Building of the Day: 43-49 Willow Place

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Colonnade Row
Address: 43-49 Willow Place
Cross Streets: Joralemon and State Streets
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
Year Built: 1846
Architectural Style: Greek Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: Yes, part of Brooklyn Heights HD (1969)

Colonnade rows were very popular in the 1830s and ’40s. They added some interest and gravitas to what are basically very plain houses, and really put the Greek in Greek Revival, with those massive columns extending the houses further into the streetscape. There were once many more of these rows in existence in New York City, but they have been the target of all kinds of efforts in “modernization” throughout the last 100 years. The best known remaining colonnade is La Grange Terrace, on Lafayette Street across from Cooper Union in Manhattan, and that is only a part of what was once a longer row, and has been altered quite a bit in its history.

Here in Brooklyn, this row is more modest in scope and substitutes stone columns for wood, and is still quite striking in appearance, and much admired. Across the street, another colonnaded home sits rather neglected. Francis Morrone, in his “Architectural Guide to Brooklyn,” comments that the house looks as if it moved across the street and wanted to be off on its own. In reality, he notes, it is part of another group of four, of which only two remain, the other altered beyond recognition. All the colonnade houses are a significant part of Heights’ architectural history, and add greatly to Brooklyn Heights’ large range of architectural styles. GMAP

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