E have always dreamed of having an
office downtown, but our company
depends on easy deliveries, loading and
unloading of equipment, so we had
almost given up on the dream,” Andrea says.
The building had been on the market for several years. Despite
being in downtown’s trendy up-and-coming Brooklyn Arts
District, it remained neglected and passed over. Potential buyers
only saw a project too big to tackle.
The Walkers saw close to 6,000 square feet and an adjacent
lot, perfect for loading and unloading film equipment. They said,
“We’ll take it.”
“I immediately fell in love with the open space and the natural
light it provided,” Brad says.
The renovation began in the fall of 2018. Andrea met with
architects, contractors and historic preservation offices. The
Walkers’ kids, Alex and Annie, pitched in after school and on the
One day, as the Walkers were smashing in some Sheetrock, a
woman by the name of Iris Baker drove up.
“I said, ‘Ooh, someone has bought the building! Let me pull over
and go visit,’” Iris says.
Iris Baker is the great, great granddaughter of Charles Richter,
the man who built the structure back in 1903. Richter was a busi-nessman
who emigrated from Germany. He ran a grocery store
and soda fountain on the first floor and had an apartment up top.
Iris had photos that showed the history of the building.
“The pictures show both sides of the downstairs; there are people
in a number of the pictures,” Iris says.
When she showed the photos to the new owners, the Walkers
Top, left: The conference room overlooks the Brooklyn Arts District and Cape Fear River. Above, left: Andrea Walker, owner/producer of
Lighthouse Films, works in her office surrounded by posters of her favorite movies.
october 2020 38