The Peculiarly Plain House in Park Slope


Yes, "peculiar" was the adjective ascribed to Stewart Woodford’s red brick house 869 President Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, courtesy of the Brooklyn Eagle in 1885. While other houses built around that time had the mansard roofs of Second Empire Victorians, or stuck to the details of Queens Anne or traditional brownstone, this place was different. Woodford was a politician and diplomat, and his architect was Henry Ogden Avery, who'd studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He gave the place a surprisingly plain 36-foot-wide facade, "with simple round arched windows on the first floor, a pair of small projecting oriels on either side of the second, and three pairs of rectangular windows on the third," writes Christopher Gray in the NY Times. The magic is in the details: a pair of iron peacocks adorning the door, an art deco cornice in the hall, a strap-work ceiling and terra cotta fireplace in the living room. The current owners, Madelyn and Martin Schloss, have just bought a house nearby, not to abandon the old Woodford residence but to restore and renovate it, and return again.
A Different Drummer of a House [NY Times]
Photo from Property Shark.

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