GOOD WOOD, Park Slope

by Kevin Walsh

457 12th Street, just off 8th Avenue in Park Slope, is an Italianate-style wood frame house constructed before 1869. When Park Slope began to be populated in the years just before and after the Civil War, wood frame was the commonest form of residential architecture and much of the grid featured homes that looked like this. Since Park Slope is on a hill, there would be views available to the west of Gowanus Creek, later Canal, and the harbor area beyond.

Later, of course, in those neighborhoods known collectively as Brownstone Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Sunset Park, and others) attached homes made of sandstone and granite displaced these modest wood frame dwellings beginning in the 1880s.

Here and there, though, remaining wood frame dwellings still stand, and I have always been sure to photograph them when I encounter them. And, others have exhibited similar fasciation — there’s a new website, Wooden House Project, that studies these dwellings and features excellent photography.



luis borges June 25, 2013 - 11:14 am

This is right behind my building on 11street. It’s a steel faced brink building, and I’ve noticed alot of clones of it inthe neighborhood- do you know if they were all the same developer? here’s a shot of it:,-73.980802&cbp=13,210.1,0,0,0&cbll=40.664801,-73.980739&sa=X&ei=PMHJUc33CajC4AOfy4HgDg&ved=0CCwQxB0wAA

Thanks for a great blog!


C Fletcher June 25, 2013 - 2:10 pm

For such an attractive and apparently well-kept house, it’s unfortunate that the window bars are so obtrusive. At least in white; perhaps if they were painted in flat black they wouldn’t be so visually interrupting.

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