Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Parfitt Brothers in 4th Street

A close reading of the online Brooklyn Eagle yields many items of interest to the historian of Park Slope. The issue of October 19, 1885, notes that Edwin C. Litchfield's Brooklyn Improvement Company is offering for sale 11 recently completed houses of "peculiar design" in 4th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Litchfield of course owned much of present-day Park Slope in the mid-19th century; his villa still stands just inside Prospect Park at 4th Street.

Parfitt Brothers, the architects, were one of the most prominent firms in Brooklyn, designing among many other buildings the nearby St. Augustine's R.C. Church.

Brooklyn Eagle, October 19, 1885, p. 2 ("Busy Builders")

Amazingly, 10 of the original 11 houses are still standing in 4th Street: the original row of 6 on the south side, and 4 of the original row of 5 on the north side.

The 4 houses below are from the row to the south and appear largely unchanged since they were built in 1885:

320-326A 4th Street - unprotected

Unfortunately a few of these Queen Anne-style houses have lost their distinctive gables to the modern craze of "remuddling", including the house on the left below, from the row on the northern side of the street:

323-325 4th Street - unprotected

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