3. The Mansions of President Street

While there are numerous single family homes scattered throughout the northern section of Crown Heights above Eastern Parkway, the predominant housing type remains the brownstone townhouse. But a two block stretch on President Street between New York Avenue and Kingston Avenue south of Eastern Parkway is lined with impressive mansions, one after another. These free standing homes are predominantly owned by the Hasidic Jewish community of the Chabad-Lubavitch, whose headquarters are close by. In her book Holy Days author Lis Harris documents a Hasidic family who lives on President Street in 1980s Crown Heights.

The mansions are set back from the street and have sizable front lawns. They are of many different types of architectural traditions, though many fall on the neoclassical, Greek Revival or Victorian end. At 1353 President Street is the organization FREE (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) founded in 1969 by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson to support the Jewish refugees fleeing the former Soviet Union. The day after the week of Sukkhot finished this year, a large gathering was taking place at FREE that spilled out onto the lawn.