Beaux-Arts Grandeur in Cobble Hill, The Polhemus Residences

By Linecity, April 24, 2020

Going for a stroll in Cobble Hill can almost feel like transcending time. Landmarked streets filled with never-ending rows of protected 19th-century townhomes define the neighborhood and give the locals a sense of deep contentment.  Our newest building in our list of “Buildings We Love” is the historic Polhemus building at 100 Amity Street, part of the River Park development on the former site of Long Island College Hospital. While residents are at odds with the scale of this project on the northwestern edge of Cobble Hill, we’re fawning over the residential conversion of this iconic landmark.

Fortis Property Group in collaboration with BKSK Architects and Ash NYC have adeptly delivered on the reclamation of the Polhemus, now coined the Polhemus Residences.   The richly detailed exterior,  clad in limestone and ironspot brick, has been restored to its original splendor while the interior has been reimagined with a refined modernity.  

First built in 1897, the Polhemus Memorial Clinic, as it was then known, was “designed to be noticed,” declares the marketing literature for the new condominium. And indeed, this stunning representation of French Renaissance architecture anchors the corner of Amity and Henry standing like a bulwark to the surrounding streets. At the turn-of-century, the Polhemus, at eight stories tall, was considered the first “skyscraper hospital” anywhere in the world.  Today, it doesn’t quite fit within the definition of a skyscraper, but it still towers over its townhouse neighbors and remains a timeless piece of beaux-art architecture to be cherished and admired. 

While the exterior of the Polhemus is a deserving landmark, the building’s interior didn’t offer much for reclamation.  Working with a blank slate, the development team has transformed the interior into a collection of 17 exquisite luxury loft residences, emphasizing clean lines, dramatic great rooms, magnificent light and elegant finishes.   Common areas and amenity spaces are delivered with the same attention to detail and refinement.  

Designed by BKSK, each residence has been individually crafted as a unique home, each one exceptional in its own right.  The Polhemus residences are expansive, further enhanced with prodigious ceilings and windows that reach for the sky.  Most of these loft-style homes sport average roughly 2400 square feet and contain two or three legal bedrooms.  There is just a single one-bedroom in the lot.  

The same elegance and clean lines have also been applied to the kitchens and bathrooms.  Gourmet kitchens, featuring marble islands with breakfast bars, open to the great rooms.   Integrated Gaggenau appliances, custom millwork cabinetry, marble countertops and glazed brick-tile backsplashes complete these showroom spaces.  The master suites contain oversized five-fixture baths with custom woodwork, marble walls, radiant heated floors and Lefroy Brooks fittings.  Most of the kitchens and master baths are enhanced with large windows.

Equally alluring is the building’s impressive amenity package. The building’s graceful street entrance ushers visitors into an intimate lobby attended by a full-time concierge.  Should you prefer a bit more privacy, you can come and go via the underground concourse. There is private parking offered as well.  A two-level amenities suite includes a paneled billiards library with a fireplace, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a yoga atelier. On the landscaped roof terrace, enjoy a rooftop lounge with cabana seating, an outdoor fireplace and unrestricted views of downtown Brooklyn, New York Harbor, and the Statue of Liberty.  

To date, the average price of these homes has been just north of $4 million with an average per square foot price of $1715. The costliest apartment has been Residence 9, the “Auditorium,” a 3694 square foot five-bedroom duplex with 21-foot high ceilings.  The Polhemus debuted in the summer of 2017 and closings started in early 2019.  At this time, only four of these glorious apartments remain unsold. The building is being represented by the Eklund/Gomes Team at Douglas Elliman. For further details on this very special building or current availabilities, visit