Walking around pockets of Brooklyn’s historic neighborhoods, it can feel as if you’ve been transported to a different time and place. This is especially true of parts of Brooklyn Heights, Gowanus, Fort Greene, and South Park Slope, where wood-frame houses built during the 19th-century enchant passersby with their charm. Today, we examine a few of the borough’s most distinct and well-preserved wood-frame houses and wood-frame house rows.
Steps away from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Columbia Place is home to four clapboard cottages that catch the eye of nearly everyone who passes by. Affectionately referred to as “Cottage Row,” these wood-frame houses were built in or around 1848. Cottage Row initially contained nine wood-frame houses, but only four remain. For much of the 20th century, these wood-frame houses were covered with asphalt shingles. To the delight of aesthetes, the houses’ exteriors were restored to their original glory. To see them for yourself, walk the stretch of Columbia Place between Joralemon Street and State Street. Cottage Row is a ten- to 15-minute walk from NU Hotel Brooklyn.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio loves wood-frame houses, and his family owns a few in Brooklyn and Manhattan. After moving to the historic Gracie Mansion in Manhattan, the de Blasio family put its former South Park Slope home on the rental market. It was available for rent for 11 days before being taken off the market. While you may no longer be able to rent the home, you can still admire it’s lovely exterior. The house is at 442 11th Street, a 15-minute subway journey from NU Hotel Brooklyn.
One block north and one block west of the former de Blasio residence is another beautiful wood-frame house. The two-story townhouse was built in 1901, preserved throughout the decades of the 20th century when many wood-frame houses were demolished or covered up, and recently renovated thoroughly, but in a way that reflects its architectural history. Take a peek at the home when you go check out the de Blasio’s former Park Slope residence.
Named after a desirable neighborhood made up of terraced row houses in London, Adelphi Street is home to several beautiful and historic homes. One wood-frame house that stands out is 33 Adelphi Street, built in 1855 by Edward W. Genung. The home reflects the architectural ethos of the period, characterized by a transition from Greek Revival to Italianate architecture.
The two-story home, currently painted periwinkle blue, is a 20-minute walk from NU Hotel Brooklyn.
On your next visit to Brooklyn, spend some time admiring architecture that harks back to a time when space was at less of a premium and Brooklyn felt more like the countryside than the bustling metropolis it is today. If you still need a place to stay, consider a room at NU Hotel Brooklyn. The amenable and comfortable hotel is in a great location from which to explore Brooklyn’s myriad treasures.