Brooklyn Heights

29th Brooklyn Heights House Tour attracts happy hordes to homes in first historic district

Brooklyn Heights Association hosts rare inside views

May 1, 2013 From Brooklyn Heights Association
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While the privacy and sanctity of homes and gardens are always protected, once a year five historic Heights restorations are put on view to the public. On Saturday, May 11, from 1 to 5 p.m., the esteemed Brooklyn Heights Association, founded in 1910, will host its 29th House and Garden Tour.

This go-at–your-own–pace, self-guided tour, for the benefit of the Brooklyn Heights Association, allows visitors a rare opportunity to experience the architectural grandeur and contrasting styles found in the finest private homes of Brooklyn Heights, New York City’s First Historic District.

Tour Highlights:

On a very quiet, garden-lined street in Brooklyn Heights lies this unusual house, unlike any we’ve seen in Brooklyn Heights. Built in 1886, the style is Romanesque Revival, with a red brick façade, reddish brown terra-cotta and grey sandstone details. Interior décor is stunningly contemporary.

Unique to the Brooklyn Heights Historic District is a group of cottages, known as “Cottage Row” and built in the late 1840’s with clapboard siding and inviting front porches. We’re delighted to be showing one of them. Inside the intimately scaled rooms of this 3-story home, visitors will enjoy Arts and Crafts furnishings, Viennese Augarten porcelain and great finds from Atlantic Avenue antique shops.  

On a street that was once a crooked path which, in the first years of the 19th century, ran from the banks of the East River to the large Philip Livingston Estate, we’ll be visiting a house built in 1847. Inside, visitors will enjoy the owners’ extensive art collection and inventive interior (contemporary) design.

 This 25 foot wide, Greek Revival townhouse was built in 1849. Its interior features elaborate Victorian era architectural detail with “fancywork” screen, pier  mirrors, colonnettes and intricately carved marble fireplace mantels. The house is newly decorated and the kitchen and bathrooms are beautifully remodeled. 

Weather permitting, the rear yard gardens and balconies at all of these homes will be open for viewing.


The Vital Statistics

The Brooklyn Landmarks House and Garden Tour is self-guided. It takes place, rain or shine, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 11th.  Houses close promptly at 5. Included in the price of the ticket are pastries and tea served in the arcade of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims on Orange Street. Tea hours are from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Docent-led tours of the historic church sanctuary are given at 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

All tickets are $40 per person and tax deductible. 

Reservations are strongly recommended and must be paid in advance by check or credit card.  Reservations are held at the door on the day of tour.  To reserve by phone with a credit card, call 718-858-9193 during business hours, or visit our website at

Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the tour (only) at 129 Pierrepont Street (entrance to St. Ann’s School), between Clinton and Henry Streets, starting at 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. 

Except for infants in front packs, children under 13 will not be allowed to go into the houses. Taking photographs and use of cell phones inside the houses is prohibited.    

Brooklyn Heights: Rich in History, Vital Today

The Brooklyn Heights Association is New York City’s oldest neighborhood association.  Since 1910 the organization has been a central force in the preservation of the community’s history and the betterment of the quality of life for its residents.

Originally developed and populated by wealthy New York bankers and merchants in the mid-19th century when Robert Fulton‘s new steam-powered ferry offered fast travel across the East River, Brooklyn Heights was designated the City’s first Historic District in 1965.  The best examples of 19th century architecture are seen here, including more than 600 houses that predate the Civil War.  Also noteworthy are the neighborhood’s churches, designed by acclaimed 19th century architects including Richard Upjohn, James Renwick and Minard Lafever.

Once home to many literati including Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Hart Crane, Thomas Wolfe, W.E.B. DuBois and Arthur Miller, Brooklyn Heights has been featured in literature and film. 

The Promenade, which overlooks the eastern shore of New York’s East River below the Brooklyn Bridge, draws tens of thousands of visitors each year, for its undisputed best view of New York harbor from the Brooklyn Bridge south to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and New York City’s famed skyscrapers. 

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