by Lisa Santoro

Recently, while browsing the New York Public Library’s fantastic photo gallery, I discovered a picture of my beloved Marine Park taken in 1925 with a caption that read “part of one of Brooklyn’s largest developments.” I am very familiar with this row of houses and the scores of others that look just like them; having grown up in Marine Park, I have walked by them almost daily for most of my life.

I live in a wooden house and I didn’t even know it! >


An old wooden building at 20 Goodwin Avenue, just around the corner from theĀ John and Hannah De Coudres House in Bushwick. Photo courtesy of New York Public Library and c. 1923.


Fire insurance map of Williamsburg and Greenpoint in 1907

We all know it’s possible to live in a wooden house disguised as a brownstone. But do you ever wonder if clapboard or shingles actually lay hiding under your stucco, vinyl or aluminum exterior? Today, the Wooden House project presents a surefire method to determine your house’s primary material.

So tell me! What is my house made of?