Last week, we included The Wooden House Project as one of the most fun urban initiatives we came across recently. Since the 19th century, it’s been illegal to build wooden house in New York City and “that makes them special,” says The Wooden House Project founder Elizabeth Finkelstein. This summer in Brooklyn, the organization hosted tours of Greenpoint and South Slope and now, this September, they will offer a new series of fall tours.
The Wooden House Project is a Brooklyn-based initiative that encourages wooden home owners (and enthusiasts) to get involved with the preservation of standing and historically significant wooden houses in Brooklyn. The project is all about making, “a pretty magical renovation happen within a limited budget,” said Elizabeth Finkelstein. Until the next season of tours begin, we’ve rounded up the amazing current and vintage photographs featured on The Wooden House Project website, some by Charles Von Urban, one of several original members of the Wooden House Project.
Also, ever wondere why there are fewer wooden houses in Manhattan than Brooklyn? Wooden House Project contributor Chelcey Berryhill says that the fire laws against wooden houses in Manhattan were enforced much earlier.
In 1995, The NY Times called the home above an “ice cream sundae amidst the roast beef of its more prosaic neighbors.”
Here is a wedding in 1952 reported by the Brooklyn Eagle. The couple had planned to live in the house in the photograph until it was damanged in a fire.
Below is a street of houses in Gowanus to be demolished. In an article, Brownstoner reported five other locations in this area are awaiting demolition. The first photo was taken in 1930 when the houses possessed much more architectural detail. The second is the current condition of the houses.
See more about the Wooden House project here.