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: 1362 President Street, between Brooklyn and Kingston Avenues
Name: Private House
Neighborhood: Crown Heights South
Year Built: 1921
Architectural Style: French Renaissance Revival
Architects: Cohn Brothers
Why chosen: I don’t know why this stretch of President Street became mansion row, but boy, did it. (I intend to find out.) Between 1900 and 1930, both sides of President, between Kingston and New York Avenues, two blocks, became home to an architectural smorgasbord of large, often ornate mansions sitting on large, landscaped lawns. Unlike the equally large houses in Flatbush, these are all from the 20th century, built at a time when prosperity was in the air, during the Flapper Age, before the Great Depression. This particular house, which is among the most ornate on these blocks, was designed by the Cohn Brothers, an architectural firm familiar up a few blocks north in Crown Heights North. There they designed several large, Tudoresque apartment buildings, built for the middle classes. They were clearly aiming for a higher market here. The new AIA Guide calls this house a florid and showy intruder on an otherwise rather sedate part of the block, a house bristling with French Renaissance detailing. Look at that porte-cochere! Gatsby would most certainly have approved.