Five Famous and Historic Brooklyn Stoops — Truman Capote, Spike Lee and More

    by
    2

    This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.

    7-arlington-place
    7 Arlington Place | via PropertyShark

    No image of Brooklyn is more iconic than that of a family or a group of friends hanging out on their front stoop on a sunny day. In a borough full of front stoops, here are five of the most historic.

    7 Arlington Place, Bedford Stuyvesant
    7 Arlington Place is the famed Bed Stuy townhouse where Spike Lee shot Crooklyn in 1994. The film takes place during the summer of 1974 and centers around a family living in the neighborhood. The theatrical release poster features the family all gathered on the brownstone stoop. But the neighborhood has dramatically changed since Spike Lee lived here: this Bed Stuy brownstone last sold for $1,700,000.

     

    70-willow-street70 Willow Street | via the New York Public Library

    70 Willow Street, Brooklyn Heights
    70 Willow Street has a very modest stoop, especially by the standards of other Brooklyn Heights brownstones. But this home is arguably one of the most famous in the borough. The writer Truman Capote lived here from 1955 to 1965, renting the basement apartment from the Broadway stage designer Oliver Smith.

    This was where he wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s and lunched with Jackie Kennedy. (He lied to Jackie, telling her the house was his own.) He also immortalized the home in his memoir A House on the Heights, in which he wrote, “We sat on the porch consulting Martinis — I urged him to have one more, another. It got to be quite late, he began to see my point; yes, twenty-eight rooms were rather a lot; and yes it seemed only fair that I should have some of them.”

     

    Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 9.36.30 PM
    526 MacDonough Street | via Google Maps

    526 MacDonough Street, Bedford Stuyvesant
    This reddish, brick townhouse in Bed Stuy was the former home of Jackie Robinson and his wife. Robinson, of course, broke down color barriers when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. A recent film chronicling his life, 42, used shots from MacDonough Street because the filmmakers wanted to show the building’s distinctive front stoop.

    You wouldn’t know Robinson lived here just from passing by, but another one of Robinson’s Brooklyn homes, at 5224 Tilden Avenue in East Flatbush, bears a plaque that states: “The first African-American major league baseball player lived here from 1947 to 1949.”

     

    167-6th-Avenue-Brooklyn-062212167 6th Avenue | via Brownstoner

    167 6th Avenue, Park Slope
    Filmmaker Noah Baumbach immortalized this Park Slope brownstone in his film The Squid and the Whale. The movie was loosely based on his experience growing up in the Slope in the 80s, and it takes place largely inside the home. Now it’s another example of a pricey Park Slope brownstone — in 2012 it sold at ask for $3,450,000.

     

    parkslopetownhousetop272 Berkeley Place | via Curbed

    272 Berkeley Place, Park Slope
    This Park Slope brownstone was home to the neighborhood’s original gentrifiers, Evelyn and Everett Ortner. They bought the property in 1963 for $32,000 and convinced their friends to also invest in the neighborhood. The couple worked tirelessly until their deaths in 2006 and 2012 to advocate for and secure the neighborhood’s historic preservation — you can read more about them in this New York Times article. Of course, once gentrification set in Park Slope brownstones started asking a lot more than $32,000. This house sold last year for $3,025,000.

    What's Happening