Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brick-front Italianate

Some of the oldest houses in Park Slope can be found in the blocks adjacent to Flatbush Avenue. The simple, flat-front Italianate houses below are in 7th Ave. just off Flatbush, and are within the boundaries of the current Park Slope Historic District, which was designated in 1973. According to the Designation Report, these houses were built in 1860 by Charles S. Scribner of 300 Dean St. in Boerum Hill.

8-16 Seventh Avenue, Park Slope Historic District

Looking more closely at one of these houses, one notes how the parlor windows drop gracefully all the way to the floor, maximizing the interior light:

12 Seventh Avenue, Park Slope Historic District

Meanwhile, one block downhill in Sixth Avenue, just off Flatbush, stands a row of very similar houses that are not included in the current Historic District. This row is also Italianate and was undoubtedly built within a few years of the row above.

96-88 Sixth Avenue - unprotected

These houses in Sixth Avenue boast gracefully rounded door hoods lacking in the Seventh Avenue row, but are otherwise nearly identical:

92 Sixth Avenue - unprotected

There are many similar houses nearby in the North Slope, off Flatbush. Below is part of a row in Prospect Place between 5th & 6th Avenues, simple brick-front Italianate from the mid 19th century:

53-55-57 Prospect Place - unprotected

Why were the houses in Seventh Avenue included in the current Park Slope Historic District, while the ones in Sixth Avenue and Prospect Place were not? It makes no sense.

Update: Two of the houses in the 6th Ave. row have small, modern plaques embedded in the facade between the parlor floor windows. The plaques read "1867".

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