Building of the Day: 1095-1099 Park Place, the Lair of the Lion

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row houses
Address: 1095-1099 Park Place
Cross Streets: Kingston Avenue and Hampton Place
Neighborhood: Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1899
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: August Norberg
Landmarked: Yes, part of Phase III of the Crown Heights North Historic District (2015)

The story: Two-family houses were standard fare for this eastern part of Crown Heights North at the turn of the 20th century. Ninety percent of the row houses in the new Phase III of the Crown Heights North Historic District are two-families.

But within that broad category are some great examples of diversity and talent. The neighborhood’s streetscape reflects that on every block. These houses are among those examples.

Numbers 1095-1099 Park Place were built in 1899, designed by August Norberg. He was one of those architectural ciphers who pop in, design something that makes you think they could have been quite stellar, and then disappear.

1095-1099 Park Place, GS, PS, 2 2006

2006 photo by Greg Snodgrass for PropertyShark

All three houses are in the then-popular Renaissance Revival style, with light gray brick and limestone trim. There are classical details in the reliefs between the second and third floors, and on the pressed metal cornices.

Numbers 1097 and 1099 feature full-length bays. Norberg designed them to look like one large house, paired with 1095, which is the widest house, and the best of the group. It stands alone quite well, in spite of the fact that its stoop was removed many years ago.

1095-1099 Park Place, GS, PS, 3 2006

2006 photo by Greg Snodgrass for PropertyShark

The most interesting feature of 1095 is the oriel, a bay that does not touch the ground. This oriel is supported by a wonderful piece of sculpture with an intricately carved lion’s head.

1095-1099 Park Place, SSpellen 2

Photo by Suzanne Spellen

The house is further ornamented by an oval stained glass window on the third floor and the small window on the parlor floor below it.

All three houses are blessed with abnormally large back yards. A service alley was originally planned between Park and Prospect Places, but was never built. When the lots were redrawn, the Park Place houses got all of the land. As a result, the lots are 148 feet deep, and even deeper further along the block, as can be seen in this 1904 map.

In the last couple of years, before landmarking, the owner of the house rebuilt the rather cheesy entrance shown in the 2006 photo. Not as good as restoring the stoop, but certainly an improvement.

1095-1099 Park Place, GS, PS, 1 2006

2006 photo by Greg Snodgrass for PropertyShark

So who lived here? An early owner of 1095 was a piece of work. His name was G. H. Fayerweather. In 1909 he wrote a letter to the Brooklyn Eagle complaining about women’s rights, suffrage, and women in politics. He said some nasty stuff.

“Women cannot comprehend that ‘women’s rights’ would be the most prolific source of their wrongs; that with mingling with men and women of all sorts and conditions indiscriminately she would rapidly unsex herself; losing the respect, love and chivalrous deference of men.”

Regarding the past election, he said, “Women in defiance of all decent rules and decorum, aye, women connected with the schools, who should have had a nobler and higher sense of their duty – dominated doubtless, by some arrogant aggressive personality, canvassed from house to house, inveigling on the streets, in their places of business, the voters – printing and scattering campaign literature.

“To what purpose? To defeat for re-election legislators who dared to vote to sustain our noble Governor, Charles E. Hughes, who stands for righteousness!”

He finished by urging real men to put a stop to their women: “The assertive, dominating, masculine woman is an abomination, a sort of mistake of Nature. Shun her!”

Later that same year, Fayerweather put his house on the market. The ad appears below:

1095-1099 Park Place, 1909 ad, BE

1909 ad in Brooklyn Eagle

Between 1931 and 1951, the house was home to the office of a nurse’s registry called the Medical Service Registry. It ran ads in the Eagle throughout those 20 years. Perhaps they used the ground floor as an office, and this is when the stoop was removed. Thank goodness no one messed with the lion.

1095-1099 Park Place, 1932 ad, BE

1932 ad in Brooklyn Eagle

Top photo by Christopher D. Brazee for Landmarks Preservation Commission

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