Building of the Day: 278 Clinton Avenue

The Building of the Day is a no-frills look at interesting structures of all types and from all neighborhoods. There will be old, new, important, forgotten, public, private, good and bad. Whatever strikes our fancy. We hope you enjoy.

Address: 278 Clinton Avenue, between DeKalb and Willoughby avenues
Name: Private house
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill (Clinton Hill Historic District)
Year Built: 1884, approximately
Architectural Style: Queen Anne, with Neo-Grec elements
Architects: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes

Clinton Hill Brooklyn Architecture 278 Clinton Avenue

The 1981 LPC designation report for Clinton Hill calls this house surely the most eccentric house in the historic district and is, unfortunately, one of the major houses for which historical information is unavailable. It really is some house.

It’s next door to the grounds of the wood-frame Queen Anne at 284 Clinton Avenue, which affords even more curb appeal, and the expansive foliage softens the edges of this large mansion, surrounded by an ornate wrought iron fence. Then there’s that unusual corner bay, which juts out like a castle turret, with a sturdy balcony held up with carved stone brackets.

Clinton Hill Brooklyn Architecture 278 Clinton Avenue

The whole house, which is quite large, projects a massive sturdiness, from the use of the contrasting red brick and white limestone, to the large porch and upper balcony on the front of the building.

A photo of the beveled glass side window, shot in winter without foliage, shows the delicacy of form amid the massive columns, brackets and cornice, as does the intricate brickwork. There are lots of great houses on Clinton Ave. If I could have any of them, I’d take this one. It’s long been a favorite.

Clinton Hill Brooklyn Architecture 278 Clinton Avenue

Related Stories
Suzanne Spellen, aka Montrose Morris, Is Writing Brownstoner’s First Book
The Amazing Mansions of Clinton Avenue: A Tour of American Architectural Styles (Photos)
Building of the Day: 284 Clinton Avenue

Email with further comments, questions or tips. Follow Brownstoner on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Subscribe to get the latest info on Suzanne Spellen's Brownstoner book.

* indicates required

What's Happening