Crumbling House on St. James Place in Clinton Hill Finally Getting Some Love?


Looks like some work might finally be happening at 173 St. James Place, a modest mid-19th century wood frame building that has been badly deteriorating ever since a fire more than a decade ago.

A permit to change the certificate of occupancy from a one-family to a two-family and restore the “damaged partitions” was issued in March. When we happened by recently, we heard hammering and saw scaffolding on the second floor and someone up on the roof.

brooklyn architecture 173 st james place

The application was filed in 2013 and a permit was first issued in 2015. The applicant of record is architect and Pratt professor Brent Porter, who helped out with the Broken Angel around the corner.

The work may not affect the exterior, whose renovation will first require sign-off from Landmarks. There are no permits currently on file with the LPC and the calendar reveals no hearings in the near future.

173 st james place

The Katie Mertz installation on the house in September 2017

The house is hardly even a shell at this point, but is one of the oldest houses in the landmark district, probably dating from around 1852, according to the designation report. The two-story house originally had a porch.

Last year, artist and native Brooklynite Katie Merz covered the property with one of her signature black and white hieroglyphic murals, but not a trace remains.

173 st james place

The house in April 2018

brooklyn mural 173 st james place clinton hill

The house in February 2016. Photo by Cate Corcoran

The house in a 1980s tax photo. Photo via PropertyShark

The house in a 1980s tax photo. Photo via PropertyShark

[Photos by Susan De Vries except when noted otherwise]

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