Today, the terms “Brooklyn” and “brownstone” are practically synonymous. The dream of owning and restoring one of these dark and majestic Victorian homes has become such a fanatical obsession that people are willing to shell out millions of dollars for the opportunity. But did you know that most of Brooklyn’s earliest row houses are actually made of wood? You might not, considering so many of them are hidden under synthetic siding. Wood-frame row houses are incredibly special because their construction in many parts of Brooklyn was outlawed over 100 years ago!

The Wooden House Project is intended to be a community for those owners and lovers of Brooklyn’s wood-frame row houses. It is our hope is that in building this community these underappreciated, hearty little survivors earn the love, recognition, and preservation they deserve.

Contact us at woodenhouseproj (at) gmail.com

Our website was designed by Color + Information.



Elizabeth-Finkelstein-smallElizabeth Finkelstein

Elizabeth is writer, urban historian and tour guide and a proud resident of Brooklyn’s frame-heavy South Slope. Her interest in and knowledge of New York City history has come from her extensive experience in the field, having worked formerly as the Director of Preservation & Research at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, as a researcher at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, and as the Program Manager at openhousenewyork. Elizabeth has led numerous talks, tours and lectures about the landmarks process, preservation and history. She holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from Pratt Institute, where she is also a visiting professor. Elizabeth currently works on a new site called CIRCA that spotlights real estate listings for historical properties all over the country.


Chelcey3Chelcey Berryhill
Editor & Class Coordinator 

Chelcey’s passion for vernacular architecture and wooden houses sparked from growing up in Georgia, surrounded by antebellum homes constructed of the local heart pine. She attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia where she received her B.A. in Art History and Studio Art. After college, she moved to New York and worked in a downtown gallery and eventually enrolled in graduate school to combine her love for the arts and appreciation of cultural heritage in the vast and dynamic neighborhoods of New York City. While receiving her M.S. in Historic Preservation from Pratt Institute, Chelcey conducted research for the Dyckman Farmhouse, Merchant’s House Museum, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and Friends of Isham Park. She has worked in fundraising and development for Brooklyn Historical Society and serves on the board for the Victorian Society New York chapter.  Chelcey now spends her time creating classes and workshops for wooden house homeowners.


saradSara Durkacs

Sara Durkacs (rhymes with circus) moved to Brooklyn more than a decade ago and has since helped build membership programs for the Brooklyn Museum, American Associates of the Royal Academy, and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. Over her years in NYC, she has learned to love and “read” buildings, from the shortest one-story Dutch farmhouses to the tallest classical facades. She is currently Chair of the Membership and Development Committee of The Victorian Society New York. Sara makes books, collects vintage linen postcards, and writes about growing up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania.


Wooden Homes Top Brownstones for Some in Brooklyn - Wall Street Journal 9/4/13

Wood Frame Houses Are Gaining a Following – Brownstoner 9/4/13

To Save Money In Brownstone Brooklyn, Buy A Wooden Home - Curbed 9/4/13

The Wooden House Project in Brooklyn: Photography of Past and Present Neighborhood Houses - Untapped Cities 8/26/13

The Wooden House Project: A Walk Through South Slope - Urban Omnibus 8/21/13

Historical Greenpoint Walk With The Wooden House Project - Greenpointers 8/6/13

Wood-frame houses in the Village – GVSHP Blog 7/22/13

Wood you be my neighbor? - Brooklyn Paper 7/13/13

An Obsession With Brooklyn’s Wood Frame Houses – Brownstoner 6/11/13

Walking Tours of Brooklyn’s Wooden Houses – Brownstoner 6/7/13

Brooklyn’s Wooden Treasures Spared a Vinyl-Siding Fate - Brooklyn Based 6/6/13

Friday Finds – Dwell Magazine 5/24/13

In Wallabout, A Crumbling 1850s Landmark Awaits Rescue - Curbed 5/21/13

Wooden House Project On Boerum Hill’s Dean Street Resumes - Cobble Hill Blog 5/14/13

Wooden Homes Get Some Love in Brownstone Brooklyn - DNA Info 5/7/13

The Wooden House Project Shines Light On Forgotten Gems - South Slope News 5/6/13

Restoration in Brooklyn: The Wooden House Project - Apartment Therapy 9/2/11

Closing Bell: The Wooden House Project
– Brownstoner 8/11/11