The BOTD 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
Name: Private House
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill (Clinton Hill Historic District)
Year Built: 1884, approximately
Architectural Style: Queen Anne, with Neo-Grec elements
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, 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.
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 amidst 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.
[Photos by Suzanne Spellen]