The first wing of the massive building opened in 1870 as St. John’s College, a Catholic school.
The house has all of the classic Second Empire goodies: the general shape, mansard roof, the decorative slate tiles, and the handsome cupola.
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Row houses
Address: 1173-1179 Bushwick Avenue
Cross Streets: Cornelia Street and Jefferson Avenue
Year Built: 1880
Architectural Style: Transitional Italianate/Neo-Grec
Architect: Thomas F. Houghton
Other works by architect: St. Agnes Catholic Church and school, Carroll Gardens; Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, Stuyvesant Heights; St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Park Slope. Also row houses and other buildings in Stuyvesant Heights, Crown Heights North, and elsewhere
The story: At first glance, these transitional Italianate and Neo-Grec homes are just another group of four modest brownstones. But here, as in all of his work, architect Thomas Houghton created beauty in the details.
These four houses were designed by one of the East Coast’s premiere Catholic Church architects, best known for his churches here in Brooklyn, Manhattan and in Massachusetts.
Houghton learned from the best of the best, Patrick Keely, and became part of the family by marrying the boss’s daughter.