Building of the Day: 1259-1263 Carroll 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: 1259-1263 Carroll Street, between Brooklyn and NY Avenues
Name: Row Houses
Neighborhood: Crown Heights South
Year Built: Early teens:1910-15
Architectural Style: Renaissance and Colonial Revival
Architects: Possibly J.L. Brush
Landmarked: Sadly, no.
Why chosen: Crown Heights South is a microcosm of early 20th century row house building styles for middle class homeowners. Within the streets between Eastern Parkway and Empire Blvd, you can see the progression of the early decades of the 20th century, with the earliest homes dating from the first decade of the 1900’s, nearer Eastern Parkway, down to the 1930’s era houses, as you get closer to Empire Blvd. Tossed into the mix are a couple of streets of mansions, and a lot of apartment buildings. I really like this neighborhood, because you never know what styles you are going to see in the next block. Architectural research is quite lacking over here, unfortunately, and little is written about the area except to talk about the riots in the 1990’s and to bemoan the loss of the Dodgers and Ebbetts Field. Most of the row houses are one and two family homes. The oldest houses are the limestones, dating from the early teens, and even they are modern enough to include garages in their design. By the time these were built, high stooped row houses were out of favor. Most of these early 20th century houses have short stoops and English basements, or no stoops at all. The predominant style is the bowed Renaissance Revival limestone, but there are plenty of Colonial Revival styles in brick scattered among them. Take this group, interesting because they were built by the same architect, possibly J.L. Brush, who designed very similar houses in the neighborhood. The use of different facing materials totally changes the entire look and feel of the house. I very much like the broad, 20′ wide face of the facades, whether bowed or bayed, the porches, which enable the lower floor to have more square footage underneath, and the generous and elegant pillared doorways, with the Classical portico and modern glass and iron doors. This particular block is all single family houses, and all have access to a rear service alley, with parking and/or garages. These are great houses.

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