Building of the Day: 1510 Albemarle Road

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Minton-McAllister House
Address: 1510 Albemarle Road, between Marlborough Rd. and the railroad cut.
Neighborhood: Prospect Park South
Year Built: 1900
Architectural Style: Colonial Revival, combining Greek Revival, Georgian, and Federal elements
Architect: John J. Petit
Other buildings by architect: many houses in PPS, including 131 Buckingham Rd, the Japanese House
Landmarked: Yes, part of PPS Historic District (1979)

The story: The development of the exclusive neighborhood of Prospect Park South was rooted in the idea that successful people who worked in the city wanted to come home to the country, without actually having to commute to the country. Dean Alvord, the developer of PPS, based his suburban community on ideas manifested in the planned communities of Tuxedo Park, in Orange County, NY, and Riverside, near Chicago. Here, the urban and the rural meet with planned precision, creating a perfect living environment, so different from the row house blocks only a mile or so away. Within this structure, much is possible, architecturally, so we have the great variety of styles present throughout PPS. John J. Petit, Alvord’s first chief architect, was responsible for much of the variety seen on these blocks.

1510 Albemarle is one of the most impressive houses in the area, as much for its size as for its architecture. It is one of a handful of Greek Temple fronted houses in PPS, and is in excellent condition. The LPC designation report calls the house the grandest of the Colonial Revival houses in PPS. Petit, was a master of taking the elements of period and regional design, and re-combining them into a new modern form. Here, he took Greek Revival, Federal and Georgian elements, all late 18th and early 19th century styles, and created a thoroughly 20th century (he just made it) grand mansion for a grand boulevard. It stands next door to where Dean Alvord’s own home once stood.

There is so much going on here, most obviously, the majestic temple front porch with huge columns, which are echoed in the matching pilasters on the façade; the second story Palladian window with a Juliette balcony. One can’t help but wonder what lies behind the fanlight window above the porch. Storage, or a unique room? The huge house is further accented by the two story covered porch, on the Marlborough Rd. side of the house, altered in 1920. Then you have the eyebrow window in the attic, as well as the dormers. Woah.

The house was built for Alvord in 1900, and its first owners were Maurice and Maud Minton. They sold the house to the McAllister family in 1916. The McAllister’s were very successful NY harbor tugboat owner/operators. The house stayed in their family until 1985.

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