Wooden houses on Hall Street display an array of beautiful canopies
Earlier this week we received an email from an owner:
I’m interested in adding a beautiful canopy to the front entrance of my wood framed house in Greenwood Heights. It would be great if you could post some pictures of ideas as well as some contractors who could do this type of work.
Canopies on frame houses in Cobble Hill, 1888
Without knowing too much about the house itself, it’s tough to suggest an exact style. But a few historic photos shed some light on what typical 19th century canopies would have looked like on wooden rowhouses in Brooklyn.
Canopies in Brooklyn, c. 1930 (perhaps on Bergen Street near Ralph Avenue)
Canopies on 11th Street between 3rd & 4th Avenues, 1930
What would a curious homeowner have done back in the day, before there were photos and before there was — gasp! — a Wooden House Project? Well, he would have consulted a pattern book. Historically, pattern books were published by architects for use by anyone looking to build a house that could not afford the services of a custom designer. By consulting a pattern book, builders and homeowners could rest assured that they were keeping on trend.
Plate 37 in Cummings & Miller’s 1865 pattern book
Architecture: Design for Street Fronts, Suburban Houses and Cottages was a pattern book written by the architects Marcus Fayette Cummings & Charles Crosby Miller in 1865. That was right around the time when wooden rowhouses began popping up in Greenwood Heights. Homes in this neighborhood tended to be modest (most were built for laborers), so builders might have selected a simple canopy design.
Canopies illustrated by Cummings & Miller
We hope this information proves helpful, and wish the owner the best of luck with her renovation!
Readers: We need your help! Can anyone recommend a good contractor?