2. Alfred Tredway White built two experimental housing projects

Warren Place in Cobble Hill
Warren Place

Alfred Tredway White was a philanthropist and “Brooklyn’s first citizen,” who developed buildings and housing communities throughout Brooklyn. In Cobble Hill, he built two experimental housing projects designed as affordable housing, although both now are among the most expensive developments in the neighborhood. The Romanesque revival Cobble Hill Towers on Hicks Street is a nine-building apartment complex built in 1879. The homes featured cross-ventilation, private courtyards, and exterior staircases. The towers have retained their reddish-brown exterior with detailed balconies.

Cobble Hill Towers
Cobble Hill Towers

Perhaps the more sought-after project today was what White called the Workingman’s Cottages, now referred to as Warren Place. The one-block mews from Warren Street to Baltic Street consist of two rows of single-family homes built around a private courtyard. The gothic-style row houses were built in the late 1870s and are made of red brick with elaborate metal doors. The mews are valued at about $1.5-2 million today. Although built as affordable housing for Irish, Swedish, German, and Native American workers, the development is now oft-photographed and hidden.