Brooklyn Structure: A Fort Greene Brownstone (Photographs)

It’s hard to resist the good looks of a brownstone against a bright blue sky, especially a great corner specimen like the one at 209 Washington Park. It is one of a series of Italian homes built by William Brush around 1870 when Fort Greene Park – originally called Washington Park – was redesigned by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

Six of Brush’s houses line the park, all in different conditions. The one at 209 Washington Park appears to be in near perfect original condition – but it hasn’t always been that way.

Brooklyn Architecture 209 Washington Park Fort Greene Photos

When the section of houses was added to the Fort Greene Historic District in 1978, the deportation report found that # 209 had lost its stairs, lintels, and wooden cornice. Some original features have been preserved, including a cast iron railing, corner corner and bay window on the facade of Dekalb Avenue.

Brooklyn Architecture 209 Washington Park Fort Greene

209 Washington Park in 1957. Photos by John D. Morrell via the Brooklyn Historical Society

Photos from the late 1950s show that some of these elements – the staircase and cornice – were gone 20 years before they were intended, but the lintels were still there.

Brooklyn Architecture 209 Washington Park Fort Greene Photos

Obviously, all of these elements are back today.

Brooklyn Architecture 209 Washington Park Fort Greene

The building last changed hands in 1999, and work on the building was approved by the DOB shortly afterwards. Photos show that the house was restored by 2007 and that the missing historical elements were reconstructed.

Brooklyn Architecture 209 Washington Park Fort Greene

The cast iron railing from the 19th century – referred to as the original element in the naming report – is still there.

Brooklyn Architecture 209 Washington Park Fort Greene Photos

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