A surprise in the nabe

April 15, 2015

I don't know why I never stopped & looked at this row of three houses before; I know I must have walked by them many times. While un-Manhattan-like, they look like houses everywhere else I've ever been, so they somehow never jumped out at me as being unusual. Yet there they are on 18th Street, where they've been since the 1850s. The front lawns are what make them unlike our city blocks, and the upstairs porches. While I was standing there, a delivery guy rang the bell at the one farthest east & I noticed all the trash on the porch. (That picture came out blurry.) I like that they're not showplaces, just houses where people live. Shabby, that's my style.

According to the landmark plaque on the front fence, these "charming Italianate style" "small brick vernacular" houses were built in 1852–53 by Cornelia Stuyvesant Ten Broeck (1820–92) on land that had been part of her ancestor Peter Stuyvesant's Bouwerie (farm).