Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Bethel AME Church, formerly PS 83, at site of former Colored School # 2.
Address: 1634 Dean Street, corner of Schenectady Avenue
Neighborhood: Weeksville section of Crown Heights North
Year Built: 1921, according to ACRIS, have doubts about that.
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story: This building is actually more important for what it represents, and for what was on this site previously to the building of this school. It is the site of the Colored School Number 2, one of Brooklyn’s four segregated schools for black students. The most well-known of these schools is the landmarked Colored School number 3 (PS 69) on Union Avenue in Williamsburg. Colored School #2 was built in the successful African-American community of Weeksville, which once surrounded it. Today, the Weeksville Heritage Center is only a couple of blocks away, on Bergen St.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Row House
Address: 1574 Bergen Street, between Utica and Troy Avenues
Neighborhood: Weeksville section of Crown Heights
Year Built: Unknown
Architectural Style: Italianate
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No

The story:
These attractive clapboard, or in this case, shingled, houses appear here and there throughout Brownstone Brooklyn. I always enjoy seeing them, as they represent rare survivors, and are more often than not, the first houses in neighborhoods to be covered over with aluminum or vinyl siding, asbestos siding or some kind of stone faced stucco. They often lose their cornices, hooded window cases, and porches. Rarely will you find an intact row of them, usually, like here, there will be one, perhaps two in the row that are whole, or almost so. This particular house is in the Weeksville section of Crown Heights, far to the east of the wealthy and upper middle class area near Nostrand Avenue. These were always working class homes. This one is remarkably original, with fish scale shingles, and mostly intact brackets and dentils on the window frames. The porch is also intact, featuring standard catalog issue, turned wood gingerbread, in great shape. These are classic vernacular Brooklyn houses, often pooh-poohed for their ordinary-ness, but a vital part of the pantheon of Brooklyn architecture.