5. The John Rankin House was one of Brooklyn’s largest residences when it was built

John Rankin House in Carroll Gardens

The John Rankin House, one of Carroll Gardens’ only National Register of Historic Preservation sites, is a three-story crimson brick and stone house that stands out from the many brownstones nearby. The Greek Revival-style mansion was completed around 1840 by an unknown architect and belonged to merchant John Rankin. At the time it was built, the home in “rural farm country” was surrounded entirely by farmland, overlooking Upper New York Bay.

In 1996, The Landmarks Preservation Commission described the building as “austere looking” and “imposing in size and impressive in appearance,” later calling it “one of the finest Greek Revival residences in New York City.” The building now houses the F.G. Guido Funeral Home, which purchased the home for $60,000. Victorian mantelpieces, a French walnut staircase, and an 1888 Studebaker carriage are still maintained in the home, as well as many original architectural features.