Sunday, February 19, 2012

Clinton Hill, Brooklyn


As I wrote in my last blog post, two friends and I are beginning  to follow walking tours in the book
"Walking Brooklyn: 30 tours exploring historical legacies, neighborhood culture, side streets and waterways." by Adrienne Onofri. The first tour we decided to follow was a one and three quarter mile walk of the Clinton Hill neighborhood, bounded by Classon Avenue, Willoughby Avenue, Vanderbuilt Avenue, and Gates Avenue.  In the late 19th century this neighborhood was one of the most prestigious addresses in Brooklyn, after Brooklyn Heights. Charles Pratt, Brooklyn's wealthiest resident at the time, a partner in Standard Oil with the J.D. Rockefeller, and a local philanthropist, built his mansion in 1875.  A number of Pratt's fellow tycoons, such as Pfizer, Bristol, and Liebmann (owner of the Reingold brewery) followed Pratt to "The Hill."  Pratt's biggest construction project was Pratt Institute, which I profiled in my last post.   Pratt's Higgins Hall is seen above.


The New York Police Department's 88th Precinct is housed in this unique 1890 brick building with a high conical tower. It was designed by George Ingram, the Assistant Engineer for the Brooklyn Department of City Works, in the mid-1880’s, when he undertook designing the basic framework for new precinct houses in Brooklyn. The 88th Precinct (once called the 4th precinct) building remains one of his most visible designs still in use today.


The Convent of the Sisters of Mercy has maintained a presence in Brooklyn since 1855. At one time it housed both nuns and orphans who were under their care.  The facility was in need of extensive repairs, so the sisters sold the property and it is undergoing a conversion to an office building. This New York Times article tells the poignant story about the last nuns to leave the property. It will continue to house the Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center, a program which offers educational opportunities for the youth and elderly of the community.


Emmanuel Baptist Church, located at 279 Lafayette Avenue, was built in 1887 by Charles Pratt, a devout Baptist. It has one of New York's most spectacular church interiors, a rich mixture of stained glass, wood and elaborate stencil work, but unfortunately they do lot allow photography inside.


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The large building at 320 Washington Avenue is still inscribed "Graham Home For Ladies"  The home was founded in 1851 by John Graham, Esq. He donated this beautiful plot of ground upon which was built this noble 5 story brick building in the Greek Revival / Italianate style.  It operated for over a century, but after it closed the building deteriorated into a "fleabag" hotel.  Now that this neighborhood has become gentrified again, this building has been rehabilitated into expensive luxury condos.



A public playground and park is next door on Washington Street and Lafayette, called Underwood Park, named for the typewriter mogul, John Thomas Underwood (1857-1937),  whose mansion once stood on this property.


Waverly Avenue held the carriage houses and stables for the wealthy, and many of these building have been converted into homes and private garages.


The Charles Pratt House at 232 Clinton Avenue, built in 1874, is a freestanding example of the transitional Italianate/neo-Greco style dwelling. It is now the Founders Hall of Saint Joseph's College.  Pratt also had mansions built directly across the street for his three sons as wedding presents.


The house on the left in the collage above, 241 Clinton Ave, was built by Pratt in 1890 for his son, Charles Millard Pratt. It is now the residence of Brooklyn's Roman Catholic Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. The house in the upper right, at 229 Clinton Ave, is the Frederick B. Pratt home, now called the Caroline Ladd Pratt House. The house in the lower right, at 245 Clinton Ave., was the home of George Dupont Pratt, built in 1901.  It is now part of Saint Joseph's College.


This beautiful classic Gothic Revival villa, at 284 Clinton Ave., is a rare gem.  It was the former William W. Crane House, and was built in 1854.


Right next door at 278 Clinton Ave is a Queen Anne house, with Neo-Greco elements, circa 1884.



These two century old structures that stand side by side are, on the left, the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, at 317 Clermont Ave, assembled in 1908 by two architectural firms, Lord and Hewlett and Pell and Corbett, as a replica of King Solomon's Temple.  Only two other temples of this kind have been erected; one in Colorado and one in Egypt.  Next to it, with the address of  300 Vanderbilt Ave.,  is the very ornate Queen of All Saints Church, built in 1911.



The left side portion of this yellow clapboard house, located at 200 Lafayette Ave., was built in 1812.  The rest was added on in the 1850's. It is one of the oldest houses in Brooklyn.  It is variously known as the Joseph Steele or the Steele-Brick-Skinner House, for its various past owners. It was built when Brooklyn was basically farmland with a few suburban villas. The Steele house is prized for being the largest and best remaining example of a wooden suburban mansion in the transitional Greek Revival/Italianate style now standing in any of the five boroughs.


Clinton Hill also contains many blocks of beautiful brownstones....


...and many other outstanding homes of all styles of architecture. 

My friends and I really enjoyed our walk and learning more about the history and architecture of the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn.  We look forward to our next neighborhood walk this week!


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Alphabe Wednesday -- the letter is "N" and I'm taking liberties entering my post as Clinton Hill is full of Notable Architecture!
Many thanks to all the blog hosts!


 
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76 comments:

Carol said...

Such a stunning part of Brooklyn, what a fantastic walk. I'm looking forward to more!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

How neat, Pat.. So glad that you have a book ---and can take us on many tours of your area. I love all of those old buildings --but the one I love the most is the Charles Pratt House... WOW---what a beauty!!!!

Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Pondside said...

I'm enjoying your neighbourhood walks very much. You live in an area of such richness - historically, culturally, architecturally....There is so much to see and learn. I love where I live, but sometimes one longs for a real outing!

Ginny said...

Thanks for the tour, I love the temple and the church! The Crane house looks a bit like it might be haunted. I love the yellow house!

Sarah said...

Pat, thanks for taking us along. I'm enjoying these neighborhood walks through the lens of your camera. Such incredible architecture. ~ Sarah

Paula's Postings said...

I'm enjoying seeing Brooklyn through these walking tours. I love the yellow house and the gothic revival house.

Old Kitty said...

I love how that little yellow clapperboard house built in 1812 is overshadowed by its big brother built in 1850s! How adorable! Are these flats now or still a family home?

Of course I went straight to the luxury condos site to gawp at the inside of this fantastically names "Graham Home for Ladies"! I'm so glad it's been revived and revitalised - it's a most gorgeous building - great windows and the inside is very very nice!!! And all 25 condos SOLD OUT!!!! Wow!!

This is a really nice walk - amazing buildings and this Mr Pratt is one fine outstanding brilliant man!! He did so much for the city! Take care
x

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

love. love. love these tours, Pat!! Such beautiful buildings!!! {{sigh}} Thank you!! blessings ~ Tanna

Tracy said...

Just LOVE when you take us on these tours, Pat... I just thrill to seeing all the rich variety of architecture--one of the many, many great things about NY! :o) Happy Week ((HUGS))

Theanne said...

a fantastic architectural smorgasbord! These walks are marvelous Pat...thanks for taking us along!

Lavender Cottage said...

Thanks for the great tour and such interesting architecture.

eileeninmd said...

Pat, what a lovely walking tour.Such a neat variety of buildings and designs. Wonderful post and a great photos. Thanks for sharing your tour. Have a happy week!

Karen said...

I want you to check out this site.

http://imjustwalkin.com/

This gentleman is walking every street in New York City. (All 5 boroughs). It is such a history lesson on the city of New York. You might enjoy following along since you are in the big city as well.

Your pictures today, as always are beautiful. A history lesson as well. You really get a new perspective on the city and learn that it's not all bad.

Thanks.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Brooklyn has such diverse and beautiful architecture. I love the rows of brownstones. Thank you for taking us on this tour Pat. You have had the best winter weather this year!
♥, Susan

Michelle said...

Really beautiful architecture!

Riet said...

Wow Pat. What a beautiful neighborhood you showed us.I love those old houses . Great to have these walks with friends

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Absolutely beautiful. My favorite is also the Charles Pratt house. My youngest daughter and friends are going to Manhattan soon and I told her to take a look at your blog for some ideas. Great job.
QMM

camp and cottage living said...

Lucky lady!
I'm just drooling over some of those beautiful residences. You are very fortunate to have so many wonderful buildings to visit and tour.

My Little Home and Garden said...

Your post reminded me of the old, black Underwood typewriter that was around the house when I was young!

ellen b. said...

How fabulous to have friends to walk with on these tours. I really have enjoyed all the walking tours we've been on during some travels. Great buildings and collage!

nanny said...

Such history! I love these shots.

Emmanuel Church is beautiful and the houses are just unreal. Love this post!

Barbara F. said...

Great photos of your tour. I can't believe the changes,vBrooklyn has really come full circle. I am proud of my Brooklyn roots, Pat,and your blog is a big part of it. xo P.S. I am following you on Networked blogs. xo

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

They are all rare gems...those historic buildings. Thanks for doing the walking tour...and taking us along!

Kristen said...

It must be so cool to live in a place with so much history. Even though I live near some of the oldest places in the US (St. Augustine, FL is considered the oldest town), most everything in NE Florida has burned at least once if not 4 or 5 times since being built. There is very little of OLD Florida left.

Vee said...

So many things to comment on. If two of those homes were in a country field, I'd think of them as "local" architecture. I love the rich red color of the brick on the home at 320 Washington Ave. Very elegant.

Mr. Pratt was totally into family togetherness. Wonder how it worked out.

Gary said...

Beautiful tour of Clinton Hill. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sylvia K said...

What a terrific tour and such beautiful, historic buildings! I love to be able to take tours like this and this one does look fantastic! Wonderful way to see your world! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

Cindy said...

What a wonderfully fun way to spend a day. I would love to take a walking tour like that in my own city.
Your photos are wonderful and the stories so very interesting. I so enjoyed reading this post.
Hugs, Cindy

Susie said...

Pat, Thank you for taking me along on your tour. I love seeing all the old buildings and reading their history. Good job. Smiles, Susie(She Junks)

Claudia said...

Isn't it fascinating - the many incarnations of buildings? They "lives" they lead! You know - I'm only coming to NYC for nine days - you are giving me way too much to see!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Love the grand old homes. They are quite magical. I would love to see in a real brown stone one day. V

Gaelyn said...

I'm not a city person, but this tour is great. I love all the different architecture. A very well done post.

podso said...

I'm loving qll this architecture .. and so many of the buildings seem to have the same shade of red brick. Lovely!

ladyfi said...

The architecture is stunning! Lovely shots.

Barbara said...

I love that church! The architecture is so amazing! Simply stunning!

Sheila said...

It's great to see the neighbourhoods of Brooklyn through your lens. I enjoyed seeing the brownstone residences. How wonderful that you have bare streets to walk along at this time of year. Enjoy your week Pat!

Lily Hydrangea said...

what a great idea! these old buildings are gorgeous!

Pamela Gordon said...

I really am enjoying your Brooklyn walking tours. I love old architecture and houses so this post is fascinating to me. Enjoy your next walk! Blessings, Pamela

R1 said...

Wow...These are great pictures showing the varied architectural styles in your place. Thanks for sharing.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Pat, I am really enjoying your walking tour! That Crane house porch would be such a nice place to sit. I suppose the tall buildings were not there when it was built. Brooklyn was probably very much "countryside" I'm guessing? We used to live in Brooklyn Heights when we first started working out of law school, so I hope you are planning a trip there on your tour! I lived on Remsen near the promenade and then Hicks down near the old St. George Hotel. It brings back such happy memories to se your pictures! Linda

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You are a great tour guide. I think I want to move to Clinton Hill.

Madge Bloom said...

Wow, what a lovely group of history filled buildings...love that Queen Anne red brick shot the best!

Lovella ♥ said...

Pat..you can't possibly ever run out of blog material. I love that you can take walking tours in your own city.

What a lovely day to go walking. I love the architecture and the sunshine against it all.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Pat, what a beautiful tour!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE looking at homes and beautiful buildings!!! I'm going to check out your post on the Pratt Institute as my nephew will be attending in the Fall!

steviewren said...

Super interesting post! I love seeing old architectural buildings and homes. Thanks for the tour.

Nezzy said...

Oh Miss Pat, I'm lovin' that your takin' these tour walks.

How very interestin' it is to see the grandeur of the buildins in your city.

Especially since I don't get off the Ponderosa much!

God bless ya and have an amazin' day!!! :o)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

That is the coolest idea! I wonder if I could get a group of friends to do some "walking tours"

lovely shots..

EG Wow said...

So much to see and enjoy! Hope you'll be posting about the other 29 tours. :)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I enjoyed seeing these amazing pictures through your lens.

The Gathering Place said...

What a fun way to get exercise! I love exploring new neighborhoods. I'm afraid we are much more limited here than you are. What interesting buildings.

Porch Days said...

What a wonderful tour! I enjoyed seeing all the houses. If you want to get a photo program consider Adobe PhotoShop Elements. Much cheaper than the full PhotoShop and easier to learn.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots. Wonderful and distinct architecture ll around the place.

anitamombanita said...

Such great tours you give us. I loved all the different architecture that I don't normally associate with New York. Makes me want to hop a plane and explore!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I'm torn between the Baptist church and the Queen Anne home. Shoot, I'll take 'em both. :-)

I followed you on Linky. Next time you visit, would you join me on linky as well (pretty please)? Xo

Mary said...

Gorgeous Brownstones & mosaic Pat! I would trip over my feet on your walks, so busy taking in all the architecture & scenery :)

Nezzy said...

Hey darlin', I just wanted to pop in and thank you for your sweet comments and hoppin' on my blog. I sure hope ya enjoy the ride.

God bless you and you have one terrific day!!! :o)

Karen S. said...

This my idea of picture taking and a tour well taken!

Jo's This and That said...

Wish I could walk with YOU! Joann

Sue said...

Never realized there was so much cool history there. Thanks for the tour!

=)

Yvette said...

I didn't walk with you, but I feel as though I did. How many times have I said that to you, Pat? Well, it happens to be a truism.

I love these sorts of post especially since I love all the architectural gems you focused on. WOW!

I'm pinning, girl.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

What beautiful old buildings and homes. So sad about the nuns, but at least it wasn't torn down. You must be enjoying your warmer winter this year. You're getting some great walks in.

Ames said...

Wow I really enjoyed that. That was a long walk too. The pictures you have taken are wonderful. We love to tour old homes and historical buildings. They just don't make them like they used to.~Ames

Kris said...

way fun!!!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Wonderful architecture! I am always in awe at the details in so many structures of the past...especially, considering the equipment that was available to build them!

Blessings & Aloha!
Happy to be visiting through Ms. Jenny's Alphabe-thursday :o)

diane b said...

It is so good to go on these walks with you and to be able to see the wonderful architecture and read the history of the place. It seems there is history in every street and corner in Brooklyn.

Pie Lady Pat said...

Ah, you inspire me! This post makes us look at the architecture around us, no matter how small our towns. You found some real beauties! Thanks.

Cathy said...

What a great post, Pat! Brooklyn has never been on my list of cities I want to visit but you have changed all that. Thank you so much for showing us how lovely your city is. Love all those amazing homes.

Kathleen said...

Such wonderful pictures and info. I don't have great memories of Brooklyn. I think I told you my mom agreed to have us take part in a study at St. Charles Hospital. I remember going there early in the morning and the smell from the coffee factory there, ugh! And those doctors, oy! I was only 5 and they made a lasting impression.
You find the better things, and it is very interesting.

backroadjournal said...

Thank you for your tour, I really enjoyed it. It is nice that there is ongoing restoration and revitalization going on in the neighborhood.

Jenny said...

Notable archicture indeed!

Wow, what absolutely gorgeous buildings.

I am always enchanted by the imagination and vision that some people put into buildings!

This was really a nifty post!

Thanks for linking Pat!

A+

Skye said...

such amazing photos of brooklyn - I love those brownstone buildings!

Beth said...

Beautiful architecture! I enjoyed this tour of Brooklyn. It is amazing to me how different the boroughs are from each other. New York is an amazing place!
God bless, Beth

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

Gorgeous architecture. I love the Baptist church. Well, and the Gothic Revival, too, as it looks haunted and would surely be much fun to poke around in—if the TAPS Ghost Hunters team were along.

Annesphamily said...

Wow! This was a spectacular tour! Thank you bunches for sharing. I feel like I am there with you!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

My great-aunt Sister Irene Veronica worked at St. Joseph's College for many MANY years (she retired at 90!). She lived in one of the Pratt Mansions...it's a convent and I can't even tell you how gorgeous the inside is! As a little kid I would go room to room on the (huge!) main floor and imagine living there. Even as a kid I loved me a big old house. :-)

Adam said...

I attend the Pratt Institute School of Architecture (Higgins Hall) and I approve of this post. :] I must add that there are SO many beautiful brownstones and detached homes/mansions in Clinton Hill... of course not all were covered in this post.