, as do each unit’s large refitted windows.
Small downsides: No sidewalk landscaping, though there is a private rooftop deck with some greenery. Also, 299 apartments over 16 floors makes for a somewhat crowded building. Finally, very few of the individual suites have balcony or terrace space.
A selection of floor plans from 110 Livingston:
The amenities at 110 Livingston include:
- Rooftop terrace
- Fitness center
- Health club
- Children's playroom
- Full service garage
|110 Livingston Bylaws|
- There are no age restrictions on residency.
- Apartments are available for either rental, or purchase.
- As a building, 110 Livingston is pet-friendly. However, with respect to renting, pet permissions remain with the owners of each individual suite.
110 Livingston is a pre-war building. As much as its rich history adds to its character, it can't be expected to meet today's most rigorous standards of overall sustainability and "greenness". That said, the designers behind its redevelopment have made significant improvements in that regard.
As mentioned, each unit does come with top-end Energy Star appliances by Viking, Bosch, Thermador, and Subzero (for more on the Energy Star system, see the reference section at the end of this article). The building's large windows have also been refitted for better insulation and heat management. Finally, the addition of a common rooftop terrace - not to mention the several new floors below it - means that the new developers have also upgraded to a Permanent Membrane Roof, or PMR.
On an individual level, residents at 110 Livingston may choose to continue upgrading their suites with locally sourced and environmentally friendly materials like low VOC paint (Volatile Organic Compounds). Of course, there are also the 20-plus public transit options within blocks of the building's front door. Reducing one's carbon footprint can happen one bus ride at a time. 
- The Flintstones' Loyal Order of Water Buffalo, with its signature furry blue helmets, is something of a send-up of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks. Though it's interesting to note that when 15 of the earliest Elks voted on "a readily identifiable creature of stature, indigenous to America,", the buffalo lost to the elk in an 8-7 split.
- The Elks began as "The Jolly Corks", and their initial motivations had more to do with side-stepping the rules regarding the service of alcohol in early New York. However, after the death of one of their members left his family without income, the Corks took a more charitable stance and renamed themselves accordingly.
- The original BPOE didn't welcome people of racial or cultural minorities. In 1898, a group of black men formed an unaffiliated organization modeled on the BPOE. This "Improved Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks of the World" (IBPOEW) is still a separate organization, Though membership in the BPOE was opened to African Americans in the 1970s.
- Street Easy
- Walk Score
- Beaux-Arts on Wikipedia
- The Energy Star System
- How Stuff Works - Low VOC Paint
- The Elks Online
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