Saturday, August 15, 2015

Chester Court - Flatbush

Houses on South Side of Chester Court
Chester Court - South Side
Houses on North Side of Chester Court
Chester Court - North Side
Architectural elevation of typical Chester Court houses
Chester Court - Architectural Elevation
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle 28 October, 1911)
Photographic elevation of existing Chester Court houses
Chester Court - Photo Elevation
Built in 1911, Chester Court is a double row of Tudor Revival style homes that comprise most of the small block they reside on, extending from 16 to 32 Chester Court. The quant dwellings were designed and built by prominent Brooklyn architect and developer Peter J. Collins.[1] The style of the homes was based on the design vernacular of 16th and 17th century houses Mr. Collins observed in Chester England, hence the street name “Chester Court”.[1][2] The street traversed what was once part of the Vanderbilt family homestead to the right of where their house once stood.[2][3] The property had been in the Vanderbilt family since 1661.[2] Although the Tudor style had been used for single family detached houses for some time, Chester Court is thought to be among the first developments in the city to use the style for row-houses.[1] Staying true to the style, each home was built of timber, stucco and brick laid in a Flemish bond and featured an “attractive front court”.[1][3]

Looking west down Chester Court from Flatbush Avenue
Chester Court - Facing West from Flatbush Avenue
Street View of Chester Court Wall at end of street
Chester Court Wall
(Google Street View)
The neighborhood in which Chester Court resides was predominantly rural until the late 1800s when suburban development began happening on a larger scale. The new development boom followed transportation improvements that made the area more accessible for commuters, as well as the construction of Prospect Park. One of those transportation improvements was the Brooklyn, Flatbush & Coney Island Railroad, now the Brighton Q and B subway line, which is on the other side of the original brick wall on the west end of Chester Court.[1]


  1. Caratzas, Michael NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Chester Court Historic District Designation Report 16 December, 2014
  2. “Old Vanderbilt Homestead Which is to be Dismantled” Brooklyn Daily Eagle 28 September 1911
  3. NY House Histories "Saving Flatbush History - Chester Court" 20 November, 2014

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