As the unrelenting city summer finally gives way to a cooler fall, it’s just about the right time to tackle some outdoor projects and consider the pretty little plants above. They’re the source of one of the most reliably simple and time tested wood treatments in the wooden house owners arsenal of upkeep and repair. This treatment also happens to be one of the most sustainable and earth-friendly wood finishes. Oh, and did I mention, it’s also easy on the wallet?

More on this wonder-product, after the jump…


Just around the corner from where I live are 382 & 384 11th Street, two of my favorite twin frame houses in the South Slope. Something about their simplicity just speaks to me. Besides that, they’re the only two houses on the block that have porches. Since porches were a very common feature on early wooden rowhouses, it occurred to me that others on the block probably once had them as well.

I consulted the New York Public Library to find out for sure >


Today’s “Then & Now” features some lovely porches & spindles on Dean Street near the corner of 4th Avenue in 1929.

But how about today?

I noticed recently that a restoration is happening at 158 14th Street, between 3rd & 4th Avenues in the South Slope. Excited, I snapped a photo, eager to check out Google Street view to see how the house had looked prior.


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In response to our recent post on Webster Place, a homeowner sent along the following tip regarding the street’s lost porches:

“You mentioned that there used to be more porches. This is, indeed, correct. You’ll notice in the old photo taken from Prospect Avenue, that there are porches built on both sides of the street. Apparently, one of the residents on the west (left) side of the street decided to take his down, sometime in the early ’50s I believe. As all of these porches were interconnected and his house was in the middle; the rest went down, too. I wouldn’t want to have been in that guy’s shoes…”