Building of the Day: 1241-1247 President 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: 1241-1247 President Street, between Nostrand and New York Avenues
Name: Row houses
Neighborhood: Crown Heights South
Year Built: Guessing teens early 1920’s
Architectural Style: a potpourri of styles, w/ elements of Renaissance Revival, Colonial Revival, Tudor, and Neo-cinderblock.
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

Why chosen: This attractive group of two-family homes was built at the beginning of the 20th century, at a time when this part of Crown Heights South saw a flurry of home building. If I ever got a grant to do the research, I’d love to track how this neighborhood was developed, as you can see a progression of architectural styles that starts at Eastern Parkway, at around 1895, and moves forward into the 20th century the further south you go, ending at Empire Blvd. These houses are about midpoint, both geographically and chronologically. 1241, on the far left, was a Weekend Pick in 2009, and the photos, which are still on the site, show the original detail in the house to be that unique mixture of Colonial Revival and Craftsman that characterizes much of the middle class residential architecture of the early 20th century. It’s an attractive house, with some very nice limestone trim in the form of a Colonial pediment and column reliefs. The house next door, number 1243 has more of a Tudor Revival theme going, with the stucco and half-timbered look at the roofline, but some very ornate limestone Renaissance Revival trim above the lintel and the bay window. Its neighbor, number 1245, used to look more like its neighbors, as you can see in a 1970’s tax photo, but in 2003, the owner filed for a permit to add another story, and change the C of O to a one family. And they made a few changes. Moving on, to finish the row, number 1247 looks like the mirror image of 1241. These four houses are only a part of a group that takes up most of this side of the block. If all had been intact, the group reminds me of terrace houses from the same period in England. I wonder who copied whom? Houses of this type are also found in Flatbush, southern Brooklyn, the Bronx and in Queens, and are part of history of these neighborhoods. As for 1245, I will reserve my comments, only to say that among the several things I don’t get about this, I really don’t understand the second floor French doors on the right. The double doors that will ensure that your first step outside will be a very memorable occasion.

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(Photo: Prop Shark/NYC tax photo)

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