View Full Version : Victorian Flatbush

June 15th, 2006, 07:14 PM
When the Dutch settled Long Island in the 17th century, there was a dense forest between the villages of Flatbush and Gravesend, which they called Midwout (middle woods). It remained mostly undeveloped until the 20th century.

In 1878, the Brooklyn Flatbush & Coney Island RR was built through the area, running from Prospect Park to the Brighton Beach Hotel, which was owned by the railroad company. It was a two-track surface steam engine line. The line was eventually taken over by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit (BRT), predecessor to the BMT.

From 1903 to 1907, the Brighton Line was reconstructed by the Brooklyn Grade Crossing Elimination Commission. :) An open cut was built from Church Ave to Newkirk Ave, and then ramped up to an earthen embankment, much of the dirt coming from the trench excavation. The tracks were at grade at Ave H.

In 1905, T.B. Ackerson bought a Flatbush estate called Fiske Terrace, with the idea to develop a planned suburb of Brooklyn. A real estate office was built next to the railroad, and within a year, there were no more homes to sell, and in 1907, the building became a transit station. In 2004, it was designated a NYC landmark.

Designation report (http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/avenueh.pdf)

At about the same time, Ditmas Park (NYC historic district since 1981) was developed by Lewis Pounds, and Midwood Park by John Corbin.

Besides the Brighton Line, which cuts off many of the streets to traffic, the area is further isolated by "the Cut," the LIRR ROW that runs south of Ave H. This is the ROW where Robert Moses proposed to build the Cross Brooklyn Expwy. In Midwood, the roadway would have been eight lanes wide.

Tour of the Cross Brooklyn Expwy route (http://www.oldnyc.com/crossbrooklyn/contents/crossbklyn.html)

Today, only Ditmas Park has landmark protection, and while the neighborhood associations are strong, there is development pressure on the edges.

Neighborhood at risk (http://www.hdc.org/neighborhoodatriskmidwoodfiske.htm)

Other links:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B02E4D71F3FF936A35754C0A96E9582 60&sec=&pagewanted=all

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/1576/midwood01g5em.th.jpg (http://img163.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood01g5em.jpg)

http://img319.imageshack.us/img319/2627/midwood017ir.th.jpg (http://img319.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood017ir.jpg) http://img426.imageshack.us/img426/1958/midwood024dn.th.jpg (http://img426.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood024dn.jpg)

Ave H is not a thru-street, so there is little retail.
http://img426.imageshack.us/img426/6521/midwood02c8pm.th.jpg (http://img426.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood02c8pm.jpg)

View on Ave H toward Brooklyn College
http://img281.imageshack.us/img281/3458/midwood02a4xu.th.jpg (http://img281.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood02a4xu.jpg)

and back toward the BMT
http://img281.imageshack.us/img281/253/midwood02b8pw.th.jpg (http://img281.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood02b8pw.jpg)

There is a passageway under the subway. The MTA takes good care of its infrastructure.
http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/8771/midwood02d6cm.th.jpg (http://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood02d6cm.jpg)

June 15th, 2006, 07:20 PM
Ditmas Park

http://img334.imageshack.us/img334/8576/ditmas012bs.th.jpg (http://img334.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas012bs.jpg) http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/984/ditmas024yp.th.jpg (http://img373.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas024yp.jpg) http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/5234/ditmas037yf.th.jpg (http://img373.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas037yf.jpg) http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/773/ditmas041hj.th.jpg (http://img373.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas041hj.jpg) http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/4918/ditmas054su.th.jpg (http://img373.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas054su.jpg)

Flatbush Tompkins Congregational Church

http://img421.imageshack.us/img421/8238/ditmas061wy.th.jpg (http://img421.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas061wy.jpg) http://img421.imageshack.us/img421/6922/ditmas073iv.th.jpg (http://img421.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas073iv.jpg) http://img421.imageshack.us/img421/508/ditmas082mr.th.jpg (http://img421.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas082mr.jpg) http://img304.imageshack.us/img304/6518/ditmas099nt.th.jpg (http://img304.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas099nt.jpg)

June 15th, 2006, 07:32 PM
http://img304.imageshack.us/img304/4744/ditmas100kn.th.jpg (http://img304.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas100kn.jpg) http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/6127/ditmas116tk.th.jpg (http://img237.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas116tk.jpg) http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/9553/ditmas128bw.th.jpg (http://img237.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas128bw.jpg) http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/4660/ditmas132fo.th.jpg (http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas132fo.jpg) http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/2283/ditmas142ie.th.jpg (http://img237.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas142ie.jpg)

What sometimes happens right outside landmark districts
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/1449/ditmas155is.th.jpg (http://img237.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ditmas155is.jpg)

Newkirk Ave subway station
http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/8051/midwood142qz.th.jpg (http://img63.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood142qz.jpg) http://img462.imageshack.us/img462/593/midwood152cz.th.jpg (http://img462.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood152cz.jpg) http://img462.imageshack.us/img462/7474/midwood160je.th.jpg (http://img462.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood160je.jpg)

June 15th, 2006, 07:39 PM
Fiske Terrace

The Flatbush Malls run along Glenwood Road and intersecting E17th St.
http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/9205/midwood033nm.th.jpg (http://img529.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood033nm.jpg) http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/8234/midwood042yy.th.jpg (http://img529.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood042yy.jpg)

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/5052/midwood053sl.th.jpg (http://img529.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood053sl.jpg) http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/4281/midwood066ya.th.jpg (http://img67.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood066ya.jpg) http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/2977/midwood079wk.th.jpg (http://img67.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood079wk.jpg) http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/2526/midwood082uq.th.jpg (http://img225.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood082uq.jpg) http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/8206/midwood091or.th.jpg (http://img225.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood091or.jpg)

http://img436.imageshack.us/img436/9696/midwood103cb.th.jpg (http://img436.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood103cb.jpg) http://img436.imageshack.us/img436/6971/midwood113nb.th.jpg (http://img436.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood113nb.jpg) http://img274.imageshack.us/img274/6237/midwood126fu.th.jpg (http://img274.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood126fu.jpg)

June 15th, 2006, 07:46 PM
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/3889/midwood131ff.th.jpg (http://img443.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood131ff.jpg) http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/4605/midwood173ot.th.jpg (http://img504.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood173ot.jpg) http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/922/midwood184na.th.jpg (http://img395.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood184na.jpg) http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/9843/midwood193qd.th.jpg (http://img395.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood193qd.jpg)

Pedestrian bridge over LIRR ROW.
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/9367/midwood207py.th.jpg (http://img163.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood207py.jpg) http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/640/midwood215rx.th.jpg (http://img163.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood215rx.jpg)

Shopping on Ave J
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/2731/midwood225vy.th.jpg (http://img163.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood225vy.jpg) http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/7602/midwood248hq.th.jpg (http://img179.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood248hq.jpg) http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/8533/midwood255uq.th.jpg (http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood255uq.jpg) http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/8259/midwood267yx.th.jpg (http://img179.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood267yx.jpg)

June 15th, 2006, 07:48 PM
http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/8259/midwood267yx.th.jpg (http://img179.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood267yx.jpg) http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/5444/midwood281jq.th.jpg (http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood281jq.jpg) http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/1353/midwood275eb.th.jpg (http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood275eb.jpg)

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/439/midwood298vf.th.jpg (http://img225.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood298vf.jpg)

http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/6334/midwood305cq.th.jpg (http://img338.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood305cq.jpg)

June 15th, 2006, 08:13 PM
You take great photos. What kind of camera do you have?

June 15th, 2006, 08:30 PM

Nikon D70.

June 15th, 2006, 08:55 PM
You take great photos. What kind of camera do you have?
It's not the camera. ;)

June 15th, 2006, 11:54 PM
Great Zippy :):):)

June 16th, 2006, 02:47 AM
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/3889/midwood131ff.th.jpg (http://img443.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood131ff.jpg)

This one looks like the one I lived across from on Marlborough Rd... Is it.?

Shopping on Ave J
http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/8533/midwood255uq.th.jpg (http://img180.imageshack.us/my.php?image=midwood255uq.jpg)

Don't tell me this bagel shop is at E19th & Ave J...It can't still be there, can it?

June 16th, 2006, 05:27 AM
That house is south of Foster Ave, I think on E18th.

The Bagel Hole is on E15th.

June 16th, 2006, 11:03 AM
Nice photos... nice collection of architecture Gems. Need to visit. Thanks.

July 16th, 2006, 01:59 PM

City Living

Ditmas Park

A secret the locals treasure

By S. Tia Brown
Special to amNewYork

July 13, 2006

The Belt Parkway isn't the only route to suburbia.

Next time you need a breath of fresh air try the B train.

It may seem unlikely but behind the hustle and bustle of Flatbush Avenue lies a utopian enclave visited by few -- and the locals love it that way.

In 1902 Lewis H. Pounds, a developer, and Arlington Isham, an architect, set out to create a community defined by class, not cultural background. The result was Ditmas Park.

The tree-lined neighborhood comrpises about 16 blocks, which contain 175 Victorian-styled homes, many of which look like mansions.

Over the years, the neighborhood has maintained its architectural integrity by declaring many of the homes landmarks.

More than 100 years later, Ditmas Park is still Flatbush's best kept secret.

Surrounded by Midwood and Kensington, it's rare to see a "for sale" sign in anyone's yard. Many of the homes have maintained original ownership and have been passed down from generation to generation.

More important, the neighborhood still holds close the ideals of its creators: a community inhabited by upwardly mobile professional families.

Find it

The core Ditmas Park area is bordered by East 16th Street and Ocean Avenue and Dorchester Road and Newkirk Avenue.

The Buzz

The locals are very excited about a new restaurant/bar opening called The Farm (1108 Cortelyou Rd.). This new ultra-chic facility is rumored to be the first city-like hotspot to pop up in this community.

The basics

-Schools: P.S. District 22 (P.S. 139, 217 and 249; I.S. 62 and 240), Erasmus Hall High School, High School for Science and Math
-Transportation: B and Q trains; 23 and 68 buses
-Post Office: 2273 Church Avenue
-Banks: Chase, 1 Newkirk Plaza
-Fire House: Engine 281, Ladder 147, 1210 Cortelyou Rd.
-Police: 67th Precinct: 2820 Snyder Ave., 718-287-3211
-Crime: In the 67th Precinct, which serves the Ditmas Park area and greater Flatbush, overall crime has decreased 32% since 2001. As of June, there were 217 robberies, 15 rapes and four murders. More than 85% of the crimes in the area involve theft.

To eat

Picket Fence
This modernized mom-and-pop-styled eatery is a good pick for socializing and brunch. The shop's French country theme adds a family-friendly feel.
1310 Cortelyou Rd. • 718-282-6661

Don Burrito
Whether you're craving an in-house or take-out experience, the restaurant is known for its authentic Mexican meals.
5 Newkirk Plaza

John's Bakery & Pastry Shop
The bakery serves up an array of fresh products ranging from flavored coffees to bagels to cookies.
1322 Cortelyou Rd.

To see & do

Prospect Park
The park is the epicenter of family-oriented neighborhood entertainment and outings. They host everything from tours to haunted walks on Halloween to fireworks on New Year's Eve.
95 Prospect Park West

The Corner Stone
This bar and billiards joint features pool tables, arcades, and gatherings on game nights. They also draw big crowds on jazz nights, when they feature live bands.
1502 Cortelyou Rd.

Farmers Market
Every Saturday morning at P.S. 139 School Yard, vendors of produce, wares and clothing gather. There is often entertainment, such as drummers, for the children while the parents shop.

Victorian homes
Get out there and see the neighborhood's majestic Victorians. If you'd like to hoof it with a guide, here are some possibilities:
Victorian House and Garden Tour
The Flatbush Development Corporation has an annual tour.

The Bountiful Brooklyn Tour
Tours of Ditmas Park and other scenic areas of the borough.
www.zerve.com (Ask for SwingStreets tours.)

One of the grandest homes in the neighborhood is located on 1305 Albemarle Rd. -- a phenomenal mansion.

Q&A with Gilbert Flores, owner of Belle & Maxie's

After Gilbert Flores, an artist by trade, left the West Coast, he lived all over the five boroughs and even ventured across the Hudson River. But after several years of soul-searching he landed in Ditmas Park.

Why did you want to live here?
Three years ago my family was looking for a larger place. We fell in love with the apartment. It was a place that we could afford with more space and a wonderful community.

What's the best part about the neighborhood?
It's the most diverse neighborhood in the country. My wife and I have two children and it's great for them to get that exposure. There's also the Flatbush Family Network -- a Yahoo! group for neighbors. We set up housewarmings, play dates and other stuff. It's great. There's no place in New York that I feel more at home than here.

What made you decide to open up a business here?
We've been open for about 3 months. The shop is named after my children. We love the community. I felt like bringing business here was the right thing to do. The community has been very supportive.

What types of activities go on in the neighborhood?
There are annual fairs on Cortelyou. ... There are a lot of family-oriented events. There are also several neighborhood groups that organize things, like the Cortelyou Neighborhood Association and The Flatbush Development Association.

Real estate
Local real estate prices are indicative of the national trend with one additional component: the family factor. Two-parent yuppy households looking to give their children a pseudo suburban experience are flocking to the neighborhood in droves. Since there are so few Victorian homes are on the market, they are willing to pay top dollar for the co-ops and condos which border area.

What's selling

-1-bedroom at 1171 Ocean Ave.: $209,000
-2-bedroom co-op at 570 Westminster Rd.: $389,000
-775 East 19th Street Price: $965,000
-1402 Beverley Road Price: $999,499
-1 bedroom, large living room, foyer Selling Price: $188,000. Maintenance $450 per month.
-2 bedroom, 1 bath, 869 square feet, 1171 Ocean Ave.: $329,000
-2 bedroom, 1 bath, 1818 Newkirk Ave.: $309,000
-3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,488 square feet, 326 East 26th Street: $ 475,000

-A one-family house at 814 East 15th Street: $1,195,000

To rent

-Studio: $900
-1 bedroom: $1100
-2 bedrooms: $1,500-2,100
-3 bedrooms: $2500

Sources: Tulia.com and Brooklyn Hearth Realtors, Mary Gallagher Real Estate, Trulia.com

To shop

Bell & Maxie
If you're a fan of couture kids' clothes, look no further. The shop various kids lines for infants and toddlers. Its child-friendly atmosphere will also make shopping less of a bore for the tykes.
1209 Cortelyou Rd.

Flatbush Food Co-op
The co-op is a dream come true for those who loathe the supermarket. It has a wide range of fresh produce items, seasonings and beverages.
1318 Cortelyou Rd.

Cortelyou Vintage
Ever wished you could find a dresser like Aunt Betsy's? Or a comfy chair like Uncle Jesse's? CV's the spot for you. The furniture store stocks refurbished wooden and vintage items dating back to the early 1900's.
1118 Cortelyou Rd.

This small boutique showcases an array of unique baubles, lamps and other decorative items. The owners also plan to incorporate a sit-in coffee shop in the near future.
1211 Cortelyou Rd.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

August 16th, 2009, 03:08 AM



August 22nd, 2009, 12:03 AM






BROOKLYN: 439 East 19th Street

A five-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath frame house with a back porch, a second-floor balcony, four fireplaces, a finished basement, and a separate two-story garage with water and electricity.


August 22nd, 2009, 11:49 AM
Crisp, inside and out.

Like finding a 57 Chevy in original mint condition.

August 22nd, 2009, 03:24 PM
The woodwork inside is killer. Those built-in leaded glass bookcases are just like the ones in my sister's house, which also has sliding pocket doors of leaded glass between the main rooms. Man, they knew how to build 'em in those days.

March 10th, 2010, 07:30 AM
Victorian Flatbush bashes brownstone bias in Landmarks Preservation Commission

BY Mike Mclaughlin

Where's the love?

Victorian Flatbush residents feel snubbed by the city Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is expanding historic districts in brownstone neighborhoods - but has put their section of the borough on a back burner.

"We're competing with other neighborhoods," said Ditmas Park West Neighborhood Association president Joel Siegel. "The [LPC] has limited resources, but it shouldn't be to the exclusion of the Victorian neighborhoods. If it's worthy, they should fund it and do it."

The LPC quietly revealed in a January letter to a preservationist group that it would delay granting landmark status for the tree-lined, semisuburban blocks of Beverly Square West and Ditmas Park West.

Instead, the LPC will press ahead with enlarging historic districts - which preserve neighborhood architecture - in Park Slope and near the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

That sounded like a brownstone bias to Borough President Marty Markowitz, who blasted the LPC in a letter sent last week.

"It is not appropriate public policy to place [Victorian Flatbush] on hold while purely Brownstone Brooklyn is pursued. There must be an equitable balance," Markowitz's letter said.

Officials from the LPC said their decision made sense, because many buildings in the two Victorian neighborhoods have already been altered from their original design.

They also denied that they play favorites, because two other Victorian Flatbush nooks were granted historic status in 2008.

Park Slope residents supported the LPC and insisted their neighborhood needs another layer of protection against new development.

"We don't need a lot of new development. I live in a building from the 1880s and I'm drawn to these older buildings," said Dennis Bodden, 32, a lawyer.

Still, he was sympathetic to the snubbed Flatbush enclaves. "I feel bad, but you can't do it all at once," said Bodden.

But in Victorian Flatbush, residents say that they have been waiting long enough for the city to answer their request.

Siegel's group applied for historic status in 2005 and the Beverley Square West Neighborhood Association submitted its batch of documents in 2007.

"It's a shame if they don't do it. This neighborhood deserves it," said Albert Bonadonna, 84, of Beverley Square West. "A lot of us would like to see it as a landmark."

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/03/10/2010-03-10_victorian_nabe_bashes_brownstone_bias_in_landma rking.html#ixzz0hmBBbdr4

November 19th, 2010, 09:19 AM
Building of the Day: 2120-2126 Albemarle Terrace


Address: 2120-2126 Albemarle Terrace, near Church Ave.
Name: Private Houses
Neighborhood: Flatbush (Albemarle-Kenmore Historic District)
Year Built: 1916-17
Architectural Style: Neo-Georgian
Architect: Slee & Bryson
Landmarked: Yes (Albermarle-Kenmore HD, 1978)

Why chosen: These houses are located in one of the oldest parts of Flatbush, and are set back away from the hustle and bustle of Flatbush and Church Avenues. They are such an isolated enclave, and look so Early American, one might think they were the oldest houses in the area, but they are actually newer than most of Victorian Flatbush's large homes, and contemporaries of many of the nearby apartment buildings. The houses were built by Slee & Bryson, masters of Georgian-style suburban architecture, and are very similar to their houses built about the same time in nearby Lefferts Manor. They sit on a cul-de-sac with similar houses on both sides of the street capped off by taller and larger houses on each end. Kenmore St, another part of the historic district, but with a different architectural style, lies right behind. The streets maintain their isolation even more with with a private alley joining the back yards. The entire Albermarle-Kenmore enclaves were built for developer Mabel Bull, who sounds like a formidable woman. They were built to attract the middle class, and are quite cosy inside. Interestingly enough, many of the houses were built with Craftsman style interiors, which were quite popular at this time. Today, the houses still are very desirable for the same reasons they were when they were built – they evoke the classic ideal of the perfect American family home.


Alleyway joining backyards.


November 19th, 2010, 09:33 AM
I love this area. Almost moved here when we were looking for a house, but I didn't have the guts.

December 27th, 2010, 05:39 PM
White Victorian Flatbush (http://www.flickr.com/photos/flatbushnelson/sets/72157625558416745/)

January 14th, 2011, 02:48 AM
Building of the Day: 131 Buckingham Road


Address: 131 Buckingham Road, between Church Ave and Albemarle Rd.
Name: Frederick and Loretto Kolle House, aka “the Japanese House”
Neighborhood: Prospect Park South
Year Built: 1902-1903
Architectural Style: Japanese ornamented Queen Anne
Architects: Petit and Greene
Landmarked: Yes, Prospect Park South Historic District (1979)

Why chosen: In 1899, developer Dean Alvord purchased 50 acres of Flatbush land for residential development. Prospect Park South was designed to be a high class suburban enclave, a “rural park” for the rich. He re-named the numbered streets with English sounding names, like Albemarle, Buckingham and Marlborough, laid out park malls, planted lots of trees and put up brick gateposts at the entrance to PPS. There were restrictions and rules regarding the prices, sizes and setbacks of homes, and buyers could use his architects, or bring in their own.

Alvord’s main architect was John J. Petit, of Kirby, Petit & Green. They may be best known for their designs for the buildings of Dreamland, the huge amusement park in Coney Island, although they also had other impressive buildings in their portfolio. Petit and Alvord had worked together before, and PPS would be Petit’s greatest legacy. Along with architects Carroll Pratt and Slee & Bryson and others, Petit designed PPS over a period of years, in a potpourri of building styles, mixing Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, Spanish Mission, Italian Villas, a Swiss Chalet, and this “Japanese” house, probably the most photographed and famous house in Victorian Flatbush. Petit built this house on spec for Alvord, with no specific buyer in mind. He researched Japanese architecture, and was aided by three Japanese artisan/builders who oversaw the building, interior and garden. The house ended up costing more than any other house in the development, and Alvord wanted to play up the novelty and the uniqueness of the house as an advertising tool. It was a successful campaign.

The house is a large stucco covered box with Japanese brackets, bargeboards and an upturned roof. Chrysanthemums decorate the façade, and today the house is quite striking in the colors chosen to highlight the Japanese details, although period postcards show a more subdued use of color. The interior carried the Japanese theme further, with hand painted Japanese designs and carvings on the fireplaces and ceilings. The dining room had leaded glass windows with a dragon design. The first owner of the house was Dr. Frederick Kolle, a prominent radiologist and plastic surgeon, and his wife Loretto, a motion picture script writer and novelist. The house has been faithfully cared for over 100 years, and is still one of the most striking and beautiful houses in an area of very impressive houses.


Postcard from 1913.


February 8th, 2011, 08:35 PM
Building of the Day: 143 Buckingham Road


Address: 143 Buckingham Road, corner of Albemarle Rd.
Name: William and Lulu Norwood House
Neighborhood: Prospect Park South
Year Built: 1906
Architectural Style: Northern Italian Villa with Colonial Revival bones
Architect: Walter S. Cassin
Landmarked: Yes, part of the Prospect Park South HD, designated in 1979.

Why chosen: The historic district report for PPS calls this house “one of the most impressive houses in the district.” Apparently, it is also one of the few single family homes in the area to be entirely constructed of brick. And construct it, they did. At 49 x33 feet, with almost 5,000 square feet of house, this is some home. The eye is first drawn to that magnificent tower, with recessed loggia, peaked roof and jaunty finial. How great would it be to have that outside your bedroom window?

The strong Mediterranean feel of the house is due in the most part to the bracketed porch, tower, hipped roof and deep bracketed eaves which surround the house.

Underneath all of that is really a very large Colonial Revival house, with classic details such as splayed stone lintels, dormers, and a Palladian-like window on a second story bay. It is said that Dean Alvord, who developed Prospect Park South, had a special regard for Buckingham Road, the shortest road in his development. All of the houses are unique, some are architectural masterpieces, and this one would have been visible from his own mansion, just across the way, on Albemarle. The house was built for successful real estate broker William Norwood, and his wife Lulu.

Inside, the house boasts an impressive living room, dining room, kitchen, billiard room, music room, eight bedrooms, and three bathrooms. Walter Cassin seems to be an unknown, I was not able to find any information on him, although there were a number of Cassins who were involved with architecture, but I don’t know if they were relatives. If this was his only major house, he certainly did himself proud, designing an impressive, yet attractive house in a wealthy suburban neighborhood of impressive houses.

(Photo: Andrew Dolkart for LPC Designation Report, 1979)

(Photo: donwiss.com. Date unknown)


June 2nd, 2011, 06:46 AM
WTF is going on with the entrance to that house in the middle :confused: :mad:.

Closing Bell: East Flatbush House Tour

The second annual house tour for an area in Flatbush called Clarendon Meadows—bounded by New York Avenue on the east, Bedford Avenue on the west, Cortelyou Road on the north, and Foster Avenue on the south—will take place this Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The tour is organized by the Clarendon Meadows Association, which resident and broker Marie Campbell has set up (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarendon-Meadows-Association/110794535671652#%21/pages/Clarendon-Meadows-Association/110794535671652?sk=info), in part, "to protect, highlight, preserve and showcase the various Victorians, limestone and brownstone homes in the neighborhood."

The tour is free, and registration starts at 12:30 at the Eureka Educational Center on the corner of Clarendon Road and East 25th Street.

[/URL][URL]http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2011/05/closing_bell_ea_3.php (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarendon-Meadows-Association/110794535671652#%21/pages/Clarendon-Meadows-Association/110794535671652?sk=info)

June 2nd, 2011, 12:07 PM
WTF is going on with the entrance to that house in the middle

Wow! that's hideous. :eek:

June 2nd, 2011, 12:08 PM
I don't think those Victorians are representative of the majority of the neighborhood. There are survivors here and there, but most of the pre-war houses are very nice brick row houses.

And there isn't one theme to warrant a name like Clarendon Meadows.

I'd be really mad if I lived in #1 or #3.

That green metal awning should be replaced with fabric.

July 9th, 2011, 12:16 AM
(I hate IE9 :()

Building of the Day: 155 Argyle Road

http://cdn.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/155-Argyle-Road-1.jpg (http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2011/07/building-of-the-day-155-argyle-road/?stream=true#)

Name: Private house
Address: 155 Argyle Road, between Albemarle and Beverley Roads
Neighborhood: Prospect Park South
Year Built: 1906
Architectural Style: Shingle Style
Architect: George E. Showers
Other buildings by architect: 86 and 150 Argyle Road, 180 Marlborough Road, all PPS
Landmarked: Yes, part of PPS HD (1979)

The story: The Shingle Style of architecture is as
American as apple pie. Inspired by the shingle clad homes of New
England, built in the 18th century, the Shingle Style evolved into the
favored architecture of the well-to-do of the late 19th and early 20th
century. We can blame Charles Follen McKim for this, the equally
talented, but often unappreciated partner of the much flashier Stanford
White. (Mr. Mead was the business end of the firm of MM &W) His
studies of Colonial-era buildings while working at the NYC offices of
Henry Hobson Richardson would lead to his famous partnership, and also
to a new style of building.

This all started in the 1870’s, and coincided with the 1876 celebration
of the nation’s centennial. Nostalgic looks at all things Colonial led
many in the architectural field to start to extrapolate ideas from the
nation’s first houses, mix them with a contemporary English influence,
add some individual imagination, mix it all with the materials and
nuances of the popular Queen Anne Victorian styles and make it truly
unique. The best place to experiment with such ideas is always with the
rich. American industrialists, financiers, and businessmen were making
money hand over fist, and had no problem spending their money on large
homes, especially in posh resort communities like Newport, RI. Firms
like McKim, Mead & White, Henry Hobson Richardson, John Calvin
Stevenson, and others, built magnificent summer “cottages” throughout
New England, all clad in shingles, all embodying the style’s signature
homey, cozy comfortableness. (Amazing, considering most of these houses
were ginormous.)

Fast forward to this house. By the time Dean Alvord was developing
Prospect Park South in 1899, the Shingle Style was now a popular staple
of suburban and small town architecture. It had been successfully used
in Tuxedo Park, NY, one of the inspirations for PPS. All sorts of
architects had shrunk and simplified the über elements of the Newport
“cottages” into the upper middle class comforts of a large, but not
overly ostentatious, style of home. These homes were based on a Queen
Anne style aesthetic, with large porches, towers and turrets, lots of
unevenly spaced windows of various sizes, varied rooflines, dormers and
bays, all covered in wooden shingles.

This home was designed by George E. Showers in 1906, for John
Thompson, a Brooklyn realtor. Although lovingly restored now, by its
current owners, to its original shingled glory, it was covered in
aluminum siding when the district was designated in 1979, which obscured
most of its charms. It has a classic New England gambrel roofed body in
front, and the house is actually two gambrel shapes intersecting in the
middle. Today, it’s back to what it should be, even though the second
floor terrace and the enclosed casement porch are later alterations. The
curved casement windows in the porch add interest to the house,
highlight the turret, and look great. The weathered gray shingles and
soft green accents are highly complementary, and the house has great
curb appeal. This is a fine example of the Shingle Style, and a
beautiful house. GMAP (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=155+Argyle+Road,+Brooklyn,+New+York,+NY&hl=en&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=35.136115,86.572266&z=16)

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November 30th, 2011, 08:02 AM
Building of the Day: 1440 Albemarle Road

http://cdn.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/1440-Albemarle-Rd-1.jpg (http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2011/11/building-of-the-day-1440-albemarle-road/?stream=true#)

Name: Private House
Address: 1440 Albemarle Road
Cross Streets: corner of Marlborough Road
Neighborhood: Prospect Park South
Year Built: 1905
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival
Architect: Robert Bryson and Carroll Pratt
Other works by architect: Bryson (Slee & Bryson) Albemarle-Kenmore Terrace houses, Flatbush, other houses in PPS, PS, CHN, CHS, and PLG. Carroll Pratt – various houses in PPS.
Landmarked: Yes, part of Prospect Park South HD (1979)

The story: You can’t walk or drive through Prospect Park South without seeing this house. It’s on Albemarle Road, the main street and showcase block of the neighborhood, and it’s a huge behemoth in a neighborhood of large houses, sitting on a prime corner lot. The style of the house is called Colonial Revival, and it’s a catch-all of early American styles: English Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, with a healthy dash of extra Classical and Victorian elements, in this case, all on some heavy architectural steroids. This was a home built to impress, and it does so quite well.

The house was built for J.C. Woodhull, a prominent Brooklyn lumber dealer, which kind of figures, as they sure used a lot of lumber to build this massive 48×60 three story house. At the time in 1905, one of the architects, Carroll Pratt, was the chief architect of the development, a job he took over from the original chief architect, John J. Petit. He teamed up with Robert Bryson, who would soon partner with John Slee to create some of Brooklyn’s best brick Colonial Revival houses in Lefferts Manor and other neighborhoods. Slee & Bryson met here, working on Prospect Park South. These two men designed a house large enough to include every element of Colonial Revival style imaginable.

You’ve got Palladian windows, enormous fluted columns topped with Ionic capitals, Doric pilasters under the porch, and Corinthian capitals and columns in the grand entryway. That’s a chapter on Classical architecture right there. The large house swells with bows, bays, oriels, balustrades and porches, and even has a conservatory in the back, as well as another balcony and porch. Chimneys abound, and there are windows of every size and shape, lots of them. And of course, there is a garage of a later date, but even it has columns.

Sadly, what keeps this house from being lauded as one of PPS’ greatest, is the loss of the original clapboard siding. The entire house, even at the time of its designation in the PPS Historic District in 1979, was covered in a grey/green asphalt shingles. The shingles were put on very carefully, and well, so the house is very trim and neat looking, and it is impeccably cared for. What a wonderful massive Victorian steamboat of a house it would be if it could someday get its original cladding restored, in what would be a very expensive undertaking. In any case, and by any definition, this is still some house.

http://cdn.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/1440-Albemarle-Rd-2.jpg (http://cdn.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/1440-Albemarle-Rd-2.jpg)

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Photo: Kate Leonova for Property Shark,

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Photo: InsertSnappyNameHere, on Flickr


January 5th, 2012, 04:53 AM
Not Victorian but nonetheless also magnifiques.

Building of the Day: 17-33 Linden Boulevard

http://cdn.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/17-33-Linden-Blvd-1.jpg (http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2012/01/building-of-the-day-17-33-linden-boulevard/?stream=true#)

Name: Row houses
Address: 17-33 Linden Boulevard
Cross Streets: Flatbush and Bedford Avenues
Neighborhood: Flatbush
Year Built: 1899-1900
Architectural Style: French Renaissance Revival
Architect: F.L. Lowe
Other buildings by architect: Standish Arms Hotel/Apts, Brooklyn Heights
Landmarked: No

The story: In 1899, a Chicago architect/builder/developer named Clarence H. Tabor came to NY, looking for new opportunities. Tabor was a successful architect/developer in the Chicago area, known for his suburban homes. He told the Brooklyn Eagle that in his opinion, after travelling throughout the country, that the Greater New York area had the most attractive suburbs of any city in America, and that Brooklyn was his best choice among boroughs, and Flatbush was the best choice in Brooklyn. He intended to live there, and begin his development business. At that time, Flatbush was fast becoming a middle and upper-class suburban community, with large suburban homes going up everywhere, as well as rows of excellent townhouses, and better apartment buildings.

Tabor quickly bought a large plot of land starting at Flatbush and Linden Blvd, and stretching 300’ down Linden. His plan was to build nine row houses and three apartment buildings, of which two now survive. He hired Brooklyn architect F. L. Lowe, who had a successful, though low-key career, with buildings like the now Standish Arms Apartments, on Columbia Heights, in Brooklyn Heights, to his name. Lowe designed the houses and the apartment buildings in a limestone and red brick French Renaissance Revival style, which the Brooklyn Eagle said was in the “Philadelphia and Chicago styles”.

According to the paper, the “Philadelphia” part was the exterior and interior appearances, while “Chicago” referred to their contiguous row appearance on the street. The paper also noted that the houses did not have basements, in what we now call English basement style houses. The interior of the row houses was as follows: “Upon entrance, the visitor is ushered into a wide hall, to the right of which is the parlor, with a large foyer in its rear extending from the other as an L. In this foyer is an elaborate mantle over an open grate fireplace. Behind the foyer is the dining room separated by the butler’s pantry from the kitchen, which is in a rear extension. On the second floor are three large bedrooms with dressers built in with hot and cold water, while the third floor contains three other rooms with a bath.”

The sales of the houses proceeded well, and in 1902, Tabor traded two of the apartment buildings for a property on Flatbush and Hawthorne, where he planned to build a fine, and expensive residential hotel. If he did do that, it’s no longer there. He did go on to build other suburban type single family houses in what is now called Victorian Flatbush.

Tabor and his wife appear in the Eagle’s society and events pages, and he got himself involved in local politics. In 1899, he also published a book called Tabor’s Modern Homes, which was a pattern book of designs of suburban homes, and other buildings. Clients could order the plans for his buildings, and receive blueprints and suggestions for interior finishings, etc. One of his houses, built from plan #2 in his book, is now called the Charles N. Loucks House, and is a Queen Anne suburban style house, located in Chicago. It was landmarked in 2008.

It’s interesting that these houses and the apartment buildings are nothing like Tabor’s own architectural work, as he seems to have left Mr. Lowe to his own designs, and was only interested in them as investments. Today, these houses still survive, and although altered, painted and otherwise “modernized” in several ways, still catch the attention of passersby. I’ve had several people ask me about them, and I’m happy to have found out something of their story.

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One of the adjoining apartment buildings built at the same time as the houses.


February 16th, 2013, 12:25 AM
Building of the Day: 242 Rugby Road

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Name: Private House
Address: 242 Rugby Road
Cross Streets: Beverley and Cortelyou Roads
Neighborhood: Beverley Square West
Year Built: around 1901-1902
Architectural Style: Queen Anne
Architect: One of four architects, perhaps John J. Petit
Other Work by Architect: All with houses throughout Victorian Flatbush
Landmarked: No, but most of Victorian Flatbush that isn’t, should be.

The story: The “Beverley Squares” as they are called, both East and West, are sandwiched in between Ditmas Park and Prospect Park South in that vast former suburban area we call Victorian Flatbush. It is a mystery to me why they were not landmarked long ago when both Prospect Park South and Ditmas received the protection of landmarking. Housing such as today’s BOTD is typical here in the Beverley’s, and is a celebration of the imagination and spirit of the turn of the 20th century’s architects and the developers they worked for. These particular neighborhoods were the brainchild of prolific developer Thomas B. Ackerson.

With savings garnered from his job at the Knickerbocker Ice Company, Thomas Benton Ackerson, who went by “T.B.,” started investing in real estate. With a little more than $85K, he bought ten acres of Flatbush land from the Lott family and began to develop two neighborhoods now known as Beverley Square East and West. He envisioned an upscale suburban development where no two houses were the same and every house had a lawn. He had great drive, got great help and managed to have 42 houses built in Beverley Square West which sold in no time. T.B. was on his way.

T.B. took his cues from the other developers around him, like Prospect Park South’s Dean Alvord and Ditmas Park’s Louis Pounds, and hired some of the same architects they used. John J. Petit, A. White Pierce, J.A. Davidson and Benjamin Dreisler designed all of the houses in Beverley Square. I was not able to sort out the mess of who did what, but one of them was the architect of this house. If I had to take a guess, it would be Petit who designed some of Prospect Park South’s most imaginative houses.

T.B. Ackerman was a canny operator who understood that names can make a big difference in marketing. The streets of Flatbush had been laid out with numbers, but he, with the support of Dean Alvord and others, was the one who petitioned the city to change the names to tony sounding English place names. East 11th through 15th Streets became Stratford, Westminster, Argyle, Rugby, Marlborough and Beverley Roads. Alvord contributed Albemarle and Buckingham, and Dorchester and others would follow in that vein in Ditmas Park and neighborhoods to the south.

Ackerman made a tidy profit, and spurred by his success, went on to develop Fiske Terrace, Midwood and Brightwater, Long Island as well as developments in New Jersey, all incorporated within his NY Land and Warehouse Company. He earned, as the Builder’s Guide put it, “a pile of money.”

This is one of the cutest and most imaginative houses in Beverley Square. It’s a late Queen Anne gem with a wonderfully arched, wrap around porch, supported by thick columns, and a tower and turret that burst forth from the body of the house, which is clad in shingles and clapboard. There’s stained glass and patterned shingles, dormers and gables popping out everywhere, all emphasized by the canvas shades. You can’t help but smile when you see this building. Landmark it and its neighbors before it’s too late, please!
(http://maps.google.com/maps?q=242+Rugby+Rd,+Brooklyn,+NY&hl=en&sll=42.746632,-75.770041&sspn=4.08223,10.821533&oq=242+Rugby+Rd.+Brookl&hnear=242+Rugby+Rd,+Brooklyn,+Kings,+New+York+1122 6&t=m&z=16)
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May 15th, 2013, 06:26 PM
As a child I had often rummaged this neighborhood with my old man, specially in the summer of 87 when I served as a his copilot in his car service gig and opened and closed doors for passngers (I wanted a Nintendo and he had told me that I had to work to get it). It was a shithole then but even then I recall how incredible these houses and tree lined streets were; Argyle Rd and Ditmas Ave always mesmerized. Through college I would bemoan that I was not going to get a job before the neighborhood prices took off, and boy it did.

Through the graces of good fortune in finding a reasonable deal that entailed an aspect of locale sacrifice (but not structure) and nimble time management I have recently become a proprietor (and by default official curator) of one of the lots in the codray of neighborhoods known as Victorian Flatbush. :)!

And thusly, any effort and fight to maintain these vintage semblances of magnificent architecture will henceforth be an even more personal and passionate endeavor for me; especially keeping these lots away from greasy hands of the knaves we know as developers or any other human force of destruction.

June 10th, 2013, 10:13 AM
(My house is in the expanded landmark region ;))

Emily Baron for New York Daily News

Ditmas Park Victorians, like this at E. 17th St. and Dorchester Rd., need to be protected as landmarks, the city says.

A whopping 1,150 Victorian-style homes around Ditmas Park would be landmarked to maintain their historic character under a proposal being pushed by local pols and community leaders.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush) and other elected officials are urging the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to bestow that status on the homes, built 100 years ago by a small group of architects who converted the neighborhood from farmland into a tree-lined community.
“We are big believers in preserving and celebrating the history of what we have in this community,” said Williams’ spokesman Stefan Ringel.
The Bloomberg administration is reviewing the 437-page application, submitted in March by a group of neighborhood associations and the Flatbush Development Corp.
In the past decade, the historic district designation stemming from similar proposals has been phased to cover smaller sections over several years.
Once landmarked, owners are required to obtain permission from the city’s preservation commission before they can begin almost any type of construction.
Some residents worry, however, that the landmark status will make it difficult for cash-strapped neighborhood homeowners to make repairs that comply with the rigid requirements.
“You’re putting a burden on someone who is already struggling to upgrade or maintain their home,” said Andrew Weakland, 28, who lives in Ditmas Park.
Proponents of the plan note that property values in historic districts have increased at a slightly greater rate than comparable homes outside the district, according to a study by the Independent Budget Office, issued in 2003.
Preservationists are worried that residents in Victorian Flatbush will destroy the historic homes, if left to their own devices.
“Most owners are protective of the character of their homes, but a minority seems to have no particular interest in the history and character of their neighborhoods and have attached brick facades and other inappropriate materials,” the landmark application states.
The proposal would cover Beverly Square East, Beverly Square West, Caton Park, Ditmas Park West, South Midwood and West Midwood.
Swaths of homes in the Ditmas Park area have already been landmarked, but that process has been done piecemeal since 1978.
Members of the Victorian Flatbush Landmarking Committee, the group leading the charge, call the latest effort “completing the quilt,” Ringel said.
Neighbor Freda Rosenfeld, 55, said she supports the landmark status, but was worried that it would further outprice the middle class.
Currently, houses in the neighborhood sell for upwards of $1 million.
“I can’t imagine prices going any higher than they already are,” she said. “The city should ensure that this always remains a neighborhood where young middle-class families can buy homes.”
“It’s a neighborhood that’s hidden in plain sight,” said Brooklyn historian Ron Schweiger, who will lead his next walking tour of Victorian Flatbush on Sunday. “Even people who live in Brooklyn are unfamiliar with the area, and are amazed to see these turn-of-the-century Victorian-style homes.”
Victorian Flatbush House Tour begins at Temple Beth Emeth at 83 Marlborough Road, Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. For information, visit www.fdconline.org/housetour.html (http://www.fdconline.org/housetour.html) rblau@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/pols-protect-victorian-ditmas-park-article-1.1367439#ixzz2Vp37Zidx

June 10th, 2014, 02:45 PM
The Magic of Dusk....