Sunday, March 22, 2015

Joseph Steele House – Corner of Lafayette & Vanderbilt

Front and west side of Joseph Steele House
Joseph Steele House - Front
Rear of Joseph Steele House
Joseph Steele House - Rear
The Joseph Steele House in Clinton Hill is noted as being one of the best surviving wooden Greek Revival style suburban mansions in New York City.[1] The house manages to be eye catching regardless of its scale and location relative to two other impressive structures, the Brooklyn Masonic Temple and Our Lady Queen of All Saints School Church and Rectory, situated diagonally across the intersection of Lafayette and Vanderbilt.

Cupola on Joseph Steele House
Joseph Steele House Cupola
Front of Joseph Steele House
Joseph Steele House with East Wing
Built sometime between 1825 and 1850, the Greek Revival style home features narrow wood clapboards, a modillion bracketed cornice, eyebrow windows with pediments and an octagonal cupola.[2] The façade has not been altered; however, the house does have an addition. The original structure is the eastern wing with a second structure attached at the rear, west side of the house. The addition is a separate, earlier Federalist style structure that may have been moved from another location on the property.[1][3]

Joseph Steele was a resident of Brooklyn Heights. He sold the property to Joseph K. Brick, the first president of the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, in 1853. In 1903 the house was sold again to Joseph Skinner whose family still owns the house today.[3]

  1. Montrose, Morris “Building of the Day: 200 Lafayette Avenue” Brownstoner Online. 2 July, 2010.
  2. White, Norval, Willensky, Elliot, and Leadon, Fran AIA Guide to New York. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  3. New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Landmarks Preservation Designation Report 19 March, 1968

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