Cobble Hill Gets a New Wooden House


Cobble Hill’s oldest house is about to come out of hiding! This is the kind of news that makes my geek heart skip a beat. On Tuesday, May 14th, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will consider a proposal to reclad the front of 122 Pacific Street in clapboard, which was discovered under the stucco facade during a recent probe (evident in the photo above, adjacent to the top right corner of the door).



We’ve gotten more than one question from homeowners over the years about the feasibility of converting a frame house into a brownstone. Well, apparently – it can be done! Fortunately, it can also be reversed to restore a house to its original appearance.

Below is a photo of the house today; what is proposed is on the right. A lovely grey-blue wooden house. In clapboard!



The proposal contains a nice board that explains the history of alterations. If I’m interpreting it correctly, the house dates from ca. 1831 and received its mansard roof in 1860. The stucco was added in 1922.



These homeowners and this architect are fantastic. Kudos to them and here’s hoping the Landmarks Preservation Commission gives the green light!

  • Jeremy

    Fascinating! I’d love to hear more about their research and how they discovered the date for the mansard roof addition. Tax records? (If I had to guess, I would’ve said the house started with a single-pitch roof, not flat; maybe with dormer windows. Also I think the 1860 date makes it quite early for mansard in NYC.) The large, rough stone block base is also quite unusual for a front facade.

    There are a handful of frame houses in Brooklyn Heights, even older than this one, still covered in stucco from the 1920s…I’m dying to see if there’s historic clapboard underneath!

    They should make sure to take some paint chip samples for dating/color purposes…

  • Pingback: Is Your House a Wooden House? : The Wooden House Project

  • Nicole

    In the 1907 atlas of Brooklyn, 122 & 124 Pacific Street are both designated as frame houses so maybe there is another clapboard gem hiding under the elaborate stucco at 124! My parents used to live at 131 Joralemon Street, next to a tiny, Southern-looking frame house at 135 (pictured, I believe, on your Brooklyn Heights page). It was a subject of fascination to these suburban eyes (my parents moved to NJ before I was born). Cool website!