Colorful painted facades are becoming a thing in Bushwick. We count at least six houses in Bushwick that have painted murals or colorful geometric designs adorning their otherwise plain stucco exteriors.
One reason for the design trend may be that Bushwick has a lot of frame houses. You’d probably never guess looking at Bushwick now, but many were once painted ladies with lots of gingerbread trim, just like in San Francisco.
Starting in the mid-20th century and continuing right up to the present day, many building owners covered over the original shingles and clapboard with vinyl siding to lower maintenance costs. Typically this meant ripping off the fancy gingerbread trim surrounding doors and windows and carting it away to the landfill, leaving the houses plain and unadorned.
In the last few years, stucco facades have become a popular coverup for wood frame buildings in Bushwick. When BushwickBK founder and Cafetería La Mejor co-owners Jeremy Sapienza and Luis Velazquez Bought their stucco’d-over wood frame in 2007, it was painted an unappealing shade of Pepto-Bismol pink.
Since then, at least five more houses in Bushwick have redone their facades with murals and geometric patterns. Some are painted and some use colored stucco to achieve the effect.
Local developer Abe Greene has painted three apartment buildings with colorful geometric patterns at 85 and 89 Cornelia Street and 64 Palmetto Street. One of these, previously known as the Lavender Residence, sports a zig-zag pattern that Curbed compared to “Willy Wonka’s sock.”
Originally painted in shades of lavender, it has since been repainted in brown and beige — but with the same pattern.
A colorful blue checkerboard house at 64 Palmetto Street
A painted zig-zag facade at 85 Cornelia Street
The building next door at 89 Cornelia Street is painted in up-and-down stripes and, on one side only, diagonal stripes.
The pattern at 89 Cornelia Street looks different depending on where you are standing
A house with a gray and white geometric facade at 1138 Bushwick Avenue
A house with a Tetris mural on its front at 1091 Madison Street