Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Monday, September 7, 2009

Introducing Charles Long, Park Slope Builder

Charles Long was a local owner/developer who built several substantial rows of Park Slope houses in the 1880s.

He first appears in connection with some new houses in 5th Street, between 5th & 6th Avenues, in a Brooklyn Eagle advertisement from 1882. Unfortunately the ad is somewhat vague regarding location. It seems possible, from the text of the advertisement, that Charles Long had a business relationship with the Litchfield family at this time.

Brooklyn Eagle, June 12, 1882, p. 3.

The first project with which we can associate Charles Long working as an independent developer is a row of ten brownstone-faced three story over basement single-family houses on the north side of 5th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues (#445 - 459 5th Street). This row was erected 1882-83 and seems to mark the beginning of a lengthy collaboration between Charles Long, owner/architect, and builder J. F. Wood:

Brooklyn Eagle, August 17, 1882, p. 3 ("Brisk")

"Building Intelligence; Brooklyn," AABN vol. 12, no. 345 (Aug. 5, 1882): p. 67.
–"Fifth St., n s, 129' e [sic - w] Seventh Ave., 10 three-st’y dwells.; cost, each, $4,000; owner, Chas. Long, 383 Eleventh St.; builder, J. F. Wood."

The houses are flat-faced Neo-grec with distinctive door hood and brackets that we will see repeated identically in subsequent developments from Long and Wood:

445-459 5th Street - unprotected

457 5th Street - detail

Later that same year, the Brooklyn Eagle again checks in with Charles Long regarding this row of houses, and seems to hint that Long has been a prolific builder in Brooklyn, although we have not positively associated him with earlier buildings in Park Slope. Long provides an amusing answer in response to an Eagle query regarding why he chose to build houses for sale, rather than flats for rent:

Brooklyn Eagle, November 07, 1882, p. 1 ("Homes")

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