Pining for the Joseph Steele House


    Maybe it’s near where you live and you pass by all the time or maybe it’s in a neighborhood you get to less frequently, but it’s a house that you have an emotional attachment to even though you’ve never set foot inside. For us, that house is the Joseph Steele House on the southeast corner of Lafayette and Vanderbilt. Whenever we walk by (which is frequently) we’re always hoping we’ll get to see something we haven’t before: Maybe the garden door will be open a crack and we’ll catch a glimpse of what the back stair look like. Or maybe a light will be on in the dining room and we’ll get to see if there are moldings on the ceiling. And, of course, there are the fantasies of someday living there. We’re not the only one with a certain affection for this place. Here’s what the AIA Guide has to say about the 1850 charmer:

    An extraordinary relic from the days when these precincts were farm country. Greek Revival, with elegant narrow clapboards, a bracketed cornice with eyebrow windows, and a widow’s walk with a view of the harbor in those open, early days. It wears its age well, with dignity.

    Indeed. For those of you coming to the Clinton Hill House Tour this weekend, make sure to and gaze at this beauty for a few moments. Do any readers have particular houses that they’ve formed similar attachments to?

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