Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2010 House Tour: 475A 1st Street

This house will be featured on the 2010 Park Slope House Tour, which will be held Sunday, May 16. Tickets will be available at 7th Avenue merchants, and through the Park Slope Civic Council's website.

475A 1st Street - Park Slope Historic District

475A 1st Street is one of a row of six two-story-over-basement single-family homes built in 1877 for owner George W. Richards and designed by Brooklyn architect-carpenter William Wright. The Park Slope Historic District Designation Report states that the row is "French neo-Grec", based perhaps on the incised foliate decoration carved into the window lintels. However, the houses also exhibit many characteristics of the lingering Italiate style, including the segmental-arched windows and door hood, the parlor-floor windows that drop all the way to the floor, the cornice detailing, and the cast-iron stoop handrails, newel posts, and areaway fence.

In 1891, this house was the venue for an elaborate musicale, hosted by a Mrs. Wardner, to benefit the home mission work of the Park Congregational Church. The Brooklyn Eagle reported that the event drew performers from both Brooklyn and New York, then still a separate city; that "the capacious parlors were well filled"; and that an "elocutionist" was particularly well-received.

Brooklyn Eagle, February 13, 1891, p.2 ("In Aid of Home Mission Work")

Park Congregational was at that time located in a church building that still stands in 7th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues; in a few years it would move to a new home at the corner of 8th Avenue and 2nd Street.

475A 1st Street has very recently undergone a renovation and enlargement that is highly sensitive to the original house and to the historic district. A new half-floor was added to the roof, but is invisible from the sidewalk and can only be seen from the top of the stoops across the street:

475A 1st Street, showing rooftop addition.
View from top of stoop across the street

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