Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beautiful Homes in Mill Basin, Brooklyn


This home in the Mill Basin neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, has been in the local news quite a bit lately.  I won't go into the whole sordid affair of why the people living in this house have been making headlines, but suffice it to say it is sometimes true that real life, factual events can have more twists and turns than the most unbelievable works of fiction.  Reading about these recent events made me desire to pay the Mill Basin neighborhood a visit and to take a walking tour of the neighborhood.

(All photos will enlarge if clicked on once and then again when they re-open)


Mill Basin was named after the many tide mills that were once located in the tidal marsh lands in the area. Situated along Jamaica Bay, Mill Basin was called Equandito (broken land) by the local Canarsee Indians, who sold the land to developers in 1664. It became part of Flatlands, and remained a rural area until 1890, when a lead-smelting plant was built in the area. The other main industry was fishing for the crabs, oysters and clams that lived in Jamaica Bay.  Around 1909 the ill effects of heavy industry resulted in the filling of the marsh land, and after World War II, development companies bought up the land and residential development began. Today, Mill Basin is an exclusive residential neighborhood  known for its expensive and luxurious homes.


The houses are probably the type that most would not expect to find within city limits, and especially in Brooklyn, but as I have showed on previous posts about the Brooklyn Heights, Bay Ridge and Victorian Flatbush neighborhoods, Brooklyn has many upscale housing areas among it's more modest neighborhoods.

Some more examples of custom built, single family houses (double click on to enlarge)

Every time I visit Mill Basin -- or some also refer to it as Mill Island -- neighborhood, I am always astounded by the many newly built homes that have replaced older homes that I remember being there.


Small ranch style houses built in the late 1950's and early 1960's are purchased and then demolished.....


...and large, mostly three story homes replace them.



As you can see in the photos above a smaller one story home is on the left and a newer replacement home is on the right.


A fascinating statistic I saw at this link states that the average population density of a square mile in Brooklyn New York is 34,917 people per square mile, while in Mill Basin it is only 9,079 people per square mile. Although the homes may not have a property lot as large as homes in the suburbs, and are fairly close together, I am surprised that even that large a per capita ratio exists!


Mill Basin is an interesting neighborhood and another fascinating facet of Brooklyn, New York.  I hope you enjoyed coming along with me for a virtual walk in this neighborhood.

On a personal note, my grandsons have been bonding and "L" is having such a nice time being a big brother to his new brother "M."  Thank you all for your congratulations and best wishes!



I'm linking to "Mosaic Monday" on Mary's blog Little Red House  Thanks Mary! Click on the link to see many wonderful photo mosaics!


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56 comments:

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Interesting post Pat...was it the Times that ran an article about that first house...I know I read about it somewhere. Around here we have had many of our ranch homes and cottages demolished and replaced by mcmansions. It makes the area lose its character. The picture of your babies is priceless...they are beautiful!

Vee said...

Loved seeing all these beautiful homes; however, the very best part was seeing your grands at the end. How cute!

I did read a bit about that first home...it has an unusual flair. Guess the demolishing you mention later is a case of the location and acreage being worth more than the house. It's pretty tight living for such a lot of great big homes. Still, I'd take one if someone wants to give it to me. ☺

podso said...

Once again it has been a delight to visit your blog. These homes are impressive, and we see these new homes here too, dwarfing the older homes. It does make a street look odd but the houses themselves are beautiful!

ellen b. said...

Oh how sweet to see the little brothers together. Congrats for sure!
What a very interesting neighborhood that is. You couldn't say the homes are of a cookie cutter variety! Have a great week!

Chatelaine said...

Wow, some of those homes are McMansions. They are lovely to look at but I wish the original homes were not torn down.

Thanks for the history of neighborhood.

Farmchick said...

Really an interesting neighborhood and one that I didn't really know much about. Love the pic of your grandbabies. Very sweet.

Pondside said...

They're big, but don't have as much character as some of the older, smaller places. It's the same here too. People pay 1/2 million for a tear-down and then build a big, boring brick pile.
The boys are adorable! I talked with my oldest (3 yrs) today and I am so anxious to see him and his brother in April.

Ginny said...

Thanks for the pics of the grandchildren!! Wow to these houses, each so different and unique. I'm not usually in favor of tearing down older houses with a history, but with these, it is woth it!!!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Beautiful homes...in a most delightful neighbourhood!

How nice to see your grandsons getting acquainted! Very sweet.

Carol said...

Sweet photo of your boys :)

Ah, Mill Basin! Didn't look anything like that when I was there, way back when, at least not where I was from! Those are some homes!

Sheila said...

Pat - I'll be looking forward to more "personal notes" You must be so looking forward to your first visit to see your new grandson and his big brother! I was amazed to see the density per square mile in Brooklyn and Mill Basin. Here in our county, the "blocks" are mapped and are one mile by two miles which makes two sections of land. Our land is a quarter section which is half a mile by half a mile or 160 acres. There are 3 of us living on our quarter and there's just farmland on the rest of our "block". So there are 3 of us in 2 square miles. There are 4 when our daughter comes home for a visit. Of course we're not counting our cat or the local wildlife!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Sheila, the five boroughs of NYC has over eight million people and over two and a half million of those people live in the borough of Brooklyn. The fact that so many can live together so well is a constant marvel to me! :)

Rajesh said...

Beautifully designed homes. Each of them very different from other.

Claudia said...

This reminds me of some of Summit Hill in St. Paul - old homes fascinate! But the best is - the little guys connecting - that Pat is the best!

Mary Lou said...

I've never been to Brooklyn but I would never have guessed it to be where these homes are. I'm going to look up the details.
Love the post.

Buttercup said...

I get out to Mill Basin pretty often and have a favorite restaurant there that I am over due for a visit. Right after WWII my grandparents had a candy store there -- they lived in East New York -- and my aunt remembers they would roast corn on the beach.

Love the picture of your little guys.

Mary said...

Wow, I guess when I think Brooklyn, I still think brownstone! And those lots are huge for the city. Never would have imagined that! I always learn something new when I visit her, Pat. Thanks for sharing at MM> :)

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Some beautiful and some "interesting" homes. I hate to see a little ranch loose it's life to a McMansion! Thank you for the lovely tour, I'm going to have to investigate the gossip on the 1st home! LOL!!!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I've never been to Mill Hill but it certainly doesn't look like the rest of Brooklyn. They're tearing down homes and building Macmansions where I live too, and it's sad to see. on the other hand, I loved seeing the little brothers interacting. hope everyone in the family is well.

Cheryl D. said...

I love seeing beautiful mansions. They are so pretty. But what you wrote reminds me a lot of what I used to see in the Westwood and Santa Monica areas of Los Angeles. They had a nice assortment of more modest, but charming homes that were built in the 1920s. Many of these homes get demolished, so a mansion can go on the same lot. It's sad!

lines n shades said...

that was a lovely walk with you :) glad to know you grandson is doing well .

Joanne Kennedy said...

First of all...what a darling picture of your two grandsons! Nothing like brotherly love :)

Those homes are beautiful! But, you must let me know two things! First, what is the story behind that first house? I'm dying to know :)

Also, what is the dessert you got? Again, really wanting to know even though I'm a bit scared to learn LOL

I think the St. Joseph Cakes must be an East Coast thing. I was reading about them on another blog and the girl lives in NY too. I couldn't find them out here. They sound and look wonderful!

RNSANE said...

They are definitely posh houses...I guess the wealthy want to be able to live closer to the city, in high style and this certainly fills the bill.

Grandma, you are truly blessed...with two very sweet litle grandsons!

Infatuated with Homes and Gardens said...

Thanks for sharing Pat, I love seeing how others live
, you have such beautiful grandchildren too :)

Houseelf said...

Congratulations on your new grandson Pat. Thanks for sharing all those individually designed houses. There is a call in the UK now that in housing developments, the same house isn't repeated throughout but that there is more individualit in appearance.

diane b said...

Thank you for the walk through Mill Basin. The houses are huge but all different. I guess they are all rich enough to have a cleaner. Do they have garages for their cars?
Gorgeous grandsons. How cute is that bonding?

eileeninmd said...

Thanks for the house tour. They are gorgeous homes. It is wonderful to see your grandchildren, they are both adorable.

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

First of all - WOW! That's some interesting architectural range there!

Second of all - How can you not share the story of the people in the first house with us? Seriously!! It sounds like a post in and of itself. Come on!

Third - in my town, there are 1395 people per square mile. Yes, you read that right.

Kat said...

That second house is gorgeous! I love Brooklyn Heights, but I've never heard of this area. It's amazing to me that there are that many people in one place. Our population density is about 1700 per square mile. And the population has quadrupled since we moved here 25 years ago LOL. Loved the shot of your grandbabies, they are adorable!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Amazing homes Pat, and the pic of the kids is great:@)

Tracy said...

WOW...home sweet homes! ;o) Those are incredible places, Pat... I wonder what they look like on the insides?! I love the architectural interest in the house at the top--very different! LOVE, love, love seeing your grandsons... To precious...*sigh*... Happy Days ((HUGS))

Marilyn said...

WOW.... Beautiful...BUT.... makes me wonder why so few have so much???
Love,
Marilyn

La said...

The different styles of architecture in this neighborhood is astounding. Beautiful homes...and you KNOW I'm going to be nosey and investigate the sordid story behind the doors of that one home. :o)

Snap said...

First, congratulations to all for the new addition to the family. What a cutie!

Great post about Mill Basin. I live in a neighborhood with small cottages that, unfortunately, are bought, knocked down and McMansions built to replace them. So sad ... takes the interest out of the neighborhood. I really like the mix of old and new. With the economy ... not so many *new* going in and that's fine with me!

Donnie said...

In our area we have $500,000 right near mobile homes because everyone buys the properties for the mountain views. Nice walking tour.

Theanne and Baron said...

Hi Pat, your grandsons are adorable!
The homes you have shown in Mill Basin are incredible, architecturally and artistically. Interesting to learn the history of this area, thanks for sharing!

Grandmother said...

My husband is from NYC and hadn't seen these impressive sections of Brooklyn. Some cool homes. And your grandsons- adorable!

Joyce said...

McMansion's with no lawns. Guess it is what you are use to growing up. I have not been in that area in years but remember little brick ranch homes way back when with some kind of a front lawn. Thanks for the update and now I am curious about the first house???
Joyce

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

I could live in any of them. Just pick me out one. BTW...I watched the news this morning. You need to get down to the Brooklyn zoo and find that cobra that escaped. Hey. Anything for a photo op. :))

nanny said...

Beautiful homes....with such history in the neighborhood.

Sweet picture of your boys.....awww

Barbara F. said...

Wow Pat I can't believe the changes in the last 20 years since I left that borough. Mill Basin was always a really nice (and expensive) section. I enjoyed seeing the boys together. Two cuties! Blessings to you and yours, xo,

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

For all who wish to read the saga behind the grey house click on the highlighted words "the whole sordid affair" in the first paragraph! :)


Thanks for all the nice comments about my grandsons...we love them both so much!

Barbara F. said...

Just read the article Pat. All I can say is "hmmmm hmmmmmm", xo,

Sarah said...

Pat, cute boys! So happy all is well and the two are getting to know each other. Hope you get to visit soon.

Thanks for sharing the photos and information about Mill Basin. All this is new to me and so interesting. Beautiful homes! ~ sarah

Kathleen said...

Great shots, Pat! Do people ever stop you from taking pics there?
The gkids are so sweet, God Bless them!

yvettesblogs.com said...

So interesting to see around the world, different architecture and living environments! All beautiful and granduer houses. I guess the difference over here (Aus.) is space and we're lucky for that! Lovely photo's.yvette@twistedvines

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Wow very posh homes for sure. I wonder who does the cleaning? V

Old Kitty said...

Awwww wow. Wow. Look at this opulent lavish homes!! But what a shame to keep demolishing and rebuilding!!! So much history is lost - I think your pics of these fantastic buildings will be historical archives in the future!!!! Thanks for the link to the scandal erupting in the Blue House! Yikes!

Awwww but look at your grandsons!! M and L are so so so adorable!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Take care
x

Sara said...

WOW - what great houses - They are all very interesting...

Love seeing the grandbabies...they are so cute...

Annie said...

The children are so sweet together. Love that...
I have seen so many homes in Brooklyn redone , new elevations etc.
Great photos.
The photos you liked on my site were done in photoshop.
If you have that I can tell you how.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

L & M are absolutely adorable together. I'm sure you're itching like mad to get out here. Soon, right?

The houses are lovely and quite unexpected. I would think the homeowners living next door to demolished homes are happy when the new, grand ones go up; it surely must raise property values in the neighborhood right away.

Interesting post and, as always, awesome photos! (Especially of the babes!)

Linda said...

Those are such big homes! They do that in areas here in Southern California near the beach...your grandsons are just adorable!!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

That is a bizarre story and least attractive of all the homes you've shown us :)

My favorite shot of of those adorable grandchildren. How sweet!

Gracie said...

Wow those houses are terrific! And the photo of your babies just amazing.....

Splendid Little Stars said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful buildings!
cute grandsons!

Michael said...

"Beautiful"--kept waiting for the joke to kick in! And here I thought that these houses were universally scorned as bloated, vulgar, and grotesque! They are so routinely loathed and mocked by those who love historic Brooklyn that it's strangely touching to see them get some love.