The historic Pitkin Theater in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn NY The brand-new home for the Ascend Learning Charter School A safe environment for economically disadvantaged children The school shares the program with 20,000 SF of ground floor retail A $43.3 million, 190,000 SF historical restoration and rehabilitation The historic Pitkin Theater in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn NY Brownsville Ascend Brownsville Ascend Brooklyn NY Brooklyn NY
Photography © Kitchen & Associates
Highlights

Project Info

Project TypeRehabilitation
Square Feet190,000 SF
CompletedJune 2014

Brownsville Ascend Charter School

Brooklyn NY

K&A provided extensive architectural and engineering design services for the $43.3 million historical restoration and rehabilitation of the historic Pitkin Theater in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. The completed project is the brand new home for the Ascend Learning Charter School, a K-12 network of charter schools dedicated to developing real-world, scalable solutions to the problems associated with the continuing underachievement of economically disadvantaged children. The school shares the new building with a variety of mixed-use retail spaces at the ground level.

The once-grand edifice of the Pitkin Theater opened its doors to the public in 1929 as a premier movie house and venue for the vaudeville stage shows popular at the time, with the likes of Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle and Humphrey Bogart performing there during its heyday. The original program of the building showcased an ornate, multi-tiered auditorium with Greek statuary adorning both the side walls and proscenium area, and provided a top-level establishment for entertainment for over three decades. Over time, however, changing social, cultural and economic forces saw the neighborhood and surrounding community deteriorate, including the building which fell into disrepair, eventually closing in the late 1960s.

The scope of work involved in the building’s restoration was significant, including a major exterior renovation aimed at preserving the majority of the theater’s existing terra cotta ornamentation. These Neo-Classical and Art-Deco-themed elements—from the heavily-articulated cornice that wraps the building’s facade, to the elaborate pilasters and niches which visually support it—were all ultimately restored, being brought back to their original early 20th-Century brilliance.

The redesigned interior structure for the new school was built using state-of-the-art steel, concrete and masonry systems and techniques. The rehabilitation includes 170,000 square feet on six above-grade floors and one cellar level. 20,000 square feet is dedicated to leasable commercial and retail space at the ground floor. The Ascend Charter School serves K-12 populations and feature full curriculum spaces including art, music and science labs, as well as a multi-use gymnasium auditorium space. The base building, as well as a significant portion of the interior fit-out, was finished in late 2011, with the balance of the fit-out seeing completion in 2014.

About

Brownsville Ascend Charter School

Project TypeRehabilitation
Square Feet190,000 SF
CompletedJune 2014
LocationBrooklyn NY

K&A provided extensive architectural and engineering design services for the $43.3 million historical restoration and rehabilitation of the historic Pitkin Theater in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. The completed project is the brand new home for the Ascend Learning Charter School, a K-12 network of charter schools dedicated to developing real-world, scalable solutions to the problems associated with the continuing underachievement of economically disadvantaged children. The school shares the new building with a variety of mixed-use retail spaces at the ground level.

The once-grand edifice of the Pitkin Theater opened its doors to the public in 1929 as a premier movie house and venue for the vaudeville stage shows popular at the time, with the likes of Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle and Humphrey Bogart performing there during its heyday. The original program of the building showcased an ornate, multi-tiered auditorium with Greek statuary adorning both the side walls and proscenium area, and provided a top-level establishment for entertainment for over three decades. Over time, however, changing social, cultural and economic forces saw the neighborhood and surrounding community deteriorate, including the building which fell into disrepair, eventually closing in the late 1960s.

The scope of work involved in the building’s restoration was significant, including a major exterior renovation aimed at preserving the majority of the theater’s existing terra cotta ornamentation. These Neo-Classical and Art-Deco-themed elements—from the heavily-articulated cornice that wraps the building’s facade, to the elaborate pilasters and niches which visually support it—were all ultimately restored, being brought back to their original early 20th-Century brilliance.

The redesigned interior structure for the new school was built using state-of-the-art steel, concrete and masonry systems and techniques. The rehabilitation includes 170,000 square feet on six above-grade floors and one cellar level. 20,000 square feet is dedicated to leasable commercial and retail space at the ground floor. The Ascend Charter School serves K-12 populations and feature full curriculum spaces including art, music and science labs, as well as a multi-use gymnasium auditorium space. The base building, as well as a significant portion of the interior fit-out, was finished in late 2011, with the balance of the fit-out seeing completion in 2014.

Gallery

Photography © Kitchen & Associates