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Prospect Park South is an enclave of two hundred and six homes built at the turn of the century on the southern edge of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. Designed by anglophile, Dean Alvord, it is a six block by two block canvas of Victorian style homes that range from Queen Anne to Shingle Style to Italianate to Colonial Revivals to Exotics. Bounded by Church Avenue to the North, Coney Island Avenue to the West, Beverley Road to the south and the Q Subway Line to the East. Stepping out of the subway first time visitors can only wonder what world they have entered - certainly not Brooklyn, NY - but indeed, they have discovered the very Heart of Victorian Brooklyn.


History

Designated a historic district in 1978, Prospect Park South, with its great assortment of unique and architecturally significant houses, is unquestionably the grandest section of Old Flatbush. The streets are lined with lavish, single-family residences that have withstood the pressures of change and remain one of New York's greatest architectural treasures.

Designed as a "garden in the city," by Dean Alvord before the turn of the 20th century, today his vision remains largely intact. Alvord abandoned the row house concept in favor of more stately, detached homes built under careful restrictions. (When Prospect Park South was developed, potential buyers were actually required to present references "to protect the families of lot purchasers against undesirable social and moral influences.") All utilities were placed underground before a street was paved or a plot of land sold. Trees were planted every 20 feet - not along the curb, but on the building line to create a more spacious, open feeling.

The architecture of Prospect Park South represents and eclectic mix of Colonial, Queen Anne, Italianate, Swiss, Mediteranean, Shingle Style and Exotics. This was part of Alvord's plan and today the juxtoposition seems both whimsical and wonderful.

 

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