We searched the online Brooklyn Eagle in vain for any citation of these buildings. We tried countless permutations of search keys including "Sixth avenue", "First street", "Second street" etc., but no hits. Thus it was highly gratifying finally to find a reference in the American Architect and Building News of 1887:
"Building Intelligence; Houses; Brooklyn, N. Y.," AABN vol. 21, no. 600 (Jun. 25, 1887): p. xiii.
– "Sixth Ave., s w cor. First St., three-st’y and basement brown-stone dwell., tin roof; cost, $5,000; owner, architect and builder, C. P. Skelton."
– "Sixth Ave., n w cor. Second St., three-st’y and basement brown-stone dwell., tin roof; cost, $5,000; owner, architect and builder, C. P. Skelton."
– "Sixth Ave., w s 20' s First St., 8 two-and-a-half-st’y and basement brown-stone dwells., tin roofs; cost, each, $5,000; owner, architect and builder, C. P. Skelton.
This is one of those cases, apparently not uncommon in 19th c. Brooklyn, in which a single individual, one C. P. Skelton in this case, alone assumed the role of owner, architect, and builder. Skelton seems to have carried off his responsibility quite nicely here. The end houses bracket the row with full-height, two-sided projecting window bays and a full three stories over basement, in contrast to the two-and-a-half story, flat facades of much of the rest of the row. The central pair of houses again rises to a full three stories. Altogether this row seems to us perhaps a slight echo of the wonderful townhouse blocks of Knightsbridge or Belgravia.
The entire Neo-grec block is in nearly original condition, excepting one of the central pair which has regrettably lost its stoop and cornice.
The 1897 Lain's Brooklyn Directory lists 296 6th Avenue, the choice corner lot with full southern exposure, as the residence of Christopher P. Skelton, "builder".
SKELTON Chris'r P. bldr. 296 6th av
Beyond the fact that he designed and built this fine row in 1887 and occupied the end house himself, we have found nothing else about Christopher P. Skelton.