Not living in the area, we mistakenly thought that the house at 1000 Ocean Avenue (at top) in Ditmas Park was about to get some renovation love when we drove past last May. We were disabused of that notion when we posted about it at the time. In his Streetscapes column yesterday, The Times’ architectural historian Christopher Gray shares a similar pessimism about the colonial revival’s fate:
The house looks like an urban leftover of a fleeing population. A graffiti-covered truck with no license plates has been parked in the driveway for months, perhaps years. Much of the cornice and pediment, made of galvanized iron, is bare of paint; in fact the cornice is mostly gone, exposing the underlying timbers and brickwork. The fluted columns have been replaced by square ones. (Several vintage columns are rotting away in the front yard, but they seem far too short to be the originals.) A letter sent to the house and one to its listed owner, Bernice Schleicher, have produced no response.
Gray does dig up some interesting history about the house, which sits to the right of a very similar house at 1010 Ocean Parkway that is in much better shape and was bought for $1,500,000 earlier this by a doctor who plans to use it as his office. The The house at Number 1000 was designed by George Palliser for George Van Ness in 1899; the house at Number 1010 was designed in the same year by the same architect for a relative of Van Ness named Thomas Brush. (Check out an old photo of the Van Ness house on the jump.) Gray notes that 1010 was architecturally superior from the start. It certainly doesn’t look like that’s gonna change any time soon. Have there been any efforts by neighbors to contact the owner or bring about some beautification?
Kissing Cousins at 100: Only One Shows Its Age [NY Times]
Something Afoot on Ocean Avenue? [Brownstoner]
1000 Ocean Avenue: GMAP P*Shark
1010 Ocean Avenue: GMAP P*Shark
Photo from Victorian Flatbush: An Architectural History