Boerum Hill is a mix of old and new in Brooklyn, with historic brownstones and row houses next to brand new and innovative apartments. Bound by Court Street to the west, 4th Avenue to the east, Schermerhorn Street to the north, and Baltic Street to the south, this tree-lined neighborhood is situated to the east of Cobble Hill just a block from the Barclays Center. Although not the most touristy since it is mostly residential, Boerum Hill offers some fascinating secrets, including a mosaic townhouse, strange signs, and remnants of a substantial Mohawk community. Here is our guide to the top 10 secrets of Boerum Hill!
1. There is a mosaic townhouse decorated with colorful beads, glass, and discarded DVDs
Located on 108 Wyckoff Street, the mosaic townhouse sticks out amid all the brownstones on the tree-lined street. Shards of crockery, colorful beads, discarded DVDs, pennies, buttons, pieces of marble, and more are stuck on the outside of this otherwise unassuming house. On top of these decorations are political signs and papers, some reading “No Justice No Peace” with tributes to those who died from police violence, others about the Civil Rights Movement. All these combine to create a celebratory mosaic, much to the joy of neighborhood residents.
The mosaic house is the creation of Susan Gardner, who started pasting things on her house in 2001. According to a report in Brooklyn Bureau, Gardner, who was a teacher of art at Yeshiva University, started the mosaic with a small flower and has continued to build it out. Neighbors have also contributed by bringing buttons, broken plates, and other knick-knacks to the artist’s doorstep. The home now appears on walking tours and has allowed Gardner to hear stories of those who pass by and bring her meaningful items.