Clinton Hill

Joseph Steele’s 1840s frame house and other Clinton Hill eye candy

Eye On Real Estate

June 21, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This fine survivor from the 1840s is 200 Lafayette Ave., AKA the Joseph Steele House, in Clinton Hill. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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I’m Still Standing, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, as Elton John would say.

There’s a fine frame house built around 1845 — which can be found right at a busy intersection in Clinton Hill.

Joseph Steele House, as history-loving Brooklynites call it in honor of its original owner, is located at 200 Lafayette Ave.

It’s made of yellow-painted clapboard and has an octagonal cupola. It was designated as an individual city landmark in 1968.

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This suburban mansion — in those days, this spot was in the suburbs — is largely a Greek Revival design. There are also touches of Italianate architectural style, which was a new thing in Brooklyn construction in the 1840s.

According to a city Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report about 200 Lafayette Ave., R.N. Skinner bought it in 1903. The eye-catching house still belongs to the Skinner family, online records indicate.

In the ensuing decades, as residential development took off in Clinton Hill, some of the grandest buildings were constructed on Washington Avenue.

The diverse architecture on this avenue includes the Queen Anne style, which was deployed on a cluster of three 1880s rowhouses at 301-305 Washington Ave. so they look like a single grand home.

There are combination Queen Anne-Romanesque Revival homes, for instance at 400-404 Washington Ave. And there are straight-up Romanesque Revival-style buildings, such as 229-231 Washington Ave.

Superb rows of brownstones can be found on some blocks of this eye-pleasing avenue.

The neighborhood’s other avenue of grand homes is the Gold Coast, AKA Clinton Avenue. See related story.

Visual delights can be found on every other street in the Clinton Hill Historic District — from homes with big front porches on peaceful Cambridge Place to the Romanesque Revival turret at 289 DeKalb Ave., which famous architect Montrose Morris designed.

Take a look at these photos we took.


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