In her book Holy Days author Lis Harris documents a Hasidic family in 1980s Crown Heights. On her frequent trips to the neighborhood, Harris describes the wonderfully unique and enigmatic houses on President Street near Kingston Avenue. We took the subway to Crown Heights to photograph the houses for ourselves.
The houses on President Street are freestanding, set far back from the street, and often veiled behind a row of trees. Some houses evoke the antebellum South, others Frank Lloyd Wright. Front yards slope alongside terraced stairways. Brick houses neighbor wood. Rooftops range from Aframes to flattops. Some houses are immaculately clean, others have a touch of decay, cracked stairs, the need for a paint job, an unkempt lawn full of weeds. Each house on President Street is inimitable, carrying its own past.
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See also the Victorian mansions of Church Avenue and Prospect Park South in our History of Streets column. Get in touch with the author @ChrisRagalie and on his website.