FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, OCT. 24, 2006
|Lisi de Bourbon
LANDMARKS COMMISSION GRANTS LANDMARK STATUS TO THE GEORGE B. AND SUSAN ELKINS HOUSE IN CROWN HEIGHTS
House Is the Only Known Freestanding, Mid-19th Century Wooden Country House Remaining in the Northwestern Section of the Brooklyn Neighborhood
The Landmarks Preservation Commission today unanimously approved the designation of the George B. and Susan Elkins House as an individual New York City landmark, preserving one of last vestiges of the suburban past in the northwestern section of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. Constructed between 1854 and 1869 for local real estate broker and his family, the modest, wood-framed house, which draws upon the Greek Revival and Italianate styles, is located at 1375 Dean St. between Brooklyn and Kingston Avenues.
“Set back from Dean Street, the Elkins House stands in sharp contrast to the hundreds of brick and masonry row houses and apartment buildings that grew up around it,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney. “This house represents the neighborhood’s transition from a farming community to an urban enclave, and has a wonderful story to tell about New York City’s history.”
The cube-shaped house features a wide front porch and small attic-level windows set beneath an intricately detailed, broadly overhanging wood cornice. The house once faced a large open field, and was home to the Elkinses and their four daughters.
A native of Massachusetts, George Elkins began working as a real estate broker when he moved from Brooklyn Heights to northwestern Crown Heights, which was then known as Bedford. He later branched into the contracting business, and was hired to build a section of Eastern Parkway, and a nearly mile-long stretch of Brooklyn Avenue.
The house has retained many of its historic features and characteristics, and remains a unique surviving example of a type of house that is believed to have all but vanished from northwestern Crown Heights.
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is the largest municipal preservation agency in the United States. Since its creation in 1965, the Commission has designated nearly 23,000 buildings in all five boroughs, including 1,145 individual landmarks, 107 interior landmarks, nine scenic landmarks and 85 historic districts.