Building of the Day: 158 South Oxford Street


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: 158 South Oxford Street, between Hanson Place and Atlantic Avenue
Name: Private Home
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Year Built: 1860
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architects: Unknown
Landmarked: No, inexplicably

Why chosen: I grew up in a house that looks very much like this. That house is way upstate in central New York, so it always makes me smile to see this one on this block, here in the midst of Brooklyn. Like any good country house, this sits on high ground, overlooking what once was farm country, soon taken over by the rapid growth of Brooklyn. The house, with its beautiful Gothic trimmed porch and symmetrical windows, is a rare beauty. In 2007, this property was on sale for $13 million, with the provision that the house be saved, but the carriage house and adjacent property was to be razed for condo development. That doesn’t seem to have happened, thankfully. The house is on the list for the proposed expansion of the Fort Greene Historic district. With several other significant buildings on this block, I wonder why this block wasn’t included in one of the two historic districts (BAM and Ft. Greene) in the first place. There are only a handful of these houses left, and very few in such good shape. Let’s protect them now, rather then when the ‘dozers are rumbling up the street.

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