The Wood Frame Houses of Wallabout

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We thought you might like to see some photos we took at the Wallabout tour a couple weeks ago, a joint effort of The Wooden House Project and the Brooklyn Historical Society. The area has one of the largest concentrations of pre-Civil War-era wood frame houses in New York City. The neighborhood developed as a place to live for boat builders, captains, and other workers associated with the shipping industry.

The house above at 73 Vanderbilt Avenue was built in 1851 and 1852 in a mix of the Greek Revival and Italianate styles. The clapboard and the detail around the front door are original, but the Greek Revival moldings around the front entrance come from an interior doorway, and the ears around the windows and six-over-six windows were added in a 1970s restoration.

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Most of the houses we saw dated from 1849 to 1855, but the house above and below is the oldest one in Wallabout. The oldest part of the Lefferts-Laidlaw House at 136 Clinton Street was built between 1836 and 1840.

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Here we are in the industrial part of Wallabout, on the other side of the BQE. A building here belonging to the U.S.’s biggest candy maker until the 20th century is now condos.

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We ran into the owner of this fishscale-shingled house above, who told us the facade had just been restored, and broken or missing shingles had to be cut by hand.

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Although they’ve been greatly altered and it’s hard to tell, these two houses above are rare examples of the gothic style in residential housing.

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