The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chester Court

Most of you have probably marveled at the lovely tudor houses on cul-de-sac Chester Court just off Flatbush. But did you know that cul-de-sac means literally the "butt of the bag?" Makes sense if you think about it.

But what I really want to share is from Curbed, this amazing picture of the Flatbush/Chester intersection from way back:

Then, with the powerful use of state-of-the-art infrared inset technology, comes the Curbed Cornerspotter "reveal:"

Don't know about you, but that Lefferts style homestead, much much older than the 1920 date of the photo-shoot, yanked at my yearn-strings. You can almost hear Otis Campbell yodeling a late night tin-pan alley tune after an evening of sucking down home brewed hooch. Er, that might have been Mayberry RFD; my memory's a bit off on account of the rheumatiz. I guess those tudors must just be a few years old when this thing was taken. If you live on this block you ought to have a copy of this framed to hang over the mantle!

One thing it nails home to me...there was a HUGE building boom at the early part of the 1900s that radically transformed the area in a very short period of time. Developers were gobbling up land and throwing up "old world" style townhouses, much in the manner that current greedsters are throwing up "Fedders" style curbcut housing, or McMansions in the exurbs. Of course, the 100-year Brownstones have grown in appeal and status, but at the time critics lamented the cookie-cutter style faux-mini-mansions cropping up like weeds. Will today's buildings festooned in Fedders one day fetch 400-500 times what they were purchased for? (houses on my block went for $2,000 in 1912.) Only time, and Brownstoner, will tell.

And to think that beautiful big tree behind that old house was sacrificed in the name of progress. But let's get real...about 100 more people can live in that four story apartment building than in that three bedroom house. Supply meets demand, you could say.

1 comment:

Bob Marvin said...

What a great photograph--I should read Curbed more often! Flatbush used to be lined with those "Lefferts Homestead" type houses. THE Lefferts Homestead was only saved (sans its Victorian wings) by picking it up and moving it a few blocks to Prospect Park.