Editor’s note: A more recent feature on this building can be found here.
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: 148 Hoyt Street, corner of Bergen St.
Name: The Brooklyn Inn
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill
Year Built: 1851, with an extensive facelift in the 1880’s
Architectural Style: originally Greek Revival, with a later Queen Anne facade
Architects: Thomas Maynard, later alterations, unknown.
Why chosen: Here is a classic case of an older building being remodeled to resemble a newer style of building, only this one took place 130 years ago. Thomas Maynard, who also built the adjoining group of houses from 150-156 Hoyt, built this corner structure as a tavern with apartments above. All of the buildings were classic late Greek Revival structures, and this one looked very similar to them. In the 1880’s, when a more fanciful exterior was in vogue, the entire facade was changed to reflect this new design sensibility. The cornice became pressed metal, with larger brackets, extending the roof line. Pressed metal bandcourses unite the front and side of the building, and new oriel bays, also on the front and sides of the building give it that classic high Victorian look. A pyramid roof, totally non-functional, is added, as well as the distinctive styling on the storefront level, and heavy looking window hoods grace the Bergen St. side of the building. The work was really well done, and the result is an exceptionally beautiful retail space, and apartments. I like the simplicity and elegance of Boerum Hill’s streetscapes. This Victorian renovation adds a nice touch of whimsey and theatricality to it, and the Brooklyn Inn’s treatment of the space makes it one of the most attractive spaces around.