There’s something to be said about Cobble Hill and its interesting bunch of art-inclined residents. This Brooklyn neighborhood has seen pumpkins impaled on a fence for Halloween, while an architect-cum-chef in the area is building a block of gingerbread brownstones for Christmas. But Untapped Cities recently found that besides the above mentioned seasonal displays, there’s one house in the area that shines–quite literally–all the year round.
Located on 108 Wyckoff Street, the Mosaic House is easy enough to find in the midst of all the brownstones that are located on this tree-lined street. Because unlike the varying shades of brown that characterize the other homes on this block, this house has shards of crockery, colorful beads, round buttons, pieces of marble and more stuck on the outside of this otherwise unassuming house. It’s a brilliantly colored mosaic, with every glance at it bringing to the forefront some component that you may have missed before.
For instance, sitting on a pipe rising from the ground is a tiny pig amidst buttons, glass and beads. A brown and white butterfly rests on the fence, even as a dark black fly seems to feast on colorful gemstones. Look closely on the ground, and you will find fishes on tiles, sea shells, buttons, turquoise blocks and more. Raise your gaze a little, and also check out the beautiful gold leaves encrusted over the ledges of the windows of the house. Using colorful beads to spell out the message, the mosaic urges us to “celebrate life” and “celebrate love.”
This work of art is the creation of Susan Gardner, who started pasting things on her house years ago in 2001. According to a report in Brooklyn Bureau, Gardner, who was a teacher of art at Yeshiva University, started off the mosaic with a small flower, and has continued sticking on things in the decade that followed. Many of her neighbors, who love the burst of color Gardner’s project has brought to the block, have contributed to the project as well, by bringing buttons, broken plates and other such knick-knacks to the artist’s doorstep. “It was one of those things that seemed to change the tilt of the world,” Gardner says. “Once I started [the mural], I couldn’t stop.”
With its celebratory presence, Mosaic House has left an impression on many a New Yorker and a tourist, and this winter season is as good a time as ever to visit this visual spectacle. Take the F or G train to Bergen Street and walk over to 108 Wyckoff Street to check out the Mosaic House today. We promise that you will spend more than a few minutes staring at this amazing house, finding surprises everywhere you look.