BEHR HOUSE, Brooklyn Heights

by Kevin Walsh

Perhaps the handsomest building in a neighborhood full of them, the Herman Behr House, 84 Pierrepont Street at Henry, is an exquisite Romanesque Revival mansion designed in 1890 by Frank Freeman. The massive style was popularized by Boston architect H.H. Richardson in the 1880s and is characterized by heavy masonry walls, a fortresslike design, terra cotta ornamentation, tile or slate roofs with gables and chimneys, and a pleasantly asymmetric composition.

In 1991 this was turned into the Hotel Palm and was later owned by nearby St. Francis College, my alma mater, as a home for novices when nuns were the only females admitted (the policy changed beginning in 1969).


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