Building of the Day: 247 Hancock 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: 247 Hancock Street, between Marcy and Tompkins Avenues
Name: John C. Kelley House
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: somewhere between 1885 and 1889
Architectural Style: Neo-Renaissance with Romanesque Revival features
Architect: Montrose Morris
Landmarked: No

Why chosen: When I first moved to Bed Stuy, we looked at this house. The owner wanted $100K more than what anything else was going for in the neighborhood, at the time, so we passed, even though we loved it. Oh, the regret!! Montrose Morris designed this house, right across the street from his own home, for John C. Kelley, an Irish immigrant who made a fortune with his invention of a water meter. Technically, it’s a palazzo style brownstone centered in a huge 81′ lot. The stone is spalling on the façade, and needs attention, but the current owner has done extensive renovations inside, and it’s now a B&B. I recently saw a photo in the Bklyn Historical Society, from the 1940’s, showing the house painted white. The horror! This house, and the surrounding blocks should have been landmarked years ago, and as part of the Bedford Corners HD, is being considered by the LPC.

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