Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Charles Long Extends his 5th Street Row

Charles Long's next project, in Park Slope at any rate, apparently extends his initial row of 10 single-family houses in 5th Street. Plans are filed, about six months later, in early 1883, for six more houses uphill from the initial row, and for a row of 12 extending downhill from the initial row. We have recovered listings from both the Brooklyn Eagle and the American Architect and Building News:

Brooklyn Eagle, March 30, 1883, p. 4 ("Municipal")


"Building Intelligence; Brooklyn," AABN vol. 13, no. 380 (Apr. 7, 1883): p. 167.
– "Fifth St., n s, 299' w Seventh Ave., 12 two-st’y brick dwells., tin roofs, frame and tin cornice; cost, each, $3,500; owner and mason, Charles Long, 383 Eleventh St.; carpenter, J. F. Wood."

"Building Intelligence; Brooklyn," AABN vol. 13, no. 380 (Apr. 7, 1883): p. 167.
– "Fifth St., n s, 24' w Seventh Ave., 6 three-st’y brownstone front dwells., tin roofs, frame and tin cornice; cost, each, $4,500; owner and mason, Charles Long, 383 Eleventh St.; carpenter, J. F. Wood."


All of these houses are still extant, in nearly original condition.

The row of six brownstone-front houses (#461-471 5th Street) are identical in appearance to the initial row of 10, immediately downhill. The door hood and brackets are identical to the original row:

461-471 5th Street - unprotected


469 5th Street - unprotected


469 5th Street - detail.

However the later houses are 45' in length, in contrast to the original houses, which are only 40' in length. The difference can be seen in the city's Dept. of Information Technology and Telecommunication (DOITT) website; the slightly longer houses are circled below:

Screen cap - 461-471 5th Street - DOITT website

The original row was apparently also extended in the downhill direction with a row of twelve two story over basement, brick-faced single family houses (#423-443 5th Street). All twelve still stand, in essentially original condition:

423-443 5th Street - unprotected


435-439 5th Street - unprotected

One might not initially think that such different houses were built by the same person at the same time. One suspects some "market segmentation" on the part of the developer: whether you want brick-faced, brownstone-faced, three-story or two-story, Charles Long has a house for you!

With the original ten house row, the uphill extension of six houses, and the downhill extension of twelve more houses, Charles Long and his partner J. F. Wood have erected a total of twenty-eight houses on the north side of 5th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Park Slope. This is one of the longest continuous rows of houses from a single developer in Park Slope, but we shall soon see Charles Long outdo himself with an even longer row in our neighborhood.

Amazingly, the entire row of twenty-eight original houses remains standing, intact, unchanged since since original construction in 1882-83, but sadly lacking historic district protection from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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