457 12th Street

By now you all know that while I don’t entirely hate vinyl siding, I still love to dream about what’s underneath it. But you know what’s also fun? Looking the other way — at what some of my favorite restored houses looked like way back when. Back in, say, the 1980s. Bring on the vinyl!

Fortunately for me, the New York City Department of Records (aka Municipal Archives) has digitized the “tax photos” they took of every single building c. 1980 (they did this as well c. 1940). So for today’s post I’ve rounded up some of my favorite South Slope gingerbread houses — the ones I talk about a lot here! — and compared them back to what they looked like pre-restoration. All historic photos below are presented courtesy of the Municipal Archives.

What some of our favorite South Slope wooden houses looked like c. 1980 >

We’re enamored with the pretty little house at 286 14th Street

Building of the Day: 337 12th Street [Brownstoner]
Best Block to Pretend it’s the 1950s [L Magazine]
Architecture: Harlem’s Oldest House [Harlem + Bespoke]
Brooklyn Garden Playhouse [theSweeten]
House of the Day: 250 Cumberland Street [Brownstoner]

Over the river and through the woods…

Don Draper grew up in a pretty great house! [AMC Mad Men Season 6 Episodes]
Before and After: Home Exterior [Better Homes and Garden]
Modern Take on a Traditional Farmhouse in Missouri [Dwell]