Thursday, December 31, 2015

Milton Street Row Houses - Greenpoint

Milton Street falls within the Greenpoint Historic District and as such includes some noteworthy architecture. According to the AIA Guide to New York “Milton Street encapsulates the history of Greenpoint’s urban row housing with a display of styles”.[1] In addition to the row houses there are a couple of churches and an apartment building. For the sake of brevity, I will only write this post on the North side of Milton Street. The south side will come later.

Two, three story red brick row houses
93 & 95 Milton Street
Two, three story red brick row houses
97 & 99 Milton Street
Two, three story red brick row houses
101 & 103 Milton Street
Two, three story red brick row houses
105 & 107 Milton Street
Two, three story red brick row houses
109 Milton Street
93-109 Milton Street:
The buildings in the above photos were designed and built by James R. Sparrow in 1873-1874. The buildings were designed in the then popular Renaissance Revival Style.[2] They adhere to the design principal of unity by maintaining a uniform height, fenestration and design style with matching details. Each façade was once painted in its own color to discern its individual identity.[1] According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission Report, the houses were likely built as two-family residences.  Most of the homes were sold to craftsmen that worked in the local trades. However, the buildings at 105-109 Milton Street were kept by the Sparrow Family as an investment. Most of the cast iron fences, as well as the stoop balustrades are original.[2]

One, three story red brick row house
111 Milton Street
111 Milton Street:
No. 111 is a neo-Grec style residence built circa 1881-82 by Thomas C. Smith.[2] Smith lived at the small mansion at 138 Milton Street. The Smith home is now the Greenpoint Reformed Church. Smith was the primary developer of Milton Street and designed the majority of the homes that still line the block.[3] I have more on Smith and his former home in an earlier post on the Greenpoint Reformed Church.
One two story row house with bay windows
115 Milton Street
115 Milton Street:
This two-story brick building is a Neo-Classical row house built by Dr. Charles A. Walters ca. 1894. The property was developed as an investment by Walters who lived next door at No. 111.[2]

One, three story red brick row house
117 Milton Street
117 Milton Street:
Thomas C. Smith built the Italianate style house pictured above. The house is a brick structure built atop a rusticated brownstone basement. The house has retained its original stoop balustrade and garden railing, as well as its window guards at the basement.[2]

Two story red brick duplex - row house
119 & 121 Milton Street
Two story red brick duplex - row house
123 & 125 Milton Street
119-125 Milton Street:
The houses are a row of four brick neo-Grec style residences built in 1876 by Thomas C. Smith. They are in two pairs designed to appear like two larger homes.[2]  Unfortunately, the façade of the house at 125 Milton Street has been disfigured and no longer resembles its original historic design. I am not sure why the facade was changed but it now looks like a bad repair job on a damaged building, leaving little historic value. Also, the cornice that spans 123 and 125 has been painted a different color for each address which looks like a mistake.

Two row houses
127 & 129 Milton Street
127 & 129 Milton Street:
Built circa 1876, these homes were also designed and constructed by Thomas C Smith. Due to “renovations” No. 127 no longer has its 19th century character. In the photo it is hiding behind the evergreen shrub but don't worry, you're not missing much. As a reference to what it would have looked like, No. 129 has remained largely unaltered, retaining its Italianate style.[2]

Red brick duplex row house with french style mansard roof
131 & 133 Milton Street
131 & 133 Milton Street:
The next pair of houses adds to the Smith collection of Milton Street structures. Differing from the last two, these were designed in the French influenced Second Empire style. Although No. 131 has been modified, both buildings retain their mansard roof and original iron work.[2]

Two red brick row houses
135 & 137 Milton Street
135 & 137 Milton Street:
More Smith homes… The houses were built in 1878 in the neo-Grec style.  The buildings had a two story bay that rose from the basement to the second floor at the side of each entrance which have since been removed. At No. 135 there is a picture window where the bay used to be and 137’s bay location has been covered with aluminum siding.[2]

Row of several similar red brick row houses with loggias
139-151 Milton Street
139-151 Milton Street:
This brings me to my favorite of all of Thomas C. Smith’s houses. This row of Queen Ann style residential structures maintains a unique identity on the street due to its small arched and recessed loggias.[1][2] The homes are unified by the loggias, as well as the types of brick used, lintels and galvanized-iron roof cornices.[2] If I could buy any building on the block it would be one of this group.

Red brick gothic revival style Lutheran Church
St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church
153-157 Milton Street:
St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church

Large neoclassical low rise apartment building constructed of red brick on a limestone first floor
159, 161 & 163 Milton Street
159, 161 & 163 Milton Street:
This building split between three addresses/entrances is a neoclassical structure constructed between 1904 and 1909.[2] The building is constructed of red brick on a first floor built of limestone.

  1. White, Norval, Willensky, Elliot, and Leadon, Fran AIA Guide to New York. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Designation Report 14 September, 1982
  3. Spellen, Suzanne "Building of the Day: 138 Milton Street" 5 October, 2015

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