Building of the Day: 2 and 3 Pierrepont Place

3 Pierrepont Place. Photo by Susan De Vries

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: 2 and 3 Pierrepont Place, between Montague and Pierrepont Streets
Name: Alexander M. White and Abiel Abbot Low Houses
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights ( Brooklyn Heights Historic District)
Year Built: 1857
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Frederick A. Peterson
Landmarked: Yes

Why chosen: These twin mansions are called the most elegant pair of brownstone mansions remaining in NY by the AIA Guide. They are huge, rich, but architecturally simple homes befitting two of Brooklyn’s most wealthy and distinguished families. Alfred Tredway White, businessman and philanthropist grew up in #2. He was the builder of the Riverside, Tower, and Home Apartments, and Workman’s Cottages, as well as the Japanese Garden at the Botanical Garden. Abiel Low in # 3 (pictured), made a fortune on the Chinese tea trade, but his son, Seth, was one of the great Brooklynites of all time, becoming mayor of Brooklyn, and later greater New York City. A graduate of Columbia College, Seth Low is best remembered as president of that institution, turning the small college into Columbia University, buying its Morningside Heights location, and commissioning Charles Follen McKim to design the campus, including the great Abiel Abbot Low Library, which he paid for himself. Originally, a third mansion, designed by Richard Upjohn stood at #1 Pierrepont Place. That was the Henry Pierrepont mansion, which was torn down in 1946 to create the current children’s playground.

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