Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Hendrick I. Lott House
Address: 1940 East 36th Street
Cross Streets: Fillmore Avenue and Avenue S
Neighborhood: Marine Park
Year Built: Oldest part 1719, main house 1800
Architectural Style: Dutch Colonial
Architect/Builder: Henrick I. Lott, building upon earlier Johannes Lott house
Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (1989) and National Register of Historic Places.
The story: We don’t often stray far beyond brownstone Brooklyn and Victorian Flatbush, but it’s time some attention was paid to some of the oldest houses in the borough. There aren’t many left. The Dutch settlers who came here in the early and mid-1600s gave us the towns that would make up Kings County, and their names, many of which are quite familiar to us as street and neighborhood names. Lefferts, Remsen, Lott, Schermerhorn, Vanderbilt, Wyckoff, Van Nostrand, Suydam, Van Siclen, Schenck, Van Brunt, and many more.
Their names remain, but their homes, by and large, are long gone. We here in New York City are always growing so fast, we think nothing of plowing under the past, and replacing it as soon as possible with the new, only to see that disappear in time. This is not a 21st century conceit; it’s been going on for centuries. Consequently, most of the early homes of the 17th and 18th centuries are gone. Those precious few that remain have survived mostly because the families that built them have held on to them, literally, for centuries. The location helps, too. The further away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, the better, when it comes to a house beating the odds of survival. The Lott house is one of those lucky few that is still with us.
A NY Daily News reporter received an unusual assignment-â€”go camping in Brooklyn. The location? Floyd Bennett Field in Marine Park, the only public campground in New York City. The campground is located off the shores of Jamaica Bay within earshot of JFK Airport. Amenities include a cooking ring, picnic table, communal woodpile, and pit toilets. Campers should bring their own food, water, shelter, and toilet paper. Unfortunately, in an average year, fewer than 1,000 people experience this “Brooklyn gem.” With money being tight, maybe this would be the best and cheapest alternative to that summer vacation.
Photo by Adams for NYDN.
That’s what one Marine Park resident confided to the NY Times this weekend, in their weekly Living In section. The former Sloper said Marine Park, “reminds me of what neighborhoods used to be like before they became advertisements for themselves. The subway stop-less neighborhood is filled with “police officers, firefighters, postal workers and city employees,” many of whom are second or third generation Marine Park-ers (Park-ites?) and purchase homes nearby those in which they were reared; the civic association’s motto is “Improve, Don’t Move.” The homes, many of them semi-attached or semi-detached (we believe the difference has something to do with where and how much of the homes are connected; architecture buffs, please inform), start in the $350,000 range and easily climb to $750,000. One-bedroom rentals can start in the $1,000 range. Among the neighborhood’s treasures are Marine Park itself (Brooklyn’s largest) and the Hendrik I. Lott House, an 1800’s Dutch farmhouse on East 36th Street filled with “clues into a vanished way of life,” with “wells, privies and a stone kitchen between the house and the street.”
Isolation Is Pretty Splendid [NY Times]
Photo by Stu_Jo.