Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Monday, February 16, 2009

Introducing Sampson B. Oulton

A lovely row of small brownstone houses stands in 11th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues, on the south side of the street:

306-304 11th Street - unprotected

The row was nearly finished in October, 1885, when it was featured in a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article containing a fascinating and extensive interior description. They sound like charming houses indeed:

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

What a relief to know that the parlor was equipped with an arch for "drapery if required"! But what on earth is a "Boynton heater"?

The article attributes the row to "S. B. Fulton", but we suspect the Eagle reporter meant Oulton, not Fulton. Sampson B. Oulton was a prolific Brooklyn builder who unfortunately came to a rather sad end, as we shall one day see.

Remarkably, all twelve houses still stand today. Every cornice is intact. Not a single stoop as been removed. Oulton's "neatest row of small houses in the world" is yet another example of the many original rows of historic houses standing in Park Slope today, unprotected by historic district designation.

316 11th Street - unprotected

1 comment:

Eric said...

A "Boynton" heater was a furnace manufactured by Richardson & Boynton Co., which was apparently a prominent manufacture of heating equipment. Here's a link to an ad from 1889 for a "Perfect" Hot Water Heater.

Interesting that the Brooklyn Daily Eagle got the builder's name wrong -- 124 years later, they're still shaky with the facts, especially with their fawning coverage of Bruce Ratner and Atlantic Yards.