The Berkeley Carroll School, formerly the Berkeley Institute, has been a growing presence in Park Slope, Brooklyn since the end of the 19th century. It will continue to grow, thanks to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which last Tuesday approved a rooftop addition to its campus.
The campus started as one building designed by Walker and Morris at 181 Lincoln Place, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, in 1896. Several expansions have occurred in the 120 years since, including the performance space constructed in 1898 and the gymnasium built between 1937 and 1938, plus work in 1956, 1971, 1991-1992, and 2012. The Park Slope Historic District was designated in 1973.
The school’s Brandon Clarke said there has been “tremendous growth” in demand for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) research space. He said his school needs to be brought into the 21st century.
The addition has been designed by Gwen Connors of Manhattan and Frankfurt-based 1100 Architect. It will include new classroom, science, faculty, and library space. The new STEAM lab will get skylights, though that will be in an existing structure. Some of the new space will be achieve by adding floor area to what is already there.
LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan asked why the addition has been placed where it was, at the western end of the campus. Connors said it was partly due to the idea of cross-disciplinary learning. She said it would be great to be working on a sculpture, for example, and be able to easily see projects underway in other fields.
Commissioner Frederick Bland called the proposal a “very modest change.” Commissioner Jeanne Lutfy didn’t have much to say about the proposal, but noted that the school is her alma mater.
There are several points where the addition will be visible, but that didn’t seem to bother the commissioners.
Brooklyn Community Board 6 recommended approval, but with proposed zinc paneling replaced with copper. There was no public testimony.
In the end, the commissioners approved the proposal as presented, with the zinc paneling. The commissioners take turns reading the approval resolutions and it just so happened that it was Lutfy’s turn to read.
View the full presentation slides below: