Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Row house
Address: 235 Duffield Street
Cross Streets: Fulton and Willoughby Streets
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn
Year Built: Early 20th century
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
The story: Like all of Downtown Brooklyn’s side streets, Duffield Street was once mostly residential. It was lined first with wood-framed row houses, and later, brick and mortar row houses and small tenements.
This lot used to have one of those wood-framed row houses on it, part of a group which included the neighboring house. These houses have evidence of use as safe houses and escape routes on the Underground Railroad.
This building replaced one of the frame houses, and was built sometime in the early 20th century. It is first mentioned in the papers in 1906.
It was constructed as the block was rapidly transitioning from mixed use residential to commercial, and was probably built with the two storefronts on the bottom two floors.
This white brick Renaissance Revival building is somewhat a rarity in the neighborhood. Most of the row houses are much earlier, dating from either before or just after the Civil War. They were made of wood or brownstone.
This would have been considered quite a modern building for its day, as innovative as one of the modern glass buildings that are rapidly replacing its neighbors.
This was the building that hair built. In the beginning, it was known as the Gem. (more…)