Brooklyn Structure: The 5 Oldest Properties in Brooklyn Heights (Up to date)
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated. You can read the previous post here. This article is based, among other things, on the book “Old Brooklyn Heights: America’s First Suburb” by Clay Lancaster as a source.
Federal-style timber and brick houses were among the first to be built in Brooklyn Heights in the 1820s. The oldest houses still standing in the Heights were built during this decade.
The oldest homes in Brooklyn Heights are on Willow, Hicks, and Middagh Streets. One of these is Willow Street 84, which was listed in the first town directory from 1822, indicating that it is at least that old. A house at 68 Hicks Street was also listed on the 1822 directory.
In 1824 three more houses were built that are still standing today. These are 43 Willow Street, 30 Middagh Street and 24 Middagh Street. Conveniently, a plaque on the facade of 30 Middagh Street shows the year of construction.
Above, a map shows the location of all five houses. Other houses in the Heights may be older, but the exact year of construction is unknown.
1. 84 Willow Street GMAP
Like all of the earliest Brooklyn Heights homes, 84 Willow Street is Federal Style, the predominant architectural style from 1820 to 1835. It is a Flemish brick construction and retains most of its original features. However, its Georgian portal is not original.
2. 68 Hicks Street GMAP
Hicks is one of the first streets in the neighborhood to be built, and number 68 on Cranberry Street is one of the earliest buildings left. It is a two and a half story timber frame house with a square roof. Original Ionic colonets in its entrance flank a red door.
3. Weidenstrasse 43 GMAP
Like 84 Willow Street, 43 is made of bricks laid in a Flemish bond. A number of neighboring row houses are almost, but not quite, that old. It has a pseudo-Dutch style stepped gable which may have been a later addition by the famous architect William Tubby, who lived in the house.
4.30 Middagh Street GMAP
This three-story timber-framed house at 30 Middagh Street has a pilastered entrance in the Greek Revival style. “1824” is written on a small board.
5. 24 Middagh Street GMAP
A two-and-a-half story clapboard house is located at 24 Middagh Street on the corner of Willow. Like 68 Hicks, its front door is flanked by Ionic columns. A rear carriage house on Willow Street is connected to the main residence by a screen wall that also encloses a small garden.
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