by Chelcey Berryhill
After writing about the soon-to-be loss on 11th Street and 4th Avenue, you can bet we’re excited to see not one but TWO wooden houses up for public hearings this week at the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Although we may be a bit biased here at the Wooden House Project, I must say these houses are quite deserving of the individual landmark status!
by Chelcey Berryhill
There are precious few wood-frame houses remaining in Prospect Heights today. Two of them — Nos. 578 & 580 Carlton Avenue — have long since been loved, but work is being done on both. No. 580 is today a mere shell (only the facade stands), and today the Landmarks Preservation Commission will hear the application to demolish parts of No. 578 in preparation for a renovation. The hearing on the new design will take place in the coming weeks.
69 Vanderbilt Avenue is on the corner of Park Avenue, in the shadow of the BQE in Wallabout. We get more inquiries about this house than we do about about any other wooden house in Brooklyn. I’m not sure why. Well – wait, that’s a lie. I know exactly why. First, it’s really, really old – and obviously so. The house dates from c. 1850. Second, it’s in absurdly bad shape. Third, the “sister” next house next door (presumably built at the same time) is in impeccable condition, making for a shocking contrast. Fourth, it’s landmarked. So what’s the deal?
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).
Now THIS is one fantastic house. Or actually, make that two. The clapboard-clad twins on Waverly Avenue are among the oldest buildings in Clinton Hill, and if there is ever an argument for maintaining authentic clapboard siding, this is it! These houses are dripping with texture and history. I dare you to walk by and not do a double-take.
Lucky me — I got to go inside!
Today, a personal observation: I have missed you. As many in the community are aware, I took the last year off from my historic preservation work and the Wooden House Project in order to help my husband grow his digital design agency. After much hard work, our collaborative efforts have paid off! Color + Information has expanded by leaps and bounds and is now situated in a beautiful new space in Greenpoint serving happy clients (and if anyone was wondering who was the behind the beautiful design of the Wooden House Project – well, now you know). Meanwhile, Chelcey has been hard at work making the Brooklyn Historical Society the phenomenal place that it is. Now that the dust is settling on other fronts, we’re pleased to announce that the Wooden House Project is back!
Today the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Wallabout Historic District, which encompasses approximately 55 buildings on Vanderbilt between Park & Myrtle Avenues in north Brooklyn. Wallabout contains the largest concentration of pre-Civil War era wood-frame houses in the entire city, and many of them have been lovingly preserved despite a lack of landmark protections so far. Two beauties are 143 & 145 Vanderbilt Avenue (shown above), built together in c. 1850.