Will the Small Collection of Historic Row Houses in This Tiny Neighborhood Survive Development?


It’s not quite central Downtown Brooklyn, Vinegar Hill or Fort Greene, but this quirky little neighborhood is one of the oldest areas of downtown and amazingly still has some surviving early and mid 19th century row houses.

brooklyn architecture duffield street downtown brooklyn

The house at 14 Duffield Street will sprout more stories

Centered around Duffield and Concord streets, the small enclave known as Bridge Plaza is tucked between Flatbush Avenue Extension and the ramps to the Manhattan Bridge. Once a much larger residential and commercial neighborhood, the construction of the bridge and ramps and streets leading to it demolished numerous buildings and left the remaining section an isolated pocket.

brooklyn development bridge plaza 16 duffield street

A rendering by Yossi G was posted on the construction fence at 14 Duffield Street

A recent walk through the area showed the development push evident in the rest of downtown making inroads here, with several new residential structures recently completed, going up or in the planning stages.

brooklyn architecture duffield street downtown brooklyn

171 Concord Street after demolition of the 20th century garage on site and a view of the rear of 16 Duffield Street.

The picturesque cottage at 167 Concord Street, which may date to the early 19th century or earlier, neighbors what is now a new development site.

brooklyn architecture duffield street concord street downtown brooklyn bridge plaza

The corner of Duffield and Concord streets looking toward the empty lot at 171 Concord Street

In the adjacent lot at 171 Concord Street, a four-story building with seven units is planned. Infinity Properties NYC is the developer and ARC Architecture + Design Studio is the architect. Both have worked on numerous small and mid-size infill projects in central Brooklyn.

brooklyn development bridge plaza 171 concord street

A rendering was posted on the construction fence at 171 Concord Street

The lot backs up to 14 Duffield Street, another early 19th century house, whose rear was recently demolished.

Purchased in June by Riverside Developers for $2.025 million, the brick building will double in height to 65 feet and six stories and quadruple from three units to 12, according to DOB records. A rendering posted on the fence shows a much taller building of eight stories towering over its neighbors.

brooklyn architecture duffield street downtown brooklyn

A construction shed for a new residential building at 180 Concord Street abuts the doorway of a historic wood-frame house at 184 Concord Street

Other development sites include 180 Concord Street and 37 Duffield Street. At 49 Duffield Street, a seven-unit, four-story building in the works since 2004 was completed and received a temporary certificate of occupancy this past summer.

brooklyn architecture duffield street bridge plaza downtown brooklyn

A new residential building is under construction at 180 Duffield Street. The development includes a second building around the corner at 37 Duffield Street

Building heights are capped at about six stories but none of the row houses in the neighborhood are protected, either as individual New York City landmarks or as part of a historic district.

Will they manage to survive the development push?

brooklyn architecture 167 concord street bridge plaza

167 Concord Street

brooklyn architecture duffield street downtown brooklyn

An old wood-frame house at 47 Duffield Street sits next to a new building at 49 Duffield Street

[Photos by Susan De Vries]

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