Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

8-Family Flats

We have been looking at several common historic building styles in Park Slope (Italianate, Neo-Grec) both within and outside the boundaries of the current Park Slope Historic District. Most of the buildings we've seen are "rowhouses", originally single-family homes. However, many other historic buildings in Park Slope were originally built to house multiple families. One very common format is the "8-family", typically four stories, with two flats per floor, and no elevator.

Below is a view of 8th Street, park block (between 8th Avenue and Prospect Park West, north side, looking east). All of these buildings are within the current Park Slope Historic District, and all of them are "8-family flats". The Park Slope Historic District Designation Report reads:

"The north side...presents an almost solid wall of four-story apartment houses. Their materials consist of light-colored shades of brick, with limestone trim, which harmonizes with the houses across the street. Their height is visually minimized by the concentration of architectural elements and details at the ground floor level, while their full-height bays create a wavy undulation at the skyline."

Eighth Street, Park Slope Historic District

The report continues on to say that these apartment houses, "basically neo-Georgian in style", were begun in 1904 for John Wilson and were designed by Brooklyn architect Henry Pohlman. Below is a closer view of one of these apartment buildings:

537 8th Street, Park Slope Historic District

Meanwhile, in Carroll Street below 7th Avenue, one finds a very similar row of 8-family apartment houses. Below is the view looking east, toward 7th Avenue:

Carroll Street between 6th & 7th Avenues - unprotected

It is not unreasonable to assume that this row in Carroll Street, so similar in style to the row in 8th Street, must have been built within a few years of 1904, when the 8th Street buildings were erected. Yet, these buildings are not protected by Historic District designation.

Below is a closer view in Carroll Street:

717-719 Carroll Street - unprotected

A Historic District comprises buildings of many types and functions, including 8-family apartment houses like the ones shown here.


Old First said...

These are all magnificent. Good for you. The single family brownstones get all the raves, but the quality of our rental buildings is the true test of our being a city.

Tampa Bay Sports Examiner said...

I was raised at 391-2nd Street in the 50's and 60's and I can still remember the old brownstones.

I think you can go from 9th Street to Union Street, Fifth Avenue to Prospect Park West as an entire rectangle of houses and businesses that should get some protection from the city/state/feds.